I am a fairly low skill player and am wanting to improve my game, but I feel as though I need to gain at least a bit more speed in my decision making to make better progress. I am a fairly analytical person and because of this I tend to over-analyze a situation and take an extremely long time to deliberate my moves. For example, I have played casual games with friends that ended up taking 2 hours to complete mostly because of my slow-decision making. I really think if I could speed up my gameplay I'd be able to play more games in less time and see more benefit out of that. It would also mean less irritation when playing in person games, which would also be nice.

I would like to clarify that I understand speed isn't normally a main focus for beginners when compared to learning tactics and gaining a more general understanding of the game. However, in my case (and I am sure other people like me) it is a concern. I have considered many options to remedy this issue, such as trying to play with a time-limit, but I fear that may just cause me to rush and make a lot of mistakes. Would I be better off to put in more time to studying tactics and moves so that I just recognize ideal choices faster? I didn't see any questions involving the same problem and any advice here would be helpful.


You should only be spending time on a couple of candidate moves. This might shorten the thinking time if you rapidly dismiss moves that bring nothing to your position.

IM Jeremy Silman says in his book The Amateur's Mind that each move should have at least two purposes (amongst attacking, defending, gaining space, developing, gaining initiative, etc.).

You can also limit the lines you calculate to one and a half move : your move, the opponent's most likely reply, and then your next move.

I hope this helps.


When I started playing it was often the case that I lost matched due to timeouts in rapids, but with time the frequency reduced significantly. With experience you will be able to analyze the move quickly than you are able to do now. Don't worry just enjoy the game. Also, You may play more of 1 day or 3 day chess till you feel confident enough.


Everybody learns in a different way.

I found that playing at exactly ten seconds per move, which was the original speed chess standard before these digital clocks, forced me to think 20 seconds and then make a decision and move. Note you think during the opponents ten seconds as well as yours before you actually move.

My observation is that current speed chess with clocks at 10SD even with a delay is counterproductive. If you play that way then it should be closer to 15SD to a max of 30SD.

And I would suggest that G1 minute plus delay of ten seconds would be even better.


Play a lot of 5 minute games, just over and over, one right after the other, not fearing the ranking loss, just for practice. And, as you do this, plot your average wins per game. This will slowly increase! The mind will develop quick chess assessment skills only by lots of practice. The other answer above jgadory is something that will follow naturally from this.


Treat the game less serious. !!! It's only a game and since you think you are still a beginner then what's the harm. A lot of moves or combinations will become more familiar when you play more and more. Don't be afraid to make a mistake. It's only a game. Try online chess portals for rapid or blitz games. You'll see. It's fun.

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