Top 5 ways to improve your chess skills

I know the question which has stuck in your head: “How can I improve myself?” This is a very logical question and today I’d like to help you to improve your chess skills. There is only one thing which every chess player wants: to become a better player, am I right? 🙂

Of course, everyone is different; everyone has their own personalities and their own pace of learning. However, if you are realistic about your goal, to become step by step a better player, then you can achieve it! In other words, make a plan according to your available time and passion for studying chess.

In this article I’ll tell you the top 5 training tips, regardless of your level in chess, which can help you go through this process. The main idea is that you work on any of the following topics and switch them during your training. So let’s get started!

1. Tactical Play

Tactics is one of the most important elements in chess. After a tactical combination you can win or lose a piece, and therefore the game afterwards!

My first advice for you is to work on your tactics by solving exercises within a time limit. For instance, 1 to 3 minutes per puzzle is OK.

2. Make plans

chess planAs we discussed in the beginning, we need to make plans. Our strategic plan is to get improved in chess. Similar situations can happen during the game. At the beginning of the chess game, develop all of your pieces. This is a simple and effective plan. Then you may try to attack the opponent’s King by bringing your pieces next to him.

However, the chess game is a little bit more complicated than that. Sometimes you need to focus on a weak pawn and sometimes on an unprotected King. In the other words, you need to have a plan. My suggestion for you is to give a role, a scope to your pieces and they will do their best for you. 🙂

3. Endgame Play

Yeah, I know. Some of you might ‘hate’ endgames. You may really like Tal’s quote “In the endgame I’ll be one piece up or down, so there is no need to study the endgame!” However, if you know, at least, the basics of endgames then your general chess skills will improve significantly. You’ll know when to go in one particular endgame or not.

My advice is to start from the basics. Endgames will never change. In the light of that, you need to learn them only one time in your life.
capablanca chess quote

4. Analysis of your own games

There are no serious chess players who would never analyze their own games. After all, it is a game played by YOU. You will have more interest than anyone else to know what happened there and what were your opportunities to win it, am I right?

My suggestion is to work deeply on your own experiences over the board. Analyze your games with your opponent, your chess friends and, of course, with the help of the computer.

5. Opening Play

Nowadays we have huge chess databases and plenty of opening information. My suggestion is to invest time in this topic and be ahead of your opponents! It is quite tempting to try to figure out everything at home, isn’t it?

Last but not least, chess is a board game. You are a player. You aren’t on a hard 8-hour work. These 64 squares could ‘escape’ you from all of your day-to-day problems and they let you enter into an amazing new world. These 64 squares are a cool way to use your imagination and intelligence to win one game after the other and win trophies.

you may like to read the article “Chess, Life and Happiness” written by an RCA student.

My final suggestion is to be motivated. The reason in the above lines could be a strong motivation to you and I hope that you enjoy chess as much I do, so this could be the most motivating way to study, train and play chess!

P.S. I hope you find these tips interesting and you are very welcome to give your feedback and your thoughts on how to improve – feel free to write in the comments below. 🙂
Quick success in chess

  • bibleexpert

    The quote from Capablanca is so true. I’ve looked at so many opening lines where I thought “Well, why can’t he play this natural move here instead? Why isn’t it even mentioned among the alternatives?” Usually I only had to investigate those lines for three or four more moves before discovering something along the lines of “Oh. I see. Now White/Black can play such and such and he already has an endgame advantage, giving him a long range pull because his opponent has to try to avoid the endgame even if his middlegame is nothing to write home about.” (Of course, this is not the same thing as intentionally accepting disadvantages such as a damaged pawn structure in exchange for compensating advantages – the isolani being the most obvious example.)
    Tomes like ECO are full of lines where the assessment of an opening line contains nothing but the standard symbols (=; +/=; +/-; etc.). These symbols do not indicate whether the assessment is based on the resulting middlegame or endgame. If you develop the expertise to be able to understand when the assessment is connected to the endgame, you’ll be way ahead of the game (no pun intended). Another benefit is that you can have a fair number of easy victories in tournament games if you’re threatening to convert to a favourable ending and your opponent doesn’t understand that that’s what’s happening. Of course, you still have to know how to play that favourable ending correctly in order to secure the full point. Lessons are great (and Igor’s lessons are the greatest!) but you still have to do some work on your own. When I first started playing tournament chess many years ago, I read somewhere that Emanuel Lasker said that you should spend 70 hours studying the endgame. I proceeded to do that forthwith and it really paid off. I was regularly winning drawn endings and drawing lost endings against players rated as much as several hundred points higher. But an additional advantage is that I was able to avoid lines that I could see would lead to unfavourable endings.

  • johnny

    Great tips, Honorable GM Smirnov. BTW, your comment “trained like a monkey” in the GM Positional Understanding had me ROFLMAO. In addition, this comment embedded your lessons in my brain.

  • male Gupta

    outstnding dear igor sir the tips are useful and at the same time awesome .dear sir do you ever tried this website it is just fantastic you can play any player from the past with computer play like them.?/

  • male Gupta

    dear igor in recent tournaments which is going on like shamkir and rejyavik etc.and vugar memorial vladimiir kramnik is going down what do you think about him as a player and as a coach??and aobut his performance.why is called a legend.??

Like this Post?

Sign up for my blog updates and never miss a post.

You May Also Like This