What are some good resources one may use to get better at chess? (training etc)

i don't mind paying for a software like Chessbase or a website or any magazine subscription.

Thanks.

  • Hire a chess coach – SmallChess Nov 1 '16 at 6:06

I don't think this question is a duplicate, but I'm going to shamelessly reuse my answer to a related question anyway:

The internet is an amazing tool - for good or for ill. All of the following will help people at a wide variety of levels.

I'd suggest looking into some sort of tactics training. chess.com has a good reputation; I personally use lichess; I used to look at chesstempo. Practicing a few a day (or an hour or so a day) can give you an amazing boost; this is probably the best "bang for the buck". (I speak from experience!)

Find a good YouTube channel with a presenter who speaks to your level and has a teaching style you enjoy; there are a TON of options out there. Depending on your level, something like the Backyard Professor, IM John Bartholomew, any of the St. Louis Chess Club, MetoJelic, Dereque Kelley, etc. I enjoy all of those and many more (they're at widely different levels) for different reasons. (I enjoy others like the Ginger GM, too - but I definitely wouldn't watch him at a "lower" level... he'll give you bad habits that he can get away with.)

If you want to improve some openings, I can't stress chessable enough. My online rating jumped about 200 points just by going to this site every day for two months. (Yes, online ratings are "worthless": it's the relative level, not the absolute.)

Another option would be to find a player whose style you like or have empathy with, and go to chessgames to look through all of their games. Walk through them slowly, trying to figure out why they made the moves they did (when they did) - and why their opponent did what they did.

Beyond that, play games - and then analyze them afterwards. Even just walking back through slowly, trying to identify what went right or wrong (and what could have been better) can help a LOT. Lichess has the option to analyze your games for free - which is a HUGE boost. I've seen the advice "play slower games" (10+ min. on the clock) from quite a few people, as those games give you more time to calculate, analyze, and think. Practice visualization!

If you don't like the internet, there are always physical books - but I'll let someone with more experience on them weigh in. I've got some, I enjoy them, but I don't know enough to make recommendations.

Good luck!

  • For tactics training I prefer chesstempo over chess.com and lichess. A good point of lichess is that it's free software (it's important for me, but I understand it's not for most people) BUT it's still missing the "tactical theme tag" and "comments" feature. On the other hand chesstempo tactical training is free (as a beer, not as a speech) and it has both features. – sharcashmo Nov 3 '16 at 9:18
  • @sharcashmo I like chesstempo very much as well. Haha given your interests I think you d be proud of this answer I came across recently chess.stackexchange.com/questions/15723/… i m very happy to see chess stackexchange gaining in activity lately. – user10376 Nov 6 '16 at 22:59

Not to diminish anything from the other answers, below's a list of things (by no means exhaustive) you could try:

  • Solving puzzles to improve your tactics and general understanding of the game. It suffices to just google "chess puzzles" and you'll find plenty of resources to get started with. Keep solving them on a regular basis. (Note that you can be specific with puzzles based on your needs, e.g., search for "endgame chess puzzles").

  • Read chess books: there are many freely available books online, but generally chess books are quite affordable. For recommendations, just search for "chess books" here on chess SE, here's the result.

  • Use an engine (install a simple editor that handles uci chess engines, then set up your engine, e.g., Stockfish, or simply use lichess). Learning how to use an engine to analyse your games (or other games that you study) is one of the best resources, it really cannot be emphasized enough. Every game you play, just run it quickly through an engine, and find out about your inaccuracies (specially the common mistakes you tend to make, the engine will bring them to your attention if you use it regularly to study played games).

  • Play online chess on a regular basis: whatever time control you may prefer, although you will find the practice to be more fruitful if you tend towards longer time controls (10 mins, 15... or with increment). chess24.com and lichess (e.g. on lichess you can freely analyze your games on the cloud without having to store them locally and run your own engine) are two very famous/stable platform to play on these days.

  • Youtube: there are many strong chess players that record their online playing along with commentary on the moves-openings etc. I personally find these generally very insightful, as they often bring ideas to your attention that you'd never thought of in that way before. A couple that come to mind: chess24 youtube channel (where you'll find videos from GM Peter Svidler, GM Jan Gustafsson, to name a few). chessexplained youtube channel (IM Christof Sielecki is a very logical player, almost always he has a concrete idea for his moves, highly recommended). There are many others of course, try to find one you relate to better.

  • Follow chess news: it will encourage you to follow top player's recent games on a regular basis, and also chess news platforms such as chess24.com, which quite often also publish educational articles.

  • The list can go on... Just note that these ideas are not exclusive, try to come up with your routine and cover the mentioned elements to the extent possible. And whatever you decide, make sure not to limit yourself to one source, try some options and stick with those that fit better with your level and style of play.

You can sign-up at chess.com it has an excellent training for free but with a limit each day you can subscribe for paid user if you want unlimited daily lessons.

If you want an app on your phone, you can download thr app, Play Magnus. You are literally playing against Magnus Carlsen on his different ages. As he became grand master. enter image description here

  • 1
    You are "literally" playing against him? – D M Jul 23 at 21:45

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