2013 Championship

Saturday, February 6, 2010

How To Improve At Chess?

Lately I have been asked by at least four different club members to help them improve their game. While this is very flattering; I feel that I am the last guy to ask considering that my rating goes up and down more often than the elevators in the Empire State Building.

I have decided to work on my own game this year and thought I'd just pass along some of the resourses I have uncovered that may be helpful to anyone wanting to improve their game.

1. Books - Lasker's Manual Of Chess and My System (by Nimzovitch) regularly appear in "Masters recommended list", read the entire book.
2. John Coffey, a club member, has a web site http://entertainmentjourney.com/ that offers a how to get to 1000 all the way to 1900 (you pick the level you want to go to). It is free.
3. Dan Heisman, world renowned chess teacher, has too many articles to mention available for downloading at http://home.comcast.net/~danheisman/Articles/Novice_Nook_Links.htm
scan the list and you will find something to help you; The Theory of Chess Improvement is a good start. Dan suggests keeping a notebook of your "blunders", I can't help you do that, but I can help you in another Dan suggested area, by playing games with you then going over the games with you making suggestions for improvement (with in my limited capabilities).
4. Alexandra Kosteniuk offers many tools for improvement thru her web site, podcasts, You Tube videos, and her blog site http://chessblog.com/. She is a kick a_ _ chess player with a marvelous attacking style. Don't take my word for it ask Anand, Carlsen, Karpov, Gelfand, Polgar, and Kamsky.
5. There is a "Chess Master School" available on line. The head instructor is GM Andrei Istratescu, who recently played in the 2010 Gibralter Chess Festival, see link on right. It is a one year course at a cost of $34.00 a month. Check it out and down load not one but three free lessons. http://www.chessmasterschool.com/?gclid=CPut36K1954CFUIM5Qod1XNWLA.

Of course this is just the "tip of the iceburg", there are countless sites offering free tips, master games, videos, etc. What I have given you here should be a good start; your improvement will depend on how much "personal effort" you are willing to devote to your goal. My recommendation is to review the basics then study endings (which helps you learn tactics and pattern recognition - not to mention the backward planning process) and play live opponents as frequently as you can; recording the games and going over them afterward with your opponent or a stronger player.

Lastly; (bet you thought I'd never end) carry a pocket or travel set with you where ever you go;along with a book of tactical problems. Turn those waiting room hours into something productive; not to mention those boring visits to the in-laws, car repair waiting areas, etc.
I have found that if you put your book into a zip up book case people tend to think you are reading a Bible and leave you alone.

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