World Chess Federation - FIDE

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Play hard but study harder!

In my humble opinion it does not pay to play chess every day, expecting your grade to increase. This  normally doesn't happen.  If you want to see and more importantly enjoy real improvement, then you have to engage in a study plan. This entails the following:

- Analyse every one of your lost games.

- Engage in a tactics study regime - in other words study tactics like mad!

- Your never too old or too young to learn tactics (adhere to the note above)

- Identify the weak parts of your game and work on these more.

E.g. If you can't find the right plan in the middlegame or indeed any plan at all then maybe you need to   practice the 20min exercise I covered in an earlier post on this blog? This will encourage you to perform the correct evaluation in any given position, then decide on the right plan, whether that be tactical or strategical.

- Push yourself in rated club games by playing to win, NOT to draw. Nothing is gained when both players agree to a premature draw in ignorance of what could have happened. I would say that it is far better to lose that way than it is to draw because you learn more from your defeats. The only exception to this is when agreeing to a draw is the only option, because not doing so would make your position worse. In my experience, a player who has had many draws throughout the season may well be contented, but they are really only protecting their grade - what hope have they got of improving?

Note: Not every chess player wants to improve which is fine, but this is a chess improvement blog don't forget :)

- Have fun!  But don't expect to enjoy every second of studying - any chess study routine can become boring after a while, but those that stick to it despite the pain, normally go on to do very well and see a steady improvement.

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