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  1. 21 Aug '10 01:47
    Anyone who is 1600 OTB or higher, and is willing to help, please post your thoughts on a study plan to reach 1600 OTB.

    The focus should be on books and not software programs.

    I am almost 1400 OTB now.
    I am 31 years old. Been playing for almost 5 years with no studying.
    I have plenty of time for study. Nothing getting in the way.

    I can't afford a coach so I am hoping for some help from you. 😉
  2. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    21 Aug '10 02:25
    I think Silman's How to Reassess Your Chess is a great "1 book" place to start. He originally wrote the book for the person who made it to expert strength without mastering the "basics", and then he proceeds to systematically cover everything they should have learned on the way up.

    I have always thought that the endgame chapter alone is worth 100-150 rating points, but at RHP it may be closer to 200.

    John Nunn's book on tactics is also a great place to start. There are lots of tactics books, but few by a "tactical" player as strong as he was, and who can also write very well.
  3. 21 Aug '10 02:39
    You mean "Learn chess tactics" by John Nunn?
  4. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    21 Aug '10 02:42
    That's the one!
  5. 21 Aug '10 02:43
    What about the "Reassess your chess workbook"? or just "Reassess your chess"?
  6. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    21 Aug '10 02:54
    I have the book, but not the workbook, so I can't comment on it.
  7. 21 Aug '10 02:57
    Fair enough. I'll check out Silman's book.
  8. 21 Aug '10 04:32
    Originally posted by gorookyourself
    Fair enough. I'll check out Silman's book.
    I don't agree that Silman's book is the best way to reach 1600 from 1400. Silman's book is great, to be sure, but at 1400 there are simply more pressing concerns in your chess than finding imbalances. I recommend buying the CD Chess Tactics for Beginners by Conveckta, and do 50 puzzles every day. In combination with that, play as many tournaments as possible, and analyze your games with fritz. You can work on your endgames with Silman's Complete Endgame Course . This, along with study of any other books you have, will take you from 1400 to 1600 and beyond.
  9. 21 Aug '10 04:35
    We'll see what more people say. I don't know the answer.
    Interesting so far. Thanks for the replies.
  10. 21 Aug '10 05:17
    Hiya. You said you couldn't afford a coach... Nonsense. The best way to improve IMO is simply to join a club. The better players will take you under their wing I promise you. In my experience most chess players are pretty nice guys... no social skills to speak of, but kind hearts! They'll want to see you improve.

    After every win/loss/draw you'll be forced to go over the game with your opponent, you'll have a collection of books from which to borrow, and it's an easy way to make sure you're getting some decent practice at least 1-2 days a week. Maybe you'll even make a few friends...
  11. 21 Aug '10 05:21
    Originally posted by gorookyourself
    Anyone who is 1600 OTB or higher, and is willing to help, please post your thoughts on a study plan to reach 1600 OTB.

    The focus should be on books and not software programs.

    I am almost 1400 OTB now.
    I am 31 years old. Been playing for almost 5 years with no studying.
    I have plenty of time for study. Nothing getting in the way.

    I can't afford a coach so I am hoping for some help from you. 😉
    Simple. Just study. If you have time, and have motivation. Study.
  12. 21 Aug '10 05:26
    Originally posted by range blasts
    Simple. Just study. If you have time, and have motivation. Study.
    That's exactly what my wife said who is always studying school work and doing great. I think chess players try to find excuses. 😞
  13. Standard member Grampy Bobby
    Boston Lad
    21 Aug '10 07:21 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by gorookyourself

    Anyone who is 1600 OTB or higher, and is willing to help, please post your thoughts on a study plan to reach 1600 OTB.

    The focus should be on books and not software programs.

    I am almost 1400 OTB now.
    I am 31 years old. Been playing for almost 5 years with no studying.
    I have plenty of time for study. Nothing getting in the way.

    I can't afford a coach so I am hoping for some help from you. 😉
    Minority Opinion: Achieving chess prowess at increasing levels of intensity isn't unlike becoming an accomplished concert pianist. Though insightful books on theory/technique and increasingly difficult drills/excercises in puzzle solving are helpful, they're not a substitute for practice. Easily takes more than a decade of long hours of daily piano practice with tutoring from someone who has already made the grade. Practice in the realm of chess requires systematic play... not against inferior or equal buddies but against increasingly superior opponents. OTB in any active local club will provide the venue; higher rated members will instinctively provide the in-game tutoring (as someone also once did for them). Passion, self discipline, staying power in the face of fatigue and discouragement matter greatly. Realistic expectation matters as much if not even more.

    Get rid of all the ego driven illusions. Plan at the outset on losing a minimum of one thousand games (4-6 games/week x 50 weeks x 4-5 years = 1,000+ Gorook losses) before gradually being able to begin to hold your own. Those numbers didn't come out of me arse. Just a snapshot of my own mentoring from five savvy older men (Reubens, Pransky, Brown, Landey, Schaack) and club experience in and around Boston during the blessed decade of my twenties. Kind regards, Bobby



    ........................................................................
  14. 21 Aug '10 09:24
    Originally posted by DivGradCurl
    Hiya. You said you couldn't afford a coach... Nonsense. The best way to improve IMO is simply to join a club. The better players will take you under their wing I promise you. In my experience most chess players are pretty nice guys... no social skills to speak of, but kind hearts! They'll want to see you improve.

    After every win/loss/draw you'l ...[text shortened]... ng some decent practice at least 1-2 days a week. Maybe you'll even make a few friends...
    I'll second this. I joined a club a year ago, when my rating here was 1500. It's now 1700. I reckon at least half of that improvement is directly due to the input of the stronger players at the club, while the other half is because I take chess more seriously now due to playing in league and cup competitions.
  15. 21 Aug '10 10:53
    Originally posted by gorookyourself
    Anyone who is 1600 OTB or higher, and is willing to help, please post your thoughts on a study plan to reach 1600 OTB.

    The focus should be on books and not software programs.

    I am almost 1400 OTB now.
    I am 31 years old. Been playing for almost 5 years with no studying.
    I have plenty of time for study. Nothing getting in the way.

    I can't afford a coach so I am hoping for some help from you. 😉
    Post 2 or 3 OTB losses so people can see what your play is lacking.

    From my limited experience with helping lower rated players,and this might sound strange but,besides tactical training you probably don't need any study at all to reach 1600.Just need to eradicate some common flaws/misconceptions.

    The most common flaw is pawn pushing.Other ones are the irrational fear of pins,mostly in the early stage,leading to the dreaded h3/h6 moves,and errors in breaking the basic opening principles.

    Three common misconceptions are:
    -Doubled pawns are always bad
    -Trading a knight for a bishop is always good (cause bishops are better,right?)
    -Retreat is defeat.

    toet.