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New to chess. Need some advice.

  • #1

    Hi guys, I am new to chess and started learning 1 month ago. I have suscribed to the premium membership as it has helped me to improve my overall gameplay. I was wondering as to what is the best way or fastest way to improve as a player at my level.(Below 1000) Do i focus on the tactics trainer or reading more books about the opening/midgame/endgame? I have basic knowledge of the game already like the opening principles and done quite a number of tactics trainer. So I am open to suggestions cause I would like to become an average player or maybe even better in the future if I have the time to invest into the game. 

  • #2

    Many titled players on live chess have told me starting to learn the end game first is a good place to begin your journey. So understanding what kind of situations can typically arise in end games. When is your bishop or knight valuable, where to position your King, how to use and protect your pawns in the end game.

    Once you get the gist of it, you can move onto learning one opening for white. So probably about the first 10 moves of the main line of your choice.

    Then whilst playing it to yourself, analyse why this opening has this sequence, what is the opening trying to achieve, which pieces is it developing first. Once you grasp the basics of your opening sequence, you can now look at common responses to your opening. Learn how it might be countered or played against. This will build up your knowledge for your opening. Once you feel confident on playing this opening to a few common responses. You should switch over to solving puzzles, this will help you improve tactics slowly. The more you do with analysis the better you will become.

    Keep repeating this cycle, end game study, opening theory, tactics. When you feel confident with the one opening, perhaps move onto another opening. It is a slow but sure fire way of improving. This style of play suits your strengths and increases your chances of winning.

  • #3

    Focus only on tactics and slow games until you reach at least 1400

  • #4


    If that's not an option, then I would agree with Awake; play slow games, Online Chess where you have days to move and study lots of tactics.

  • #5

    I would look at the study plan under the learn tab at the top of the page, I think this is pretty good advice.  Other than that, if you really want to improve you should go after your games after you play them, especially if you've lost as this is your best oppertunity to understand where you can improve.  Good luck.

  • #6

    My tips for first steps are:

    a) learning the elemental endings: staircase and rook mat vs lonely king, 1 pawn + King vs King, Race King vs Pawn without the help of his king.

    b) Leran how to read and write in algebraic notation.

    c) Study tactics: One book with theory and one or two Books with problems.  

    d) Play games

    e) Find and read a  book that covers in briefly all phases of games. For example chess fundamentals by Capablanca. 

  • #7

    Be careful who you take advice from. Use your own judgement about what works in your chess games.

  • #8

    Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca is a strong recommendation, as is the general outline offered by JM3000.

    If you have an iOS device or Android device, get e+books. My copy came with Capablanca's book as a free sample.


  • #9

    Be careful about from whom you take advice about who you should take advice from.Laughing

  • #10

    Play a lot of slow games (live and also online). Don't get upset about losing most of them. Afterwards try to learn from your mistakes. If at all possible try to discuss your finished games with stronger players to learn their way of thinking, their way of looking at a position.

    If you can get unrated coaching games that would be ideal!

    Also study lots of human-annotated games; it don't have to be master games for that; the quality of the annotators is what counts here.

    Try to study tactical patterns and try to solve tactical exercises with Tactics Trainer and similar websites but do it untimed or simply ignore the ticking clock at first.

    You are a diamond premium member here on chess.com so make use of the excellent video lessons!

    Most of all, have fun! Don't ever let chess and chess training become hard  work.

  • #11
    Alpenschach wrote:

    If you can get unrated coaching games that would be ideal!

    I offer these. http://www.chess.com/coach/ziryab

    Others may offer them for free, or for less than my exorbitant rate. 

  • #12

    At the beginning, try out all the approaches that these knowledgeable, experienced players recommend to you.  Keep doing Only the ones that you experience as fun and interesting, at least for now.  You'll absorb so much more when your brain is in a positively activated state of neurological arousal.  If you start feeling frustrated or stop having fun, try one of the other approaches .... bottom line: it's only a game, so enjoy yourself! :-)

  • #13

    You are a diamond member, yet no one yet has mentioned Chess Mentor. This is a fantastic part of your premium membership, and I urge you to take advantage of it. I'm not going to recommend a particular lesson or series of lessons, as only you can tell what you are interested in or need help with.

    However, a little browsing around will put you in touch with a huge number of beginner and intermediate tutorials. They take you through the lessons step by step; you can work at your own pace, and you can always come back to where you left off.

    Give it a try. You'll love it.

  • #14

    I'd like to add that the "computer analysis" feature of the paid membership levels is very valuable...it can show you where you might have gone wrong and suggest potentially better lines.  Even if you won the game.  It can give one many "aha" moments.

    Also, right after a game you can go back to the starting position and find where you made mistakes if you lost, and try to find what might have been better.  Not that I am a very good player right now, but I know my playing has improved as a result of this, along with the other great resources already mentioned here.

  • #15

    Thanks for the advice guys. I will try to use all the advice that you all have given me. Right now I am really busy with work so I have been doing Tactics trainer whenever I have a little bit of spare time. Just another one more question if you all do not mind entertaining me, but I am planning to learn the Sicilian defense as an opening for black. While I am currently using Ruy Lopez for white. Are both this openings recommended for begineers like me? Once again I want to thank you all for being so helpful. This website's community is great. :)

  • #16

    I recommend against spending much time on openings. Tactics and endgames will do you more good. But, if you must spend time on openings, coming to an understanding of the Spanish (Rodrigo Lopez was a Spanish priest, then bishop) for both sides will serve you well.

  • #17

    Tactics Trainer "Untimed" has been most helpful to me.


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