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I've been thinking about having chess lessons.
Is coaching at a beginner level worth it, or would I be better off investing in a good book for now (and if so, which book would you recommend)?
At this point it is probably a good idea to work on your understanding of the game. Don't waste time trying to memorize a myriad of opening lines and the like, just work on improving your overall understanding of the game and its elements.
If you are going to get a book, I've been told several times that it is better to know one book inside out than to have random pieces of unassimilated knowledge from several books. I'm currently reading Winning Chess Strategies, by Yasser Seirawan, which is probably well worth looking at for you. http://www.amazon.com/Winning-Chess-Strategies-Everyman/dp/1857443322
With regard to coaching, if you can do it, go for it. There is nothing wrong with learning from books but it is the coach that will be able to pinpoint your weaknesses and help you work through them. It's just really easy to fall into bad habits that can last a lifetime if you teach yourself.
eugene - I know I have a lot of basic stuff that needs working on before I even think about memorizing lines (like trying to stop myself dropping pieces). I haven't even started studying openings yet. lol
Thanks for the book recommendation, it looks good. I think I may be placing an order on amazon pretty soon. :)
christiansoldier - Thanks for the link, I'll go and take a look at his page now. :)
Happy to help, I know it's hard to know where to start.
Here's a study routine that I've just started working on, if it helps: http://blog.chess.com/eugene_p_needlemeyer/ex-libris
And since we seem to be plugging coaches, I like this guy: http://www.chess.com/coach/valeri-lilov C:
If i can help, just drop me a note.