Chess Training Tips
There is no secret way to play chess well: you have to study the right things and the results will come. But what are those “right things”?
In order to hone your skills in this absorbing game it is very important to study variations, classical games and improve your analysis.
Nowadays there is a huge variety of materials available: videos, softwares, books, online chess clubs… But to succeed in your training, you need to know how to make good use of these study tools. Check out my 6 tips study chess like a pro!
#1 Do not study with your computer only
Do not give up studying chess with books. Aside from being bad for health to be just staring at the screen, this will not replicate the game environment.
If you are a beginner, study chess from books that will teach you the basics and, as your level evolves, look for materials with more advanced chess techniques.
Do not forget to also pay attention to all phases of the game. Give proper attention to the opening, to the middlegame and to the endgame.
#2 Study “actively”
This is one of the best tips for studying chess!
It is not enough to just replay games or memorize variations: you have to train your decision making and think how you would play in critical positions before comparing your ideas with the author of the book or with the computer.
Reading, watching online chess games, watching videos: it all helps a lot, but to really play chess well you need to start analyzing variations by yourself.
One way to do this is by solving exercises drawn from famous chess games. For example: the book shows a diagram indicating a complicated position with a series of variations. Before continuing with the reading, put the position on your chessboard and calculate the move you would play as well as possible continuations.
It is important that you do this exercise without ever moving the pieces on the board to train your ability to visualize the board after a few moves.
Only after deciding your move check the analysis proposed in the book. Compare your ideas and evaluations and see where you missed and where you got it right. Learning from our own mistakes and successes is easier than just memorizing games and moves.
#3 Train your calculation daily
This is probably the most important tip to your chess training.
Good calculation (the ability to see multiple moves ahead and evaluate the resulting positions accurately) is the most important skill for many chess players and it should be trained in every session. Ideally you should have a good book on combinations, separated by tactical themes. And you need to solve some exercises every day.
#4 Do not memorize opening books
Chess is creativity – it is much more important to know the model games and ideas of a certain line than simply memorizing the suggestions of a book. A good memory is not enough to be a good chess player.
#5 Know the classics
Any good selection of chess training tips should necessarily contain this topic.
To improve your understanding of the game, nothing better than knowing the games of the great masters of the past, studying their decision-making and the typical plans they executed in certain situations. Like classic books, the games are “classic” for some reason.
#6 Visit the “Game of the Day” section of my website
I strongly advise you to visit this section everyday. I analyze great games of the past and also some modern masterpieces. I insert a diagram in the most critical position. And also visit the archives: currently the are more than 1200 games analyzed!
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it showed you new ways to improve your chess training.