HEY NOOBS! Forget Openings, Study Tactics (The right way)


The next area is the endgame. This not because this or that position will come up - but endings will get you thinking about chess in the right way - this is very true for player where chess does not come easy. Here's what you do. Learn basic endings so you can play them without thinking - 100 endgames you must know - that sort of thing. Then move on to technical endgames - these are endings which are not basic - say Rook endgames with an extra queen;s knight pawn and 3-3 on the king-side. Finally move on to complex games - these look like middle games with the queen's exchanged, Here you can learn how to think positionally,  make plans, deal with counter-play - learn how to transform complex endings to technical endings (and by then you'll be able to play technical endings and transform them into basic endings.


If you spend 30 minutes to an 1 hour every day on an endgame study plan like this, you'll have a chess skill that is permanent - then you'll be in a position to move on to standard middlegame positions and more difficult positional and calculation.  In summary tactics in the right way - as a foundation for future calculation study. Endgames - the three tier approach - as a foundation for studying middlegame. Don;t worry about short term results. Follow this and you will have built a solid foundation for real lasting improvement. One final things =endgames are not boring - ALL the secrets of chess are found in endings. How can you play a complex middlegame, if you can;t play a complex ending well - or even a technical ending?

Rukdropov wrote:

Sergius. I don't know you personally, so I'll generalize - and its probably pretty accurate. Tactics is critical - but you have to study in the right way. I'd recommend the Test Your IQ Vol 1,2, and 3. The reason I say this is the books are difficult with time penalties and rewards. Use and actual board. This is once or twice a week. The rest of the days just do 30 minutes of problems - at first with themes and then no themes. That's tactics.



Thank you. I assume you mean 'Test Your Chess IQ', right? Cause there are 'Test Your IQ' books and they seem a bit unrelated.


As for endings - you might be right. I've been playing correspondence chess for the last few months and the endgames I've gotten in some of the games have been really interesting!


Yes, sorry I meant Test Your Chess IQ - not you're only 1500 go and test your IQ! (lol) The idea is too really challenge yourself and this effort imprints the patterns on your brain. This is difficult material -keep at it - it will work - don't get depressed! The other part is as you study endgames in the three tier way I suggest, you'll get a better feel for the properties of each piece, the importance of one side having just one inactive piece, the role of weaknesses, how to plan, tactics and calculation are present, evaluation and planning - everything you'll need as a foundation for better chess. It will be the best use of your time I guarantee it. As a reminder don't worry about results as you do this - concentrate on tactical and endgame mastery - the results will come later and be real. As you get to know endgames deeply, you will see chess very differently. For example you'll really start to see and feel how players at your level self-destruct by creating far too many weaknesses, and fail to activate their pieces at the same time - mainly because they have a faulty active plan - and finally their tactics is simplynot good enough (doing puzzle rush is not tactical training in my opinion). You can clearly see that studying openings does not address the source of improvement which is a better understanding of positional chess and a much better tactical ability.


I should point out endgame studies on the theme of domination - are really good exercises for improving your overall chess level. If you have time I'd include a set of these as a regular training exorcises


Funny thing is should be studying openings. I can't tell you the number of times I get crushed by weak players who trot out sharp gambits I've never looked at! Note to self - spend a weekend looking at gambits.

rkdkchess wrote:
SNUDOO wrote:
rkdkchess wrote:
SNUDOO wrote:
SuperbLogic wrote:

Somehow tactics is only a part of the midlegame. 



incorrect. There are tactics in endgames as well. Slightly less, but still exist.

Some in openings as well! Opening traps?

opening traps are tactical but more memorization than tactics.


Strategy and positional play are everywhere. In fact move 1 e4 or d4 is already strategy. Tactics are servants of strategy. Tactics flow from the color with a superior position. 


fyi wink.png



Yes noobs should study tactics mainly esp in early stage. However, I believe most NMs+ have a solid grasp of at least some opening theory, It depends on which part of the game you wanna focus on. I choose to focus much more on opening and middlegame since most games seem to be determined from those stages, if you get a +2 advantage the endgame should be easier, I'd prefer that instead of hoping to get my advantage back in the endgame by investing more time in studying endgames. Endgames shouldn't be ignored though, they're very important too I study the endgames from my real games.