where to start on improving?

HarrisonFletcher
Hi all, I’m 15 and have been playing chess casually (maybe 20 times a year) since i was around 10, but i want to seriously improve and become somewhat skilled at chess.

How would you recommend to start learning and improving, I prefer videos and interactive lessons over books and such, and i’m not willing to spend more money on top of my diamond membership
AntonioEsfandiari

The lessons on here are great, the videos are great.  There is an overabundance of information.  I haven't watched the videos on here in years but Danny Rensch's old instructive videos were amazing for me, along with Melik Kachiyan, Gregory Kaidonov, and David Pruess, these some of THE BEST coaches for beginners.  Also youtube channels jerry chessnetwork EXCELLENT for beginners, and john bartholomew's channel for stronger beginners and intermediate players. 

AntonioEsfandiari

https://www.chess.com/article/view/video-series-on-development

jambyvedar
HarrisonFletcher wrote:
Hi all, I’m 15 and have been playing chess casually (maybe 20 times a year) since i was around 10, but i want to seriously improve and become somewhat skilled at chess.

How would you recommend to start learning and improving, I prefer videos and interactive lessons over books and such, and i’m not willing to spend more money on top of my diamond membership

 

I know you want interactive, but the tactical introduction link that i will give you is really instructive. At your level focus at improving tactics.

 

Tactical Introduction.

http://www.chessfornovices.com/chesstactics.html

 

 

Watch the beginners to master series by chessnetwork. here is the first video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSA9se6t82I

ghost_of_pushwood
HarrisonFletcher wrote:
i want to seriously improve and become somewhat skilled at chess.

The first guy ever around here who doesn't automatically expect to be a genius!  grin.png

Here's an invaluable website (I refer to it constantly).  Any position involving 6 pieces or less (although a few restrictions do apply):

http://www.k4it.de/index.php?topic=egtb&lang=en

IMBacon
HarrisonFletcher wrote:
Hi all, I’m 15 and have been playing chess casually (maybe 20 times a year) since i was around 10, but i want to seriously improve and become somewhat skilled at chess.

How would you recommend to start learning and improving, I prefer videos and interactive lessons over books and such, and i’m not willing to spend more money on top of my diamond membership

Opening Principles:

1. Control the center squares – d4-e4-d5-e5

2. Develop your minor pieces toward the center – piece activity is the key

3. Castle

4. Connect your rooks

Tactics...tactics...tactics...

 

Pre Move Checklist:

1. Make sure all your pieces are safe. 

2. Look for forcing move: Checks, captures, threats. You want to look at ALL forcing moves (even the bad ones) this will force you look at, and see the entire board. 

3. If there are no forcing moves, you then want to remove any of your opponent’s pieces from your side of the board. 

4. If your opponent doesn’t have any of his pieces on your side of the board, then you want to improve the position of your least active piece. 

5. After each move by your opponent, ask yourself: "What is my opponent trying to do?"

 

Middlegame Planning:

1. Expand your position:

a. Gain more space.

b. Improve the position of your pieces.

2. Decide on what side of the board to play.

a. Queenside: a-c files.

b. Center: d-e files.

c. Kingside: f-h files.

Compare, space, material, and weakness(es)

Play where you have the advantage.

3. DO NOT HURRY.  Regroup your pieces, and be patient. 

darkunorthodox88

pound for pound, nothing is more efficient for its price than the chessmaster program. it has chess openings, chess history, some great material by waitzkin, puzzles and many other things.

 

and all it will cost you is about half a lesson with a coach. the rest, is just playing online and in as many tournaments as you can. this should be enough for most to get you to the 1500-1800 mark.

SeniorPatzer
HarrisonFletcher wrote:
Hi all, I’m 15 and have been playing chess casually (maybe 20 times a year) since i was around 10, but i want to seriously improve and become somewhat skilled at chess.

How would you recommend to start learning and improving, I prefer videos and interactive lessons over books and such, and i’m not willing to spend more money on top of my diamond membership

 

Just curious.  What has motivated you to want to improve in chess?

HarrisonFletcher
SeniorPatzer wrote:
HarrisonFletcher wrote:
Hi all, I’m 15 and have been playing chess casually (maybe 20 times a year) since i was around 10, but i want to seriously improve and become somewhat skilled at chess.

How would you recommend to start learning and improving, I prefer videos and interactive lessons over books and such, and i’m not willing to spend more money on top of my diamond membership

 

Just curious.  What has motivated you to want to improve in chess?

In all honesty, why not? In january I played chess against my family and thrashed them all (Beat my dad 9-1) and decided to challenge myself by downnloading the chess.com app. Then I realised everything I knew about chess didn’t even scratch the surface of a beginner player. And when I’m bad at something i enjoy, it makes me want to improve and get better happy.png

 

 

 

Also thanks everyone for the replies, i will try out everything that has been mentioned 

DetectiveRams

How about you start off by playing a TON of games. Like, seriously play a lot. Just reading a number of books and watching games can only consolidate what you already know. You need to get experience, as playing lots of games teaches you when to execute a certain tactic or start an attack or when to make an exchange sacrifice. Also, when you haven't played seriously, expect to fall for a number of traps, because after that, you will know to avoid them. Also, playing a lot of games reduces your chances of carelessly hanging pieces by a large amount.

ghost_of_pushwood
DetectiveRams wrote:

Also, playing a lot of games reduces your chances of carelessly hanging pieces by a large amount.

