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  1. 02 Dec '14 05:01
    Other than books on your favorite opening, I'd suggest 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate. By Fred Reinfeld. I keep it at my side at all times.
  2. 02 Dec '14 06:32
    Register a username at chesstempo.com , that is what I would do in your position.

    Study tactics ( and later on, endgames, because then you know how to win won positions, but without tactics you are screwed and you basically never train tactics enough).

    Players with a rating below about 2000 should deffinately benefit from tactics at chesstempo.com , just love the site.

    Sum. Don't buy any books. They perhaps books will make you better but I doubt it.

    My favorite book is: Art of attack. By Vulcovich. But there are others.

    My other favorite book is: Starting out, the Luy Lopez by John Shaw (I think, not sure).

    Consider bying those two books, they are great!

    ----- cheers mate ! 🙂
  3. 02 Dec '14 09:39 / 3 edits
    Much has been said about books on this site. Have a look in the forum for similar posts. Mostly some people will suggest some books, and other say you should focus on tactics. Both are right.

    My 2 cents on the matter. The issue is not books versus tactics. What is important is whether you invest effort or not. Reading books may be enjoyable, which is good but may not necessarily improve your chess strength. You have to dig deeper in a book. Whether it is about openings, tactics or endgames, set up a board and try it out. Ask yourself why? Now you are testing your brain and actually learning.

    Chesstempo is a very good spot for training tactics. In a matter of seconds, you are logged in and ready to do some puzzles. So a lot easier than setting up the board on your own each time. But you still have to work for it to pay off. Don't just go clicking interesting moves! Think about it as you would in a real game.

    PS: This is just my general vision on learning and education. I never invested much time in chess reading and practice. I tend to invest my time in the games I'm playing on this site, and look up things in function of that. You can't have a better balance between studying openings, middle games and endgames than actual game play! (Things are different of course if you focus on over-the-board play)
  4. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    02 Dec '14