By Jan Jan Esguerra
With so many books, chess videos, articles, etc. about chess improvement, one could get easily confused while searching for the answer to the question: "How to improve at chess?"
When they read a book advocating intense tactical training like Rapid Chess Improvement by Michael De La Maza, they shove everything else to the side and start the grueling tactics training (which in this case involves going through 1000 positions in one day!).
Almost mid-way through the tactical training, however, the news that Jeremy Silman's How To Re-Asses Your Chess 4th Edition has been released and read all of the EXCELLENT reviews about the book. Forgetting the commitment they have made to study tactics intensely, they grab the book and start to devour the chess wisdom from IM Silman.
BUT after reading a couple of pages, here comes another chess improvement video from another internationally renown chess author and International Master Andrew Martin showing 10 things that a 1600 player should do to reach the next class. Guess what? Bye Silman and hello Martin. They shove Silman's book to the side and purchases IM Martin's new chess video.
And the cycle goes on and on and on!
The end result: they spread themselves too thinly and haven't learned anything at all at a level that will be useful for them.
It's about time to change your ways fellow chess amateur if you want to improve. And here are 2 chess training tips that will help you make your training effective and improve in chess:
How To Improve At Chess Tip 1
Focus, focus, focus! I'm sure you saw that coming. We have heard that time in time again, BUT have you really taken the time to focus on one aspect of chess (tactics, opening, endgame, etc.) until you really are proficient at it?
Here's a tip: when you have decided to read a book or a course that is useful for your chess improvement, make a note...NOT just a mental one BUT a written note that you will read that book from cover to cover and understand it DEEP enough to apply the ideas in your games before you pick another book.
Any good chess book will contribute something to help you improve in chess. It's your job to make sure you absorb it. 10 half-read chess books are NOT better than a chess book read and understood to the fullest.
Here's another thing: keep your training (reading books, watching videos, etc.) ACTIVE! Instead of just passively reading game notes and variations, cover them and predict the moves PLUS analyze the position. Only after that should you compare and check the notes.
For videos, pause it for a while. Set up the position on an actual board and do some thinking of your own before hitting play again. A. Nimzowitsch attributes his massive gain on playing strength because of such focus and training. He would spend as long as 6 hours in one annotated chess game instead of being spoon-fed!
How To Improve At Chess Tip 2 -
Focus and active training is important. BUT it's only half of the equation. The other half is just as important: focus on what's NECESSARY.
Endgame study is useful - no doubts about that. BUT if you are losing to simple forks in the opening or in the middle game, then focusing on tactics is necessary! I'm sure you get my drift now.
So what is necessary for an improving chess amateur?
That's precisely what a Grandmaster, chess coach, and psychologist reveals in his chess video course: The Grandmaster's Secrets.
Filled with practical advice on how to train in chess, which mistakes and pitfalls to avoid, how to prepare for tournaments, and MORE importantly (the core of the course) how to think like a strong player, this course is a treasure trove for the improving chess player: [http://how-to-improve-in-chess.com/2011/01/13/grandmasters-secrets-reviews/]
Please, a reminder: stick to it until you have absorbed every single idea in it DEEPLY. It will help you Improve At Chess [http://how-to-improve-in-chess.com/2011/01/13/grandmasters-secrets-reviews/]!
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