I am trying to improve my chess and I spend about one hour in morning doing tactics and around one and half hour in evening studying endgames.

I am following this schedule for about 2 months now and during this time I have not played any chess games. Problem is if I play chess i get less time to look into chess studies.

My thought process is as I am losing many games in lichess and all, I will finish this studies (at least to an extend) and will go back to play chess with my new knowledge in couple of months.

Am I doing this wrong?

How can I go about this?


3 Answers 3


Personally, I think that you have a very solid plan. When I was up-and-coming, I would study a lot every day, but I would only play about two tournaments a year. Up to a certain point, I would pick up about 200 rating points per tournament in the beginning, and later about 100. Of course, as I got over 2000, that slowed down some. Back then, we did not have the Internet, so I would also go to the local chess club for about three hours one night per week.

I would point out that former World Champion, Mikhail Botvinnik, was a big proponent of studying a lot, and only then, playing. Unfortunately, you can still have too much of a good thing, and I believe his rust showed itself when he lost to Tal in 1960.

P.S. I also think it is fantastic that you spend so much time studying the endgame. I read Ruben Fine's "Basic Chess Endings" cover to cover as an 1100 player, and to this day, it has still influenced my endgame play. The great thing about endgame work is that not much of it ever changes, and thus, it stays with you for a lifetime.


I would say that it is important to play.

Playing regularly keeps me in touch with reality of my abilities and exposes my weaknesses, and learning after a loss sticks better. For example, let's say I tried minority attack and really butchered it, during the game I might not be really sure about what went wrong, but after analyzing the game, I could see that I was pretty much clueless, then studying minority attack from videos or books would stick better. If I was studying a chapter "Minority Attack" without a loss, I could've (I know I would), overestimate my abilities, in the sense of: "Oh, I would've figured it out", and end up with superficial understanding.

Also, it is important to keep over the board tactics ability refreshed. If I don't play and just do puzzles, I would feel rusty and make blunders.

Carlsen emphasizes the importance of playing in his tips:

Top 13 chess tips

5 tips for beginners


I recall an article in the old Chess Life that said the best way to improve was to stop club play for a year and study. For you Lichess is the same as club play.

Until you are near average in rating there is little value to playing anyone. All you do is pick up bad habits from bad players. Or get clobbered and learn nothing.

I think you are overdoing it a bit. 45 minutes on tactics and another 45 on end games would be useful. If you can really do more without getting tired or bored then go for it but that is time you are not doing other things that are useful besides chess.

I would say wait until you score really well on tests for tactics and end games then start playing against people who are about 50-100 points over your rating. And do not play blitz. Play short games with enough time to think without being rushed too much. G15SD is about right for you. G30 would be the highest. For now G10 even with delay would be a bit too fast.

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