any advice?

BoomyPlayz

I was wondering where I can improve, and what I should do to improve it. If you decide to look at the games don’t use the ones against ImMeatball we are friends irl and I wasn’t playing too seriously. Edit: After what Ripley said I realized that this post was garbage, and I should probably put some more effort in to this.

1 What types of tactics should I work on. I have done a bit of fork tactics and basic checkmates, and I have started looking for discovered checks and pins in my games. I need to work on them more, but what are some tactics that are important. 

2 I have been considering buying a copy of the Soviet Chess Primer. Would you recommend it?

3 What are good ways of Improving middle game play. I have just been hoping that by playing more that part would improve over time.

4. How do you study games. I have looked back at my own games, or have tried looking at GM games, but I don't get anything from them.

Thanks to Ripley for pointing out my lack of effort, and to anyone who may help me I will try harder in the future to put more effort into my post.

BoomyPlayz
Ripley_Osbourne wrote:

Seeing the amount of work you've put in your post, shows the amount of work you throw into anything in general, and the tendency you've got to rely on others to do the job for you.

Letting aside the morality of it, I'll tell you just that: in chess, this doesn't work out. You need to study if you want to improve, when you find out you're not among those who can go high enough by just playing games (and they are not so many, and they don't go so high anyway).

I was hoping someone could point out something that I could do research on myself. You are right though I'm not experienced with this kind of thing and didn't put too much effort into it, but since your here what tactics would you recommend? 

TumpaiTubo
My recommendation is to utilize the resources available here. Go to the Lessons tab and start at the beginning. Work puzzles. Play the computer. Click on the “Watch” tab and watch higher ranked players in real-time. Study GM games. Self-motivate. When you’ve made it through the great resources here, you’ll know what steps to take next.
Bgabor91

Dear Boomy,

I can help you with improving all of your skills at chess (openings, strategies, tactics, endgames, analysing your own games). I am an official, full-time chess coach and looking for students. Let me introduce myself. happy.png

My name is Gabor Balazs. I am a Hungarian FM, fighting for the IM title. My top ELO is 2435. I have been playing chess for 21 years. I won the Hungarian Rapid Championship twice (U16 and U18).

I love teaching chess and it is very important for me that both of us enjoy the lessons beside the hard work. I have pupils almost all the levels from beginners to advanced players (1100-2200 ELO).

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Why should you choose me?

- I have a widespread opening repertoire (a lot of openings are analysed by strong Grand Masters).

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KeSetoKaiba
BoomyPlayz wrote:

I was wondering where I can improve, and what I should do to improve it....

1 What types of tactics should I work on. I have done a bit of fork tactics and basic checkmates, and I have started looking for discovered checks and pins in my games. I need to work on them more, but what are some tactics that are important. 

2 I have been considering buying a copy of the Soviet Chess Primer. Would you recommend it?

3 What are good ways of Improving middle game play. I have just been hoping that by playing more that part would improve over time.

4. How do you study games. I have looked back at my own games, or have tried looking at GM games, but I don't get anything from them.

Thanks to Ripley for pointing out my lack of effort, and to anyone who may help me I will try harder in the future to put more effort into my post.

1) Some tactics are more common than others. Forks and Pins are really common - more so than tactical themes like "Queen Sacrifice" or "Two Bishop Checkmate" but more popular doesn't necessarily mean "more important." The key with tactics training is to enhance your pattern recognition ability, so you can recognize ALL tactics in your games. Sure, "all" isn't feasible for a human player (everyone overlooks things at times as we are not perfect, nor do we calculate like computers do), but the more we know, then the better off we are. With more patterns in mind, we increase the chance of us finding them in a game. 

All tactics are important to work on; try solving the puzzles and really "understand" what is going on in the position. If you really want to focus on specific tactical themes, then work on the ones you more commonly get wrong or overlook. 

2) Can't say - never read Soviet Chess Primer. What I can say though is that most beginners do not find books helpful. Some books are targeted towards beginners (and some beginners can handle more complex books because they enjoy reading), but generally speaking, most beginners get bored with books. There is a ton of information, the lines are sometimes hard to follow and chess books almost always need at least one chess board (preferably with physical pieces) to follow along the lines.