Not sure how that works...

Anyara
HarrisonFletcher wrote:

Then I realised everything I knew about chess didn’t even scratch the surface of a beginner player. And when I’m bad at something i enjoy, it makes me want to improve and get better

Ain't that the truth.

 

I used to play a bit of chess, even took a couple lessons, so I thought I was alright for a beginner. So when I registered on this website, I naturally chose to start at a beginner level rather than a novice level. Very quickly, my rating dropped down to 700s, 600s, 500s. It was pretty sad, really.

 

That was about two months ago. Now I'm climbing back and have progressed to 1000 and over (still not a Chess.com beginner, but I'm getting there happy.png). What I did was that I switched off of the bullets and the 3-min, 5-min games. Now I play 10-minute Blitz games. The longer time is so much better because I have time to think and plan instead of having to rely on my natural instinct (which I found to be quite inaccurate). Of course, if you played longer Rapid games like 15|10, it'd be even better, but I don't because I don't have time.

 

Now, apart from playing longer games so you can think more before making a move, you could also try the basics of reading up on chess. You should know basic tactics (discovered check, fork, etc), strategy (develop pieces), even a couple basic openings (though I personally don't think memorizing a bunch of openings will help, just learn how to play a couple openings really well and respond to other common openings at your level).

 

Lastly, analyze. After you play a match, use Chess.com's computer analysis engine to see where you made mistakes. Make sure you understand. Heck, even analyze your opponent's mistakes. I'd say this is arguably more important than playing games. I barely have 200 Blitz games played so far, with less than 5 games per day (often just 2 or 3), but I've beaten people with over 2500 total Blitz games before, and I dare say they don't analyze each of their games. Be careful not to play too much, especially not when tilted.

 

Above all, good luck, and have fun.

PremierChess64

Check out www facebook.com/premierchess for daily puzzles and other educational content.

Taskinen
Anyara kirjoitti:
HarrisonFletcher wrote:

Then I realised everything I knew about chess didn’t even scratch the surface of a beginner player. And when I’m bad at something i enjoy, it makes me want to improve and get better

Ain't that the truth.

 

I used to play a bit of chess, even took a couple lessons, so I thought I was alright for a beginner. So when I registered on this website, I naturally chose to start at a beginner level rather than a novice level. Very quickly, my rating dropped down to 700s, 600s, 500s. It was pretty sad, really.

 

That was about two months ago. Now I'm climbing back and have progressed to 1000 and over (still not a Chess.com beginner, but I'm getting there ). What I did was that I switched off of the bullets and the 3-min, 5-min games. Now I play 10-minute Blitz games. The longer time is so much better because I have time to think and plan instead of having to rely on my natural instinct (which I found to be quite inaccurate). Of course, if you played longer Rapid games like 15|10, it'd be even better, but I don't because I don't have time.

 

Now, apart from playing longer games so you can think more before making a move, you could also try the basics of reading up on chess. You should know basic tactics (discovered check, fork, etc), strategy (develop pieces), even a couple basic openings (though I personally don't think memorizing a bunch of openings will help, just learn how to play a couple openings really well and respond to other common openings at your level).

 

Lastly, analyze. After you play a match, use Chess.com's computer analysis engine to see where you made mistakes. Make sure you understand. Heck, even analyze your opponent's mistakes. I'd say this is arguably more important than playing games. I barely have 200 Blitz games played so far, with less than 5 games per day (often just 2 or 3), but I've beaten people with over 2500 total Blitz games before, and I dare say they don't analyze each of their games. Be careful not to play too much, especially not when tilted.

 

Above all, good luck, and have fun.

I had the same experience as you. When I started playing with 1200 rating I thought that I would be facing other newbies like me. I took constant beating until I was down to 700 rating before I finally started climbing back. Looking back at people with 1200s rating I often see players who have played not only hundreds but thousands of games of chess. It's not a wonder that someone playing their first games online (with only occasional chess game played before) would take a bad beating. So be prepared to get your butt kicked for a while before you actually start facing other newbies. If you can take the beating, stay motivated and think why you lost games, you are ready to learn and improve. I think most people are not and give up chess altogether thinking that this is not a game for them. Chess is definitely not an easy game to learn and it seems to have endless amount of depth to wonder about. Once you get the basics down and start to read some chess books, watch some tutorials and so on you'll realise how deep the rabbit hole really is. And it's so easy to understand why knowing the way pieces move just doesn't quite cut it for beating people who have played longer than you. :-)

Good luck on your journey!

HarrisonFletcher
Taskinen wrote:
Anyara kirjoitti:
HarrisonFletcher wrote:

Then I realised everything I knew about chess didn’t even scratch the surface of a beginner player. And when I’m bad at something i enjoy, it makes me want to improve and get better

Ain't that the truth.

