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Systematic way to get better at chess?

  • #41
    kikvors wrote:

    You two aren't really talking about the same thing.

    lol...you'll find that happens a lot around here.  As zborg hinted, if you're really intent on improving, these threads are not exactly Mother Lodes of instruction. Wink

    And to the OP:  I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a "systematic way" of improving.  I think you should just be intent on trying to get better, without bringing any systems and that sort of thing into the picture.

  • #42

    Memory seems so critical in chess.  Memory has been a problem for me all my life, but I still enjoy the heck out of chess.  Even now at 64.  Can you (any of you) give me some ideas about how to compensate for memory deficits in chess...? 

  • #43

    I don't know about that.  My memory has always been good, and I became a master; but a good high-school friend of mine, whose memory was legendarily terrible, also became one. Smile

  • #44

    Here is my view on things. Knowledge is what we aquire from others aka information. Knowledge will make you a better player. I need to understand the imbalances as stated before and that is indeed knowledge. Playing games will help in pattern recognition but studying is the way to go in my opinion. Studying master games etc and getting pattern recognition from that. By systematic i mean like analyzing the game. How can i analyze the game and get better from it and take notes on it. I dont want to leave all the position recognition in my memory i need some written down stuff. My intent is definately to get better. 

    SO lets go back to the original question. I have a very strong work ethic and i want to GET BETTER at chess through sheer effort. Whether that is reading books, playing games, openings, etc that is the question

  • #45
    chessteenager wrote:

    Im looking for a systematic way to get better at chess. I am a note taker. I learn from taking notes from textbooks and analyzing deeply. This is easy to do for openings- i can take notes on sharp variations, common themes, common traps etc... as well as endgame. I can pick up my Jeremy Silman endgame course and note take. But what about decision making and calculating in the middlegame. Is there anyway to effectively note take while watching GM games? Or some how get better at the middle game through note taking?

    I've quickly reviewed some good material in my blog.

  • #46
    AndyClifton wrote:

    I don't know about that.  My memory has always been good, and I became a master; but a good high-school friend of mine, whose memory was legendarily terrible, also became one. 

    Thanks, Andy... gives me some small measure of hope!

  • #47

    Well, that was awfully wordy, chessteen...but you seem to be saying that you want to improve.  So do so by reading books (general instructional books and games collections), playing games, doing tactical puzzles, studying endgames and some openings.

    Of all those, I would say the most important are playing and doing tactics.

  • #48

    Another thing:

    Im attempting to understand the basic pawn structures more in depth so i can later in my career use other openings and understand their pawn structures. I reverted back to 1.e4 and 1...e5 in response to 1.e4 to understand the "easy" to understand pawn structures but is there like a book or something to guide me because i dont get it. Let me put up a quick demonstration of a common 1.e4...e5 position

  • #49

    "how do i understand this like the goal was the d4 push the whole time? Is that all?"

    How do you understand it? It is simple. There is a strategical rule, which says that, you should play in the center. It is logical. The opening rule says control the center, right? You need to get control over the center first, then you will be able to attack in the center.

  • #50

    This position doesn't feature a "basic pawn structure", as it will probably evolve in the coming moves and can become a closed (after d5) or open (after dxe5 or dxc5) central structure.

    There's no real good coverage of every important pawn structure under the sun, but you'll find some good information in the Lars Bo Hansen's books I've listed in my blog entry.

  • #51
    xxvalakixx wrote:

    "how do i understand this like the goal was the d4 push the whole time? Is that all?"

    How do you understand it? It is simple.

    No, I wouldn't call it simple at all.

    The book that helped me the most in this area was Pawn Structure Chess by Andrew Soltis.  Of course, there may be more recent works that are better, I don't know...but anyway, that was the one I used.

  • #52

    I'm not surprised so many here thinks they will better players by reading opening manuals, and reading lot of books. Thinking the knowledge they hopefully will get (and remember?), will make them strong players.

    I have done all this my self for years, and on what level I'm I? Not more then C-class.

    Yes, you have to study also, but playing games against strong players, and then analyse the games and your errors, are very important. Just reading books will take you nowhere. (Like learning to play golf by reading books!).

  • #53

    I think reading books is a good idea...just don't let that be your only method.

  • #54

    Systematic way to get better at chess?

    Play long games, analyse the games, talk to stronger players, and read books.

  • #55
    xxvalakixx wrote:

    "when you're in a messed up position out of the opening you're much more likely to make blunders.

    Opening study is useful at all levels."

    I disagree with it. For example, Today I played a game against an 17xx fide rated opponent, I am 16xx currently.
    In real, tournament game I never played 1. d4, it was the first time. I practised it a lot, played games here with it and played against my coach as well.
    But of course, nobody can be ready for every opening. I played against the KID, and I don't know where did I go wrong yet (I will analyze it) but I got a bit worse position, (black got active play and I had to defend) because I did not know the theory really. However, I knew some important strategical rules, which are regardless from the opening, and I was able to survive from that position, later on I get an active play and won.
    I had a completely unknown, bit worse position from the opening. But I played well thanks to other strategical rules I know. So it is much important to have general skills, knowledge, and be able to apply it. Openings does not matter.


    That's true in some regard, but also, only true to a certain extent.

    At lower levels, yes, players often mess up in the openings and then, they may be able to make a comeback later on.

    As you get to the higher levels, though, the openings become crucial.

    I play at the 2000+ level. At this level, getting worse position out of the opening can (and often will) result in an automatic loss.

    There's simply no excuse for a (high rated) player messing up in the opening, in my opinion, other than the obvious--being lazy and not working on his preparation.

    The reason I stress studying openings is not to memorize them--but to become familiar with the plans and strategies involved in them. You mentioned the KID, for instance. Most KID players who study the opening know specific middlegame strategies that extend far beyond the opening. Sometimes this extends into the endgame as well.

    Same with French players.. there is a lot of useful things to learn when studying openings that apply to more than just the first 15 moves.

    When you study an opening deeply enough, you learn the key squares, the important pawn structures, the relevant files and/or diagonals to open or close. Games can be won immediately when you have this knowledge and your opponent doesn't. He makes a move that you know is not in harmony with the strategies of your specific opening and suddenly you smile and know that it's game over, even if it's only the middlegame.

  • #56

    I used to be around 1600 for a long time. Then, "all of a sudden", my rating increased and I am now close to 2000 ELO in real life.

    What changed was that I played a lot more games with long time control (2h/40moves) and analysed them. Also I started playing online (again), which increased the volume of games, I played.

    But certainly, if you are a beginner, you first need to get to know the basic concepts. Especially middle game is tricky with all those different motives, tactics and strategies. Reading a good book about middle game certainly helps to get a first grasp of what to look out for.


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