Most beginners start with tactics, chess.com lessons, or if they really like to read: chess articles and blogs. They tend to be a bit more interactive than books and are also far shorter in length, so becoming bored isn't as much of an issue. 

If you like book/chess books, then go for it, but it is simply a matter of figuring which learning style works best for you. 

3) Middlegame is greatly about tactics, so puzzles can help with that (See? Everything is connected in chess). However, a lot of middlegame concepts are also positional in nature. Things like square weaknesses, pawn structure and improving the activity of your pieces. Honestly, I probably wouldn't start deep middlegame study until your chess.com rating is maybe about 1500 or 1600 or so. Sure, go for it earlier if you want, but you'll better understand the positional ideas when your chess understanding is greater and tactics puzzles can be sufficient until this level of play. 

Another big part of the middlegame is knowing which endgames you may want to steer the game into. Obviously this takes prior endgame knowledge and confidence in your ability to convert x-endgame. This is why learning the endgame and reverse-engineering chess can be useful. Get endgame fundamentals and patterns down really well, then learn how to steer middlegames into an endgame you are happy with and then learn openings to get you into middlegame positions you are comfortable with and then steer into endgames from the middlegames. If you can get down this complex process efficiently, then you are probably already 2000+ rating grin.png

4) Study of games (your own or GM games) is a skill you can learn with practice. A good idea might be to read chess articles and blogs from chess writers you respect and see how they annotate GM games or review their own games. This will teach you how to do the same for yourself. YouTube videos, chess.com streamers and chess.com articles/blogs are useful for this.

Similarly, this blog post may help you get started with "opening principles" in chess. Maybe you know this stuff already, but a lot of members have told me they found this helpful and you might as well 

https://www.chess.com/blog/KeSetoKaiba/opening-principles-again

olJoshie1
My advice is just don’t lose
MarkGrubb

1) All Tactics. Start with the chess.com tutorials. Also good comprehensive list with examples is '56 Tactics That All Chess Players Should Know' on Chess Fox. Google it. If you like a book then I recommend Chess Tactics for Students by Bain, but this is more-or-less what you will get from Chess.com tutorial and the puzzle engine. Bain's book is well structured though, like a course, if this is something that you think will help you. Suggest practicing daily, 5-10 per day is fine, little and often is better than a weekly binge. Calculate and visualise the solution before moving pieces. Aim to get them right first time. After 6-months your calculation, visualisation skills and tactical vision will be much stronger. This is my approach and my puzzle rating has gone from 400 in January, when I started chess, to 1475 today which reflects my stronger tactical and calculation skills. I get about 4/5 correct first time.

3. and 4. I think to study middlegames and GM games you need reasonable knowledge of the basics because you need to know what you are looking for. Start learning basic tactical patterns such as Pins, Forks, Skewers, etc, and doing the puzzles. But also start learning positional patterns\features such as open files, weak squares, backward pawns, isolated pawns, knight outposts, f2/f7 weakness, good bishop and bad bishop etc. You can google all these and more. Firstly, you just need to know that these tactical and positional ideas exist and what they look like on the board. Think of it as chess vocabulary. You can then study GM games by seeing how these ideas arise in the game and how the players use them.

When studying games, I find theme based study helps. For example, at the moment I'm looking at king side pawns storms to exploit the weakness created when the opponent has pushed h3/h6. I've got a few GM games where this happens in openings I play, and I just play through them getting ideas looking at how positional features (open files, weak squares, etc.) are created or exploited, etc.

If you are a 1200 player, you will be looking at these games with the analytical skills of a 1200 player, so don't expect any ground breaking revelations, but you will learn something every time and slowly improve.

Finally, you may find the move-by-move books helpful. These are annotated GM games where every move is explained. Logical Chess by Irving Chernev is recommended for beginners. There are a few others. Look for a modern edition with algebraic coordinates, older editions use the old coordinate system where the files are named after the pieces. Mines an old edition, not the end of the world but a little irritating. I'm penciling in the algebraic coordinates as I work through it.

 

groobz

Depending on what kind of learner you are a coach can really help.