 

I used to play a bit of chess, even took a couple lessons, so I thought I was alright for a beginner. So when I registered on this website, I naturally chose to start at a beginner level rather than a novice level. Very quickly, my rating dropped down to 700s, 600s, 500s. It was pretty sad, really.

 

That was about two months ago. Now I'm climbing back and have progressed to 1000 and over (still not a Chess.com beginner, but I'm getting there ). What I did was that I switched off of the bullets and the 3-min, 5-min games. Now I play 10-minute Blitz games. The longer time is so much better because I have time to think and plan instead of having to rely on my natural instinct (which I found to be quite inaccurate). Of course, if you played longer Rapid games like 15|10, it'd be even better, but I don't because I don't have time.

 

Now, apart from playing longer games so you can think more before making a move, you could also try the basics of reading up on chess. You should know basic tactics (discovered check, fork, etc), strategy (develop pieces), even a couple basic openings (though I personally don't think memorizing a bunch of openings will help, just learn how to play a couple openings really well and respond to other common openings at your level).

 

Lastly, analyze. After you play a match, use Chess.com's computer analysis engine to see where you made mistakes. Make sure you understand. Heck, even analyze your opponent's mistakes. I'd say this is arguably more important than playing games. I barely have 200 Blitz games played so far, with less than 5 games per day (often just 2 or 3), but I've beaten people with over 2500 total Blitz games before, and I dare say they don't analyze each of their games. Be careful not to play too much, especially not when tilted.

 

Above all, good luck, and have fun.

I had the same experience as you. When I started playing with 1200 rating I thought that I would be facing other newbies like me. I took constant beating until I was down to 700 rating before I finally started climbing back. Looking back at people with 1200s rating I often see players who have played not only hundreds but thousands of games of chess. It's not a wonder that someone playing their first games online (with only occasional chess game played before) would take a bad beating. So be prepared to get your butt kicked for a while before you actually start facing other newbies. If you can take the beating, stay motivated and think why you lost games, you are ready to learn and improve. I think most people are not and give up chess altogether thinking that this is not a game for them. Chess is definitely not an easy game to learn and it seems to have endless amount of depth to wonder about. Once you get the basics down and start to read some chess books, watch some tutorials and so on you'll realise how deep the rabbit hole really is. And it's so easy to understand why knowing the way pieces move just doesn't quite cut it for beating people who have played longer than you. :-)

Good luck on your journey!

Thanks! Ive read your blog, and good luck to you as well

GAANDENnnn

I recommend watching John Bartholomew's 'Chess fundamentals' and 'Climbing the Rating Lader' playlists. These two playlists are, in my opinion, two of the most instructive chess series on Youtube.

Additionally, you should definitely play longer time controls (15I10) or longer -- these time controls will actually allow you to give important moves a good think, and improve on your decision-making and calculation.

Also, after each game, do analyse -- but without the computer. It's so easy to immediately request a computer analysis and get the inaccuracies, mistakes and blunders right after the game, but this won't give you opportunities to really learn from your games and improve. Think about which phase of the game you could have improved on and then look into how you played it and what made you win/lose. Only after exploring the game on your own should you check your conclusions with a computer analysis. 

Good luck on your chess improvement Harrison, maybe we could play a casual game some time (I'm also 15 by-the-way). 

The Playlist Links:

Chess Fundamentals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao9iOeK_jvU&index=5&list=PLl9uuRYQ-6MBwqkmwT42l1fI7Z0bYuwwO&ab_channel=JohnBartholomew

Climbing the Rating Ladder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2huVf1l4UE&list=PLl9uuRYQ-6MCBnhtCk_bTZsD8GxeWP6BV&ab_channel=JohnBartholomew

darkunorthodox88
GAANDEN wrote:

I recommend watching John Bartholomew's 'Chess fundamentals' and 'Climbing the Rating Lader' playlists. These two playlists are, in my opinion, two of the most instructive chess series on Youtube.

Additionally, you should definitely play longer time controls (15I10) or longer -- these time controls will actually allow you to give important moves a good think, and improve on your decision-making and calculation.

Also, after each game, do analyse -- but without the computer. It's so easy to immediately request a computer analysis and get the inaccuracies, mistakes and blunders right after the game, but this won't give you opportunities to really learn from your games and improve. Think about which phase of the game you could have improved on and then look into how you played it and what made you win/lose. Only after exploring the game on your own should you check your conclusions with a computer analysis. 

Good luck on your chess improvement Harrison, maybe we could play a casual game some time (I'm also 15 by-the-way). 

The Playlist Links:

Chess Fundamentals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao9iOeK_jvU&index=5&list=PLl9uuRYQ-6MBwqkmwT42l1fI7Z0bYuwwO&ab_channel=JohnBartholomew

Climbing the Rating Ladder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2huVf1l4UE&list=PLl9uuRYQ-6MCBnhtCk_bTZsD8GxeWP6BV&ab_channel=JohnBartholomew

im gonna have to disagree with you on the comp analysis part. every single postmordem i do is besides a computer. they quickly spell out where things go wrong and being onstantly corrected by a strong engine develops "master intuition" very well (the same thing developed by looking at many many master games).