is there some de facto or standard one that works well?
one thing i've learned... after hours of searching, there isn't a free one.
so fine! i'm open to pay for it, but i'm looking for something good (is the "best" a bad word to use in this context?)
1. i mean in-game tutorials and instructions/critiquing and whatnot, not dvds.
2. i'm a casual player who just plays by the seat of his pants. therefore i already know the mechanics. i don't want to spend 50 hours learning how each piece moves (READ: i'm not a total beginner).
just how to get better. is that so much to ask? =)
ct-art for tactics.
chessmaster grandmaster edition for excellent lectures by joshua waitzkin.
Er...right here on Chess.com? There is tactics trainer for improving your pattern recognition and noticing the different tactical motifs. For strategic and positional play, there in Chess Mentor that kind of covers everything one needs to know with explanations for critical candidate moves. On top of that, you also get access to the video library covering every topic of the game. There are free articles here and a wealth of knowledge in these forums so just get a membership here and you're good.
I too would give a thumbs up to the Chess.com content. For the cost of a pizza you can have numerous educational resourses at your disposal. There are internationally titled players who provide wonder materials including, but not limited to, video lessons, articles, blogs, games played with members, etc. Another thing to take into consideration is the members themselves. Many people like to help lower rated players out of their passion for the game, and teaching also helps consolidate the knowledge of the teacher. I love this site, so I will gladly pay my membership to keep this going for me and others. I would pay it for Pappa Bears (IM Daniel Rensch) videos alone! I mean, seriously, I can watch videos where an International Master (aka freaking good chessplayer) plays chess games and tells me all about what is going through his head. You can also read about how a WGM studies and what kind of strategies she uses during games.
Unfortunately, this is not a paid endorsement... dang.
Also good is Ct-art and Strategy from Convekta (important note: this may have some compatibility issues with Win 7 - mine doesn't play on my laptop)
Chessmaster stuff is pretty good.
Fritz 12 has some really great training tools for board vision, endgame training, opening training etc.
Chess.com of course, if you wanna learn on the net.
Chess Mentor, Tactic Trainer, Chess.com Vids, its all the best.
You have a free version software called Lucas Chess
Its not good as ct art, chessmaster or fritz but is free and A large number of training positions are also included.
i already picked up chessmaster but am pretty disenchanted with it so far.
i'll try the site's content 1st and go from there.
haha, sanberdoo! i'm like 20 min from ya. i like the chessmaster lessons by waitzkin. however, these days i'm using fritz a heck of a lot. i get their chessbase video GM lectures and they really, really help me. roman's lab stuff is old but solid. i second ct-art as well - i've had a lot of fun with that. never forget to study tactics! :)
It also depends which kind of training you're looking for : there is "serious traning" (efficient but sometimes difficult/dull), or "fun training" (less efficient but more enjoyable)