48

Analyzing your own games is the best and fastest way to improve in my opinion. As soon as possible after the game, write down the variations that you were thinking about during the game, especially the ones that were not played. This will be useful when you come back to the game after days, months, or even years. As you improve, it will be helpful to ...


31

Getting too used to playing with takebacks could be somewhat detrimental if you were to transition to tournament chess at some point, since it downplays the importance of keeping your guard up and being vigilant about tactical possibilities in positions. Nevertheless, I think that in the setting you indicate playing with occasional takebacks (especially for ...


27

If you want to avoid "dumb blunders" - i.e. just dropping a piece you've left hanging on the other side of the board - a simple method is to take an inventory of the position before you do anything else on each move. Checking which of your pieces are attacked and which of your pieces are hanging would be a good start. The brain will catalogue this ...


24

The mere act of touching one of your pieces obligates your opponent to capture it (if legally permitted) on his current move (at least according to USCF standards), unless he explicitly declares his intent to adjust the piece beforehand. Assuming the clock continued running on your opponent's time and he did eventually choose how to capture the knight, I ...


21

Seeing how Super Grandmasters capture pieces can be instructive: Garry Kasparov Capturing an adjacent piece: Capturing a distant piece: Source: YouTube Carlsen (white) vs Caruana Source: YouTube Aronian (white) vs Morozevich Source: YouTube Hikaru Nakamura (white) vs Vladimir Kramnik Source: YouTube Summary: With the exception of Kramnik, ...


18

I'd have to disagree with @andrew about analyzing ones' own games. The reason is, I'm a B-player. I make B-player moves. I perform B-player analysis. That's insufficient. Spending precious time to produce weak analysis is inefficient. This may offend people. But consider - if you had to make a home repair and you didn't know how, would you just figure it ...


17

What's the purpose of this question & answer? I see a lot of misuse of engines in this community. I see topics where people do opening "analysis" by copy pasting engine outputs. Even worse, I saw opening "analysis" by copy pasting in first move! Lots of beginner in this community believe that engines give best possible move in every position, because ...


14

The following suggestions will work for players in the 1600-2000 elo range. If you are above 2000, you probably already have better techniques than these. And if you are 1600 or below, tactics is arguably a lot more useful to learn. Here's an assortment of things I used to try when I wanted to learn a opening. Note: I had access to Fritz and Chessbase and ...


14

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 mating patterns (and to understand them I think). Based on your information I think I can safely assume that you would see those blunders if someone pointed them ...


14

The best practice would be to thoroughly analyze the game and also your thought process before, during and after the game. Besides, if after sincere hard efforts you still lose, it's important to have an attitude like this - “I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work” - Thomas Edison In chess, that would mean - I haven't failed, I ...


13

All of the suggested can improve your tactics skills. Anything that makes you think hard about chess positions (particularly sharp and complex ones) will. I would add "perfecting the way you calculate variations", i.e. making sure that your calculation is as effective as possible. This was well described in some book, I think it was "Think like a grandmaster"...


13

You have to have a certain degree of ability before you gain a lot from analysing your own games. Certain points you can discover by yourself, but is it just a move or two, or is your whole plan bad? Often you'll not be able to answer that on your own. You can guess, but your guess isn't likely to be that much more reliable than your play in the original ...


12

Don't forget to be a good sport. Smile, shake hands with the winner, and congratulate them on a good game. Then later, when you've calmed down, when you're in a more focused frame of mind, analyze your game. (Keep a notebook of the moves). 1) Look for obvious blunders - hanging pieces, bad trades 2) Look for tactical mistakes - forks, pins, etc. 3) Look ...


11

Here is a list of important points: Pros: Both can continue playing and have fun without the need of starting a whole new game. Cons: You don't take blunders seriously and increase the chance of making them on tournaments or important games.


11

I'll buck the trend here and say it's a bad idea to give takebacks if the blundering player intends to play in tournaments at any point in the future. There are two reasons for this. First, having to finish a blundered game brings home the pain of that blunder more clearly, and makes it more likely that the player will think ahead next time. But even more ...


11

The way I learned the few openings I now know is basically : Playing them a lot. In the (soon few) games where your natural play gives you a crappy position out of the opening, go ask theory™ where you screwed up. Learning lines as you make mistakes in them helps a lot for remembering them, since you have to confront what you thought to be correct to what ...


