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37

Although I agree that chess is 90% tactics when actually playing at the board, it really depends on where you are strenght-wise as to how much time you spend on tactics. By the way, when they use the word "tactics" there, I would say "tactics and calculation". When you are beginning, I firmly believe that spending 90% of your time on tactics will be the ...


20

I will go back to what Artur Yusupov, three-time World Championship Candidate, former top-10 player, and one of the greatest living trainers recommends in the first book of his 10-volume series. In volume one, "Boost Your Chess - Build Up Your Chess", chapter 9, which is two-move mates, including composed problems: The aim of this lesson is to improve ...


17

There's another famous quote you need to pair with "Chess is 90% tactics." Spielmann was reported to remark, after hearing one too many people exclaiming about an Alekhine combination, "I could find those combinations myself, just as easily, if I had his positions. But I never get those positions!" And that's the rub. The game-winning tactics you see in the ...


10

One of the most important things we tell players who are a bit above beginner level is to have a checklist they go through before making each move. It looks like this: checks captures threats opponent's threats ... blunder check So, as part of their move selection, they first look to see if they can give a check. If so they calculate the results. Then they ...


7

This is not specifically for diagonals, but this is how I learned to visualize the board. I am not sure that I agree that you should be able to know what color a particular square is. I have been playing tournaments for 40 years this year, more than 30 at the master level, and I still do not think about the color of squares at all with regards to calculation ...


6

I've been a "life-long beginner" - my USCF rating hovered around 900 for years and years, and just playing OTB chess wasn't helping to improve my ability because I was losing almost every game, for years (though usually against players rated much higher than me, so it didn't affect my rating much). It was a long time before I made even a minimal plan to ...


5

First, you need to get some experience. Go to a chess club if you can and if not, go play some games on the Internet. For your first games, I'd suggest you to play only with what you know right now. After every game, review it and think about what you could have done better (by yourself, not with engine assistance) Later on, it won't be necessary to review ...


5

I am going to answer yes, you should spend most [90%] of your time on tactics. Provided that this is done in the right way. There are different kinds of tactics for different reasons. Tactics in the endgame aim to queen a pawn, unless there are no pawns left which changes the aim to checkmate or forcing a drawn position. Tactics in the middlegame are ...


4

As others have mentioned, I think it depends on where you are at as a player. In the very beginning, I would say you need to know some very basic strategy right after you learn the rules, i.e. before the "tactical stuff". Examples are not mindlessly wasting tempi and controlling the center of the board. As for tactics: when my dad and I played together ...


4

Just for reference here is what I know: How to set up the board How the pieces move How Castling works How Check/Checkmate works Other basic rules needed to play at a beginner level That's a good start. The next thing you need to know is how to win a won game. That starts with learning the basic checkmates. So you need to learn how to ...


3

The statement is probably correct, but dangerous if taken the wrong way. Tactics are born out of strategy, and, during the game, you might be spending 90% of your time trying to find those tactics, but it will be fruitless if your strategic plan sucks. It should not mean that you must be spending 90% of your time studying tactics. Strategy comes first, if ...


3

I suspect that the advise to do exercises visualization in this way is tied to the development of computers/internet as it is easy to program/check your "progress" and it makes for a neat feature on a website. Still, I don't see what point there is in learning the color of squares independent of any other chess knowledge. No doubt having this knowledge ...


3

I believe that figuring out colors of squares is a good exercise, and it is not so important to know what color a square is per se, but how it is tied to a concept in chess. For example, what color is g7? It is dark right, this is where black dark-squared bishop resides after fianchetto. What about b4? When I think of b4 I think of the Evan's Gambit, white ...


3

It is my opinion that knowing off the top of your head whether f4 is a light or dark square is not all that important. During a game, the board is right there in front of you. You can simply look to see its color. And you don't have to know whether the square is named g1 to see that it's on the same file as g8. However, being able to instantly see that two ...


2

Welcome to stackexchange and thanks for your question. I would love to be able to visualise the board, especially those pesky diagonals, but I don’t seem any closer to that than when I was younger. I can manage general strategic thinking without a board but the geometrical stuff doesn’t stick. Rows and files are ok, but e.g. sequences of knight moves are ...


2

Yep, a very important problem. It essentially boils down to how well you know tactics and your command of chess geometry, but there are few shortcuts you can use, without having to perform a ton of cross-checks every time you make a move. I try to keep a picture in my head, based on the strategic plan that I've used for the game, which lines are controlled ...


2

The important point here is knowing what initiative is and recognizing when you have it. To me, initiative is not just making your opponent make forced moves by, e.g., chasing the Q up the board with a couple of minor pieces where in the end the Q settles on a nice square but your pieces are uncoordinated and sit in useless spots. As soon as that happens, ...


1

If you track why you lose, where you missed a win, what stage (opening, middle, ending) etc. it will help you know what you need to spend the most time on. As most have said, that will probably be tactically for a lot of your games at the beginning. But if you keep track of it, then you might find you lose in longer calculation in the ending, as opposed to ...


1

You don't mention whether you prefer studying chess with books or at the computer, so I'll toss a couple of ideas at you for both. Books Russia Chess House has some good beginning tactics books (Chess School 1a and 1b) with a thousand or so basic positions, showing some elementary checkmates and basic tactics. They make a pretty good starting out resource, ...


1

Both Silman's books and Nimzo's My System are must reads once you've reached about 1900 and are looking to take your game to the next level. If you're below 1900 trying to understand positional play is like doing calculus without understanding basic addition and subtraction. Tactics are the fundamentals of chess. Nothing else will make sense without a ...


1

Yes, to an extent. It's best to learn openings chronologically. If you're just starting out you should look at the era before Morphy. As you get better you can look at more modern openings. Doing it that way way you can see how the ideas build on the previous generation's ideas. Tal is probably most appropriate for the 1800-2200 range.


1

Both are important but I believe tactics are more fundamental. That is, tactics can help to understand certain endgames but endgames aren't really going to help you understand tactics. Sure, there are isolated endgame positions where you might learn a tactical trick but how much of that is applicable to the rest of your game?


1

If the rating difference is large (say, 400+ points), then you probably aren't going to beat them much so odds games and playing other players seem like the best idea. However, if you are closer in rating you should stand a decent chance of winning so in that case I would say look for opening ideas, try to improve overall and analyze each ga 01me.


1

It may be hard to accept, but losing is the best way to learn and improve. Think of each game as a lesson. The one-time world champion Jose Capablanca said you had to lose 10,000 games to learn chess. You should also record your games and go over them later to see what you did wrong and how you could have improved upon your play. Having a stronger player ...


1

When I reached 1900 I rebuilt my game from the ground up starting with the endgame, then middle-game and then openings.


1

First of all, it took Bobby Fischer about 10 years to become a GM. He was one of the greatest geniuses the game has seen. A 1900 on chess.com isn't much. Fischer was probably playing at that level at age 7. So, assuming you're one of the greatest geniuses in human history you're looking at about 8 years to become a GM. But, that's not going to be completely ...


1

First, develop your pieces quickly in the opening. Second, look to gain time. A lot of times people will exchange or move a piece back when that piece is attacked but if you can defend it by developing a piece you are gaining time. For example the line, 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. Qe2 white is defending the bishop by ...


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