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Questions tagged [learning]

Questions related to learning how to play chess and improving your chess skills. This can also be used for questions concerning "learning" chess engines.

54
votes
11answers
14k views

How do I analyze my game after playing?

What techniques do you use to analyze your games or other people's games? How much time do you spend on analyzing the game? Are there any tools (electronic or manual, such as a piece of paper) you ...
44
votes
20answers
22k views

What is the earliest possible age to start teaching children how to play chess?

My daughter is 4 years old, and she plays checkers very well for her age. She asked me if she can learn how to play chess too. So I am interested in what is the best age to start teaching her. Is it ...
40
votes
11answers
14k views

Is it too late for me to start professional chess?

I am 25 years old. I play online chess regularly and I am rated about 1900 on chess.com. And I recently won a local tournament. Now I want to start playing professional chess. Here are some of my ...
37
votes
9answers
15k views

How do I learn to understand the middlegame?

I am trying to train tactics as well as my general understanding of the beginning/middlegame. I spent a good bit of time understanding endgames, per chessmaster recommendations and those I can ...
34
votes
5answers
3k views

The path of learning chess

I've decided to become a better chess player. I play every day online and sometimes with my friends offline as well. I've also started to study openings. It is very difficult to get the right ...
32
votes
13answers
27k views

Can playing blindfold chess be learned or is it a natural skill?

Any blindfold players here? Just wondering if blindfold chess is a skill that can be learned by amateurs like me or a natural skill by chess GM's, IM's, etc.
29
votes
12answers
12k views

What is the most effective way of reducing blunders?

Many people suggest tactical exercises as the best form of study for this purpose but I find that it only attacks the problem from one dimension (not making the strongest in a position). Analyzing my ...
28
votes
14answers
9k views

How to learn chess if you're still a 3-digit rating after a few years

I know how all the pieces move and I've learned about castling and en passant. But all I do is play online against other people and get wrecked because I don't know how to "play." I make moves like ...
28
votes
11answers
3k views

Is allowing takebacks in friendly games a bad practice?

When I am playing friendly games with my brother, if one of us makes a big blunder that would make it pointless to continue playing, instead of quitting, we undo the move(s) to give a second chance (...
28
votes
7answers
5k views

Would studying the games of old players hurt my progress?

I was watching a video last night by Ben Finegold on Paul Morphy and some of his games. He mentioned that some current GMs would discount Morphy's ability since all of his opponents were "terrible". ...
27
votes
12answers
44k views

Most effective way to achieve a 2000+ rating in one year, starting as a 1600?

I currently play at around a 1600 level, and have stagnated in terms of rating improvements for quite some time. I have always played chess recreationally, occasionally doing tactics puzzles here ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

How do I get a well-rounded understanding of chess openings?

So, it was inevitable. I am making progress in the middle-game. I understand positions better and my tactics continue to improve. My end games are still solid/superior for my skill level so I ...
25
votes
14answers
9k views

Struggling to improve past beginner level

I am a beginner skill level chess player who has been playing primarily against computers.. well on my Samsung, and Google apps for about a year regularly, but have played now and again my whole life (...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Do strong players move their pieces with different relative frequencies than weak players?

This question is an offshoot of Ramon Snir's earlier one about how often different types of pieces get moved, on average, in a game of chess. My question: Do the relative numbers of moves for the ...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

Best ways for improving “tactics”

I have been playing chess for a long time, and I have been around 1850-1900 ELO for quite some time. I have always wondered which are the best ways to improve the tactics. Does playing more and more ...
20
votes
8answers
45k views

Is it beneficial to play chess against yourself?

I tried it when I first learned chess, and it was fascinating, because I had no ideas about strategy or tactics. But now that I have some experience, it seems pointless, as I know what my "opponent" ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Free learning material

I'm aware of several excellent youtube channels that are free and provide some great insight into the game, such as: Chess Network Online Chess Lessons ChessFriends.com Kings Crusher Mato Jelic YM ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

How to recover from a blunder?

I have been in a situation where I have not been paying attention and suddenly I move my queen to an unprotected square and it is taken. My initial thought is: Oh $*%! :) But if the blunder is ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

How much time should be spent playing versus studying?

I have been learning fairly rapidly lately (will probably go about 400 points in about a year), although I am sure that pace will slow with time. However, my learning is actually slowed down because ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

What are some activities besides chess which help improve chess play?

What activities, be they physical or mental, do you use to improve your chess? Have you recently taken up something and noticed a positive change in your game? One thing I can think of is exercising ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I learn a new opening?

Often times, when I find myself going through the lines of a new opening, one that I would like to start using in my games I hit the concrete wall after a couple of days of studying it. Due to the ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

How can one improve their over-the-board analysis skills?

I think of analysis as the ability to mentally move through variations, recognize tactical ideas in those variations, and draw accurate conclusions regarding the fitness of the resulting positions. I ...
17
votes
7answers
8k views

Is it beneficial to play blindfolded chess?

I've played only two blindfold games so far, but it was against someone who was maybe at a 1000 uscf rating strength, and hence was fairly easy to beat, and once against my friend, who's also rated ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I make chess interesting and fun for beginners and doubters?

I love playing chess, but I find that it is difficult to find people who are willing to commit time to play games with me. I'm not a great player (I've never memorized moves or openings) but I have ...
16
votes
10answers
2k views

What is the easiest possible way to start teaching children how to play chess?

As a followup to What is the earliest possible age to start teaching children how to play chess?, I'm wondering: What is the easiest possible way to start teaching children how to play chess? The ...
16
votes
12answers
2k views

I lost a game without making tactical mistakes; how can I avoid this happening in the future?

Here's a game of mine from last night. It was my first tournament game for many years. (This game is David Kenney vs. Douglas Stones [me] 1-0. Press F to flip the board.) [fen ""] [Event "Bluenose ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

How to play for a draw

In this video: Levon Aronian vs Magnus Carlsen Round 1 - 2013 Candidates Chess Tournament [FEN ""] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 And now, Kevin said: "You can tell that the game is ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Who has the advantage at this point in the game?

I was playing the following game and at this point I thought black had the advantage but upon thinking about it for a little while was not sure. At this point in the game who has the advantage and by ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

What openings are recommendable for beginners to study?

I am a beginner. With reference to opening theory, which opening should I start learning? My friends are suggesting Ruy Lopez...
15
votes
7answers
11k views

Dr. John Nunn vs Irving Chernev's “Logical Chess Move by Move”

I have the book "Logical Chess Move by Move" by Irving Chernev and personally I find it to be a great book especially for beginners, but I heard that GM John Nunn has really criticized the book. This ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

The moves leading to the winning combination

We've all worked tactics problems. I can do those pretty well. Yet I have never been able to pull off one of these amazing combinations in my games. Not once. These tactical situations don't arise ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How to get out of “Hope” chess into “Real” chess

I was reading this article by Dan Heisman on playing 3 different types of chess: "Flip-Coin", "Hope", and "Real". I think I am stuck in "Hope" chess where I make a move that I think is pretty could ...
15
votes
11answers
6k views

What are some good books for chess openings?

I am not new to chess, I have been playing for around 6 years. But I don't know much about chess openings technically. What are some of the very good books to to learn important opening moves? Thank ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the better way to stop blundering all my games?

I am on the road that starts from the "Beginner" stage, trying to leave this "town". I know and understand the rules, I also understand most of the "classic" tactics. I am able to reproduce some ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

As a Beginner, is playing a lot of tactics chess (puzzles) a good way to improve?

I am pretty new to chess, and I play lot of chess puzzles: trying to find the best move for a given situation (which will not necessarily end-up with a checkmate). Is this a good way to learn chess ...
15
votes
6answers
4k views

Do you find websites like chesstempo useful for improving tactical skills?

I've been using chesstempo for quite a while solving lots of problems per day. What I noticed is that I don't feel that my tactical skills were improving. My results in tournament games were not ...
14
votes
9answers
4k views

Why is there a craze of becoming chess grandmaster?

Go to any online chess server, there are thousands playing and trying their best. These days there are even online coaches and titled players and people are ready to shed huge bucks for getting couple ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I stop blundering my queen?

I have a particular bad habit when I play chess. I play reasonably well (at least by the standards of people I play with), and am quite careful with my pieces. But in about 80% of games I play, once I ...
14
votes
7answers
10k views

What are the differences between tactical and positional chess?

Does one style of play have an advantage/disadvantage over the other? Are today's GMs mostly tactical players or positional players? What GMs should I follow if I want to be more of a tactical ...
14
votes
2answers
617 views

What other games or chess variants are useful to improve your chess skills?

I know about Chess960, and you can play that online at lichess.org. Furthermore, I like playing Go as well. But are there any good variants and other ways to train that you use, and you know to work ...
13
votes
10answers
4k views

Why do titled players always play online (blitz) speed chess?

If you have been to an online chess server, you will notice that almost all titled players always play quick games (3 0) at a max. On the other hand, if you go to tournaments, it needs cool thinking ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I promote my pawn when the king blocks it?

I was playing ChessEndGames and ran into this position (white to move): [fen "5k2/8/4PK2/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] I can't get my pawn to promote. As soon as I do e7, black follows with Ke8. If I do Ke5,...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What thought process should one use to find candidate moves?

Do you have a thought process for finding candidate moves? Once you find all possible candidate moves, how do you narrow it down to your final choice? Regarding the process, do you have a ...
13
votes
4answers
14k views

Is there any chess software that tutors beginners?

I am a beginning chess player, and I want to learn more about openings, the middle game, and the endgame. Can anyone suggest any good chess software that 'tutors' beginners?
13
votes
8answers
2k views

What are good YouTube channels for improving chess?

What are good YouTube channels that help to improve chess abilities, particularly for better than moderate players? Including channels which are analyzing their own games (Blitz, standard, OTB) or ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What book should I refer to to begin learning chess?

I'm a highschool student and want to play chess seriously. A friend of mine taught me the basic rules of the game. What book should I refer to to begin learning chess? I tried Capablanca's Chess ...
13
votes
3answers
605 views

How can I train myself to become more observant of all my pieces?

This is always what gets me. I want to find a way to train myself to become more observant, and able to look at every piece that's about to murder me.
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Software for opening repertoire practice

I am developing an opening repertoire for white based on d4 and c4. I think this is going all right, but what I am looking for is a chess program that can exercise my repertoire knowledge. ...
13
votes
3answers
987 views

Opening book series with “complete” explanations

I am looking for opening books, preferably a series that explain different openings, where the opening is explained with a complete view: strategic plans for main variants, main tactical ideas, usual ...
13
votes
7answers
456 views

How can I make a chess exhibition exciting for 'laypeople'?

I've been asked recently to try to put on a few chess exhibitions for some local kids and their parents in a mostly urban setting, and one thing that I'm keenly aware of is the basic 'uncoolness' that ...