10

If you are playing with clocks and he sticks to the rules then it is fine. So if he takes the knight off the board and can capture it then the rules oblige him to do it. The move is finished when the capturing piece is placed on the square and the clock is pressed. It is a bad habit though. Normally, you shouldn't touch any piece on the board until you have ...


10

As a human you are intrinsically self biased. This is hypothesized to be an evolutionary adaption and it is impossible to suppress it, or more accurately to think objectively about yourself. Until you are accurately able to gauge and control the degree to which your self-bias affects your own thinking, this will be the primary cause of blunders in your chess ...


9

A very common approach is to work backwards. Instead of studying openings first, followed by the middlegame and the endgame, you study endgames first. Once you know some endgame positions, it may be sufficient to calculate only three moves deep in a late middlegame position, because you know that the resulting endgame is won for you. Let's consider a ...


9

AlwaysLearningNewStuff's answer is very good but I'd like to approach the problem by giving a simple piece of advice I read from GM John Nunn's "Secrets of Practical Chess": Once, I played 100 games against Mike Cook at 10 minutes (for him) vs. 5 minutes (for me). At that time, Mike was about 2300 strength. About halfway through the series (which I ...


9

Remarkably, I wrote a blog on this topic last night. It is available here - http://www.chess.com/blog/SamCopeland/how-to-move-a-chess-piece. To quote myself... Both Magnus and Hikaru execute their captures by first picking up their opponent's piece, then they slide that piece to the back of their hand to be held by the ring and pinky fingers within ...


8

Game analysis is important (both your own & other people's games). I usually use some computer software-I am not great analysing only from a game scoresheet. (if so I would try & make sure I had a board setup in front of me-but the computer chess software is very handy). I have Fritz9 / Winboard / BabasChess and a variety of chess engines. I usually ...


8

A good place to start for improving calculation is a famous book called Think Like a Grandmaster by Alexander Kotov. There is some debate as to whether Kotov's Tree of Analysis is effective in improving calculating ability (such as from the first reviewer to the book on Amazon in the link above), but that discussion will lead you to other areas like pattern ...


8

After a blunder, it helps to look objectively at the position once again and forget the history. You might have been better or worse; but that doesn't matter now after the blunder. What matters is how you go from here. There could be many possibilities of salvaging a draw or even snatching a win by making the position very complicated and causing your ...


7

I think that the point in analysing your games is to point out in what conditions you are inclined to make a mistake (not necessarily a blunder, but also a suboptimal move). You do not study your games to improve your chess knowledge (for that you have to study Grand Masters games), but to improve your approach to the game. Try to determine common ...


7

Memorization by itself is not the most effective way to learn a new opening. Yes, you'll end up knowing every move and the corresponding (or possible) response to it, you'll memorize a set of positions that are commonly considered as the end of the opening or that have granted mobilization and development to your pieces but you will not know what to do next. ...


7

Tactics cover a broad area that doesn't only concern mistakes that your opponents make. The pattern recognition faculties that you improve through tactics also help you realize the blunders that you yourself make. I don't recommend trying to change your style of play at all - I tell my students that at an early level, one of the most important things is to ...


7

Why Blunders Happen Personally, I think the biggest factor in blunders is a lack of objectivity. As humans, we have a very real, natural bias in our own favor that prevents us from evaluating ourselves, or our work, objectively. Ego, overconfidence, however you might call it--these are the things that blunders are made of, because at heart, a blunder is ...


7

Here are some principles we teach beginners but grandmasters regularly break. Don't bring your queen out too early. This principle was successfully broken by Korchnoi in an important match. [FEN ""] [Event "Candidates Semifinal"] [Site "Évian-les-Bains FRA"] [Date "1977.07.16"] [Round "6"] [Result "0-1"] [White "Lev Polugaevsky"] [Black "Viktor Korchnoi"] ...


7

It really depends on what your end goal is. Themed games in a specific opening are good to get familiar with a specific opening, and get a "feel" for the positions arising in the resulting middlegames. So, if you want to learn a new opening, or are having trouble in a certain line, it could be a great way to learn an opening, coupled with studying some ...


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