34

This is very hard to answer since the question is very broad, but in the opening, always ask yourself "what piece haven't I moved out yet?" If you move pieces twice or three times in the opening, and I am developing each one after only one move, soon you will be fighting with only two or three pieces against me with 5 or 6. You will not win that way. Other ...


29

@Arka Mukherjee, I find most players under 2100 weak tactically, so at 1200, you are certainly weaker than you understand you are. I do not say that to be mean, but just as a very logical person, who has been a reasonably strong player for over 30 years. At your level, memorizing theory is mostly a waste of time. In 40 years of playing, I cannot tell you ...


15

Some typical things to look out for in the middle game in order to develop a plan... This assumes that it is a relatively quiet position without any imminent tactics that need to be taken care of first. Are all my pieces developed and on active squares (if not, how can piece activity be improved?) Does my oppenent have any weak pawns (typically isolated ...


11

Advice I give to complete beginners is to place your pieces so that they point at your opponents king. Ignore any pieces and pawns between your pieces and the King. When playing against another beginner who has no plan this is a good strategy. This strategy has the benefit of helping learn about the power pieces exert across the board even when seemingly ...


11

The general rule of thumb is improve the worst placed piece. I would be reluctant to move pawns without any purpose because you are likely to create a weakness. I would rather make a do nothing move, it is often could be a rook move on a back rank, as long as it really don't do anything; this move you can always "undo" (unlike the pawn moves!). Wrong plan ...


10

"PhishMaster's Complete Guide To Improvement": What to study, and how. Every player has times where they "plateau", and have trouble moving on, but they usually get past it eventually if they are continuing to study. Sometimes, it is a matter of patience. Here is a set of comprehensive answers to questions I previously gave in various chunks, that are now ...


9

at 1200 I strongly believe You are wrong about all your core assumptions about your understandings; or if you really have those strategic/positional understandings you must start to do tactics - at least 1h of puzzle solving per day will make best improvement for 1200 player anyway. and forget about spending time on theory until you are at least 1800, ...


9

Your first task should be to get better at tactics. It's one thing to understand what a pin is and why it works, for example, but it's quite another to be able to spot the circumstances under which it's advantageous for you to use it. So my first advice to you would be to work out solutions to tactical puzzles found in books or software. There's a series of ...


8

The tip I learned from Jeremy Silman's "Reassess your chess" series was that, if you can't find a weakness in the opponent's position, you should actively be trying to create a weakness. For example, in closed positions it happens pretty often that all your pieces are developed and in "good" positions, but you still have no attack. When this happens, you ...


7

I looked at my library, and opened up a number of books. The old Dvoretsky books really do not do this much, but the "School of Future Champions" and "School of Chess Excellence" series do have many sections that just say "white (or black) to play", and nothing more. Other Dvoretsky books that do that significantly are "Recognizing Your Opponent's Resources"...


7

Even at 1700, the vast majority of your mistakes are going to be tactical errors...especially at the faster controls. The only way around that is to start studying and practicing. There may be some people, who can benefit from online tactics, but am of the belief that they lend themselves toward the trainee being shallow, and often the answers are the ...


6

For those interested, you can download the exe from https://sourceforge.net/projects/popeye-chess/ There's no reason to alter the name of the executable. You have to enter command prompt. On windows this is done by running cmd.exe, or you can use a dos emulator. When you're in the folder which contains the popeye.exe file, you can start the program by ...


6

Note: everything I'm saying is assuming you're playing white. Everything is also true for black, you just have to reverse the rank numbers. I'm also using algebraic notation; if you're unfamiliar there are a lot of resources. In the opening, your goal should be to control the center with pawns (if your opponent lets you, play d4 and e4 as your first moves), ...


5

I have found that reading books makes one concentrate more, and the material is usually covered more in-depth. I think that the "in-depth" part of this is what is important. The explanations are usually much better, and geared toward learning something more permanently. I find that my work on a famous chess site that you buy materials has been much more ...


