How to Improve at Chess: Ultimate Guide


Chess isn't just a game. It's a kind of learning that needs planning, thinking ahead and really wanting to get better. In this guide, we'll share lots of helpful tips and tricks to make you better at chess.

But here's the cool thing: this guide isn't just for one person to talk at you. It's an invitation for every chess lover to share what they know, their stories and what they've learned. Together, we'll make a big book of knowledge that helps players no matter where they are in their chess adventure.


Let's begin with a fantastic article that provided me with valuable guidance on what aspects to focus on for improvement:

Here is an excerpt from this article: play a lot, analyze your games, and primarily study tactics. Your knowledge of openings, endgame, middlegame, etc. will come from analyzing your games and going over grandmaster games. Only study one of those specific topics if it is clear you are specifically losing because of that topic.


Lots of chess players spend too much time trying to remember lots of moves at the beginning of a game. They call this the "opening." But here's the thing: not many players know a ton of openings, and even if they do, it's rare that they'll play the exact moves you've memorized. It's better to focus on learning the basic opening rules right from the beginning. Don't worry too much about trying to remember a bunch of fancy moves and chess theory. You can tackle that part later on.


A big part of getting better at chess is not making silly mistakes. Most games are lost because of these slip-ups. So, it's really important to take a moment before you move a piece. Check that your king is safe and you're not giving away any of your pieces for nothing.


Studying games played by really strong players is super important. When you look at their games, you can learn lots of cool tricks and strategies that are really hard to figure out on your own.

But here's the trick: you need to look at games that have been explained well by experts. They'll help you understand why the players made each move. Imagine you're one of the players in the game. Think about all the tricky stuff that could happen, make a plan and then see if it matches up with what actually happened.

It's much better to actively think and engage with the game than to just read about it. If you make your brain work while studying grandmaster games, it'll be super helpful when you play your own games.


The chess improvement formula

It’s quite simple.
Study -> Practice -> Fix -> (Repeat)

You learn something first.
You practice it; otherwise, you’ll forget it.
You fix the mistakes you make.
Then you learn new things, and the cycle continues.

Anything to add?
Yes! The sauce.

Everything you can do — studying, practicing, and fixing you can multiply the results with the secret sauce — the right mindset!



Most chess players spend a lot of time watching videos or reading books to get better. While that's helpful, it's not the key to real improvement.

Take Magnus Carlsen, the World Chess Champion, for example. When he was just 10 years old, he was already beating some of the best players in the world.

Why? Because he paid a lot of attention to the basics and the main ideas of chess (how to think in chess). This is why he could defeat many players who had spent their whole lives studying chess.


Always compete with people who are as good as you or better. Have more matches with better players than those at your own level.


I think it's a good idea to steer clear of fast-paced chess games like blitz and bullet. They can lead to picking risky moves and not thinking things through.

Instead, I recommend focusing on chess tournaments. They offer a competitive setting with plenty of time to think about your moves. Even though it might take longer for each move, it helps you get better at making the right choices.

Plus, tournaments are a great way to meet other smart and passionate chess players. There's a friendly atmosphere among chess enthusiasts that makes the game even more exciting. Being a part of tournaments can reignite your love for chess and motivate you to get better.

If you can't go to a tournament, the next best thing is to play longer games online (around 30 minutes or more). Playing with more time gives you the chance to really think about your moves and improve your chess instincts.


Stop moving right away. I see players do this a lot and I'm sometimes guilty of it too. There's hardly ever anything good that comes from moving quickly, unless you're playing against a clock and about to run out of time.

Keep your hand away from that piece. Don't touch it. Have you really looked at the board? Did you study what your opponent just did? How does it change the situation? How does it affect your original plan?

I don't care about what you'd like to do. Focus on what your opponent just did. They might have put you in a tough spot. Or, they might have given you a fantastic opportunity that would be unwise to pass up.

Daddy_Chillimao wrote:

nice thread



Record your games and send them to Mr. Stockfish for evaluation. Show that you're willing to learn and improve, even if it means facing challenges and setbacks. Put aside any feelings of pride and focus on gaining knowledge.


Study the endgame

Don't be scared to learn about the endgame! Many chess players find it a bit dull, and I get why. Memorizing specific endings can be a bit boring. But that's not what I'm talking about (although there are a few you should definitely know).

I mean, let's focus on practical endgames. These are usually about things like turning a pawn into a powerful piece, grabbing some of your opponent's stuff, or even checkmating them.

“In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else, for whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame” – Jose Raul Capablanca

When you dig into some famous endgames, you'll discover lots of surprising moves (there are loads in the endgame), winning strategies, and most importantly, how to make your pieces work together. It's pretty obvious that if you can't handle three pieces well, you're not going to do great with a full set!

You'll also build up your collection of familiar situations. For example, if your opponent has a lonely pawn, you'll know you can swap pieces, attack the pawn, make their King protect it, and meanwhile, you can push your own pawns forward.


One of the best things I learned early on was endgames. It's easy to learn on and it is not boring once you get the hang of it. I have played a lot of strong players who give me a hard time. Then I realise that they have no end game skill. It's quite common under 1800. When I know they have no end game I can trade off pieces quickly and then easily beat them. The crazy thing is that even when I beat them this way several times they often think it was luck and they never study and improve their endgames.




Healthy body, healthy mind

To be good at chess, you need to focus and think hard. This takes a lot of mental effort. You also need energy and oxygen for your brain, and exercising helps with this. That's why young and healthy players tend to do well in high-level chess.

Before playing, avoid eating heavy meals. Instead, go for a short walk, stretch your body and take deep breaths. These are things most people can do, no matter their fitness level. But if you're in good shape and do these things regularly, it will help you even more.

By doing this, you'll be able to stay alert for a longer time. You'll also notice that it's your opponents who make mistakes on move 40, not you.


Join the best chess club in your country, if possible

Where we are and who we're with can really affect us. It can determine if we succeed or not. That's why being around people who love the game is crucial. Plus, a bit of friendly competition can really boost your chess skills.


Find a mentor

If you want to get better at something, it's a great idea to ask someone who's really good at it to teach you. This could be a family member, someone who's a pro at the game or even someone who consistently wins when you play against them. They can show you the best ways to improve.


If you are 18 or more you need a glass of vodka to become child again before training session. After one year of this program you are like 4 years old in chess!!


Don't be too hard on yourself if you lose a game

Winning is more enjoyable than losing, I'll admit that. But when I lose a game of chess, I see it as a chance to get better. When I figure out why I lost, I know what I need to practice to become a better player. I don't get mad at myself, I don't get really sad. Instead, I get to work.

Everyone loses; even the best, like Garry Kasparov, lost to a machine. Losing feels bad, but it's your choice to turn it into something good. Treat your chess losses as chances to improve, opportunities to become a better player and you might find that you've become a better person too.

In my opinion, that's the real value of chess (and most other competitive activities, really). Even though this might not be as popular an idea in the 21st century, I strongly believe that competition helps us grow as people.

Since chess is a one-on-one game, it's a special way for us to learn about ourselves, how we handle tough times and how we act when we win. Chess lets us challenge ourselves and become better. But we can't do that if we get really mad at ourselves, get really sad or throw a fit when we lose. Don't give up after a loss, learn from it and you'll probably discover something about yourself too.