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.

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54 votes
10 answers
18k 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 ...
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  • 1,724
75 votes
12 answers
23k 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 ...
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  • 16.6k
20 votes
3 answers
3k views

Advice for breaking Lichess's 2000 rating mark

Although I have known the rules of chess since I was little, I only actually started playing it in May or June 2019, so about 6 or 7 months ago. When I started I had a Lichess classical rating of ...
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  • 1,244
34 votes
14 answers
11k 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 (...
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  • 443
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Where can I start to learn?

I have been pretty interested in chess for about 8 months now. I know the rules and basic moves. I'm looking right now for a place where I can start learning chess strategies, tactics etc. When doing ...
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4 votes
4 answers
1k views

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

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.
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  • 151
86 votes
17 answers
28k views

Can I improve my chess? Or am I too old?

I am 25 years old. I have been interested in playing chess since my school days but I never played seriously. One year back I realized that I want to become good chess player and I started. Most of ...
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35 votes
13 answers
78k 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 ...
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43 votes
15 answers
49k 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.
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  • 811
19 votes
6 answers
4k 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 ...
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  • 16.6k
21 votes
3 answers
2k views

Where can one find a complete chess curriculum?

Has anyone ever produced a complete chess curriculum? E.g., with textbooks, learning objectives, comprehensive syllabus, test bank, quizzes, etc.
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21 votes
4 answers
5k views

How to get out of "Hope" chess into "Real" chess

I read 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 ...
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  • 16.6k
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

En passant for beginners

When I started playing chess, I learned many of the rules of chess on my own. I was playing chess online, and then I realised that pawns can capture in such a fashion. At first, it was weird to me. ...
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8 votes
8 answers
8k views

Can almost anyone become a grandmaster if they devoted their life from age 6?

I hope that some stronger players have some insight or that their are some quotations from notable chess players that relate to the question.
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6 votes
4 answers
747 views

How can I improve my knowledge of pawn structure theory?

What resources (books, videos, websites) are there to help me improve my understanding of pawn structures?
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24 votes
9 answers
8k 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 ...
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  • 405
18 votes
11 answers
3k views

Books that help improve your chess without a chessboard

I am looking for books that can help me improve without a physical/digital chessboard. I have a kindle, and I have many places in school where I can read, but not many where I can open a chessboard ...
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  • 3,335
22 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
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20 votes
6 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 1,481
17 votes
6 answers
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 ...
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  • 19.9k
4 votes
5 answers
932 views

What advice would you give a novice in Chess?

I am a bit of a new blood when it comes to Chess. Oh I know how to play but before I started getting more serious it was more like flailing about and hoping for the best. Recently I came to the ...
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10 votes
5 answers
9k views

How to get to 2000 ELO rating

I'm a 1800 chess player. I know pretty much all the basics in every fields of the game. I know the main lines of openings, I know tactics, I know end game. Average in all of it (=1800 player). I ...
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11 votes
8 answers
7k views

Bishop vs Knight

I read in a book written by Fischer about piece values, and he said that a knight is worth 3 pawns, and a bishop is worth 3,25 pawns. I know that in closed positions knights are better, and I have ...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

If I accidentally knock over a rook with my elbow while reaching for another piece, do I have to move the rook?

According to the official FIDE rules for otb games, does the above description warrant the touch move rule?
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  • 4,905
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the best age to learn chess? [closed]

I am currently writing a capstone position paper about the optimum age for a person to start learning chess. I have come to the conclusion that the optimum age is 5-6. I need help brainstorming ...
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  • 41
27 votes
8 answers
5k 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 ...
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  • 661
42 votes
14 answers
23k 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 ...
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  • 531
31 votes
16 answers
11k 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 ...
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19 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 415
18 votes
5 answers
6k 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. ...
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  • 5,646
27 votes
5 answers
7k 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 ...
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27 votes
12 answers
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 ...
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  • 4,089
24 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 16.6k
9 votes
5 answers
35k views

Is there any good app for learning openings?

My great fail is that I cannot learn opening or initial play. Normally I only play when I can connect to my mobile app (Chess Free on iOS), and play at a very low level (adjusted as a single bar), ...
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9 votes
3 answers
985 views

Worrying inconsistency in playing strength

I recently found time to make a study plan and improve my playing strength. Using this plan, I was able to achieve a 1900 average rating on online chess sites. Since a couple of days, I have in a ...
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  • 972
5 votes
4 answers
3k views

How does a Class B chess player become Class A?

I'm currently a 1600 chess player. I have managed to increase my rating this year by 200 points. I have trouble winning against Class A chess players. I have really good and close games, yet I still ...
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  • 1,907
3 votes
3 answers
471 views

How to improve my game

I am doing tactics 30 minutes a day, practicing end games for about 90 minutes and analyzing 1 GM annotated game a day. I can understand the logic behind why the move is played, but I can't apply it ...
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  • 67
21 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
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  • 1,724
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

Improving the observation skill & making less blunders

I've noticed that the most common reason for me to lose a game is not lack of knowledge but failure to observe whats happening on the board. This is specially true for rapid games but it happens in ...
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  • 559
15 votes
2 answers
43k views

How to Verbally Describe Chess Moves?

This may sound incredibly naive, but all the time on T.V, movies, books, etc. People can be heard saying things like "Queen to Rook 5" or like "Knight to King 3" and things like this. What is this? I ...
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  • 252
10 votes
3 answers
6k views

How are the scores decided in Chess?

Consider the following pictures: I would like to understand the following: My understanding is that it depends on the opponent's move against our move. Am I right? What is the minimum and maximum ...
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9 votes
5 answers
540 views

What levels should theoretical endings be learned at?

When I am introducing beginners to the game, I immediately teach them KQvK, KRvK and KPvK. I follow that up with KBBvK at around the 800 level. Are any resources on when one should learn/teach the ...
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  • 7,408
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Struggling to improve past intermediate level

I have been playing a lot of chess recently after not having played much in the last few years. My rating (sorry, I don't know which rating systems) on most chess websites and so on tends to sit ...
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  • 79
3 votes
3 answers
434 views

How can I learn combinations without a chess book?

I would like to become better and stronger at spotting combinations. I can't buy any chess books at the moment. What's a good website for learning combinations?
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  • 1,907
3 votes
3 answers
327 views

A Really Good Site

Do you guys know some site that is really good, well organised, with video lectures for learning general concepts of chess like openings, middle-game, end-games, tactics, and, furthermore, for free? ...
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  • 223
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is it legal to use a chess database in correspondence chess?

Someone told me that you can use a chess database for correspondence chess, but this seems a little like cheating. Does anyone has some information on this subject.
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  • 4,905
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

How is this scenario a draw?

Firstly, I'm very very bad at chess. I've known how to play for most of my life, but I've never been good, so I'm trying to get good by playing against easy computers. I commonly end in draws with ...
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  • 163
45 votes
5 answers
6k views

The path of learning chess

I'm looking to become a better chess player. I play online and sometimes with my friends offline as well. I've also started to study openings. It is very difficult to get the right direction of study. ...
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  • 553
39 votes
9 answers
6k 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 ...
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  • 1,724
21 votes
5 answers
9k views

How to improve from ~1200?

I am not new to the game of Chess. I have been (casually) playing it for over a decade, and I would like to get better at it. I know the basic rules of the game very well, I understand basic tactics ...
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