5

I am currently working through Karpov Move by Move One nice thing about this books is that it stops to ask a question sometimes. Often the question is "how do you access this position" and then goes on to discuss that answer. And of course reviewing Karpovs games is helpful for anyone thinking about positional play.


5

I think that the biggest myth about chess is the one that you actually pointed out in your question. I am talking about the one about learning openings before learning endgames. I am a strong believer that endgames contribute much to your play than openings and openings. As the great chess player Capablanca pointed out that Endgames can be studied ...


5

The strategy is a very deep concept which requires creativity and understanding. It is important to understand the mechanics of certain types of positions and this can be achieved by looking at different varieties of top grandmaster games especially ones where the players have a different type of style. Sometimes even then you have to look at the tiny ...


5

To ease the burden of typing, what I do is this: I have a file containing chess-related commands I have run. I keep this file in a directory I can easily find. Most times I want to do a chess-related command, it's a slight variant of one I ran earlier, e.g. to run Popeye on some other input file. So I'd replace the old input file name with the new one, ...


4

I have seen the materials in the program, and they are for players well below your level of play. I am not sure that they are even for a 1000 player since they are very basic. While he uses positions, they are more about teaching basic terminology and showing various themes, but on a very basic level. For example, here is one position that you are to find 5 ...


4

Study more and play less. Learn about pawn structure. Play over GM games to see what they do. Some common ideas may occur to you to try. Look for weaknesses you can attack. Look for your weaknesses you could defend better. Can you attack the king? Can you expand for space? Can you put pieces on squares with more mobility closer to the enemy? Can ...


4

I recommend Dan Heisman's "The World's Most Instructive Amateur Game Book" which has 30 amateur heavily annotated games grouped by useful sections like "Too Fast" and "Too Slow" for time management. If you are often mystified by GM commentary like "...and Black is clearly better." then this book may be for you. Most of these are in the 1400 - 1800 range. ...


3

Partly it depends upon your learning style, but also I'd note that part of the problem with the tactics site you mentioned isn't the computer. It's you. Seriously, there's nothing stopping you from sitting and thinking about the position on the screen the same as with the position on a board. Nothing except you, that is. And in an age where more and more ...


3

I also learned primarily from books. I think much more deeply when setting up a position and working through a book rather than online. Books I feel that books are best for more positional or strategic learning where taking my time has the most benefit. I use books when there is a specific aspect that I want to learn such as pawn structures or rook ...


3

Positional thinking is more abstract than tactics. If there could be an algorithm for positional thinking then positional thinking would be like tactical thinking and not something else. However, there are thinking steps like noticing weak squares. I suggest starting with a pawn structure book. Soltis' "Pawn Structure Chess" is a classic and the book ...


3

This answer is a little indirect but it helped my wife get a better grasp of chess and now no longer sees any board state as just a bunch of useless moves. If you have someone you play with regularly ask them to give you a handicap by verbalizing what they are thinking on their move. -ex: "I can move my pawn up two getting control of the center, putting ...


3

Start reading some books for beginners such as those by Seirawan. The idea is simply that the author will often explain the rationale behind a move in the book, and just by reading those you will be exposed to tactical and strategic motifs that you will see occurring in your own games. Also, reserve a little time during your study hours for solving puzzles....


2

My two cents on this is to study lots of classic games - chess.com articles by GSerper and especially Bryan Smith are an excellent place to start. The book Chess Training for Post Beginners is also excellent (the title is misleading - I learnt a tonne when I was 2100) - gives you a review of all the main positional elements (bishop pair, good knight vs bad ...


2

There is a nice story attached to the 1960 Tal-Botwinnik match. They adjourned after 40 moves and began analysing the game so far. Botwinnik had got his Queen offside and Tal had numerous exciting sacrifices to look at but had not played any of them. In the analysis, Tal was trying to find out if any of them would have worked, but noticed after a while that ...


2

I cannot find Nunn's criticism, but if it were about calculation errors, then fine; but I suspect it was not. I think that Nunn has been a GM so long, and was probably weak enough to enjoy that book for about one day when he was 6 years old he went by that level so quickly, that he could not appreciate it. I think it was a great book. Sure, it is light and ...


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