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Resources for beginner trying to improve?

  • #1

    Hello everyone!

    I am new to chess, in the sense that I give it a go once a year. I know the rules, the values of the pieces, a tiny bit of opening theory and mating combinations.

    However, I feel as if my learning is dispersed. I find an article here, a video there and a book on a specific subject somewhere else. What I would love to have is "one-edition/bible/series" of material that gives me a solid foundation. Are there any such organized resources? Of the ones available, which ones should I focus on?

    Additionally - I read that you should always analyze your games. Are there any good guidelines on how to do this? Being a bad chess player, sadly, makes analysis more challenging.

    My sincerest apologies if this has already (and it probably has) been posted.

    Thanks in advance!

    Best regards,


  • #2

    this place has a lot of great resources...the lessons and tactics links are good practice...my favorite books all have a similar format: Bobby Fischer teaches chess, Winning chess by Chernev and One Move Mates (dont remember the author right at the moment) My games got better after I studied tactics, mostly because I could see my opponent setting me up and I didnt fall for their traps as often

  • #3

    the way I improve(this is my 2nd year of chess)is that I watch a lot of tactics videos and GM games.

  • #4



    thanks for your answers. I've read Bobby fischers book. Will look into the others! I am just feeling as if I find books either relating to one specific subject or books that are too shallow.


    will try to find a good structure for analyzing games! Ive started Looking at games at youtube, but that doesnt force me to analyze myself.


    are there any good ways for me to review games (my own and those of GMs) with just an iphone and an iPad?


    best regards,


  • #5

    I believe books are the best resources for you as they are organized on what you should learn. As suggest you get The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess by GM Wolf.

  • #6

    Hi, my name is Santiago and currently I am giving some free lessons, if you want one just message me and we can have it, useful to work your chess and to provide some guidance, it will be quite hard to write everything here

  • #7

    Do lots of tactics and puzzles. Learn basic strategic elements. Study simple endgames. Don't get caught up with learning lots of openings or trying to understand deep grandmaster analysis. Study the classics as this is where most modern ideas started. There are millions of resources for all of this. Try to focus on one element at at time. The only reason to analyze your games as a beginner is to find blunders. Play longer games and avoid faster time controls. Also, try to memorize the board. Then, learn to visualize where every piece is in your head on the board. Lastly, avoid using computers to assist you.


    Silman has a lot of nice books for beginners. Lev Alburt writes some good ones too. Chernev is also a great teacher of beginners. Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess is something that should be read maybe 4 or 5 times just as a great refresher. Danny King's Power Play series is amazing too.

    For the openings something like the King's Indian Attack as White is always a good thing for a beginner to learn as it shows many concepts that can occur in other positions. Also, it can be played against almost anything as it is a system opening. As Black learn symmetrical systems like 1. e4 e5, 1. d4 d5, and 1. c4 c5. These will give you a good grasp on the tactics that arise without being too complex strategically.

  • #8

    Probably the most cost effective (i.e., not free) way to avail yourself of instructional resources is to get a Chess.com "Diamond" membership.  At $99USD per year (or, if you prefer, $14USD/month) it is actually a bargain, considering the quantity of educational resources available with this membership level - which includes a vast library of excellent chess lessons and instructional videos.  You would be hard pressed to find a better value (for a yearly expenditure) than what the Diamond membership offers....


    Note only Diamond membership allows access to the videos.

    At the very bottom of the following page (as well as in the link above), the 30-day money back refund trial-offer policy on premium memberships is explained....


    If you are interested in chess books, the following list has lots of instructive suggestions for the improving chess amateur...

    Good Chess Books for Beginners and Beyond...



  • #9

    The library is a source of free access to books. In addition to what RussBell said about Chess.com. Of course not everyone can afford $99, but it is a great value.

  • #10

    I coach players from beginner to master. For more information, see www.premierchess.com and www.facebook.com/premierchess


    Email me me at [email protected] to schedule a free 30 minute consultation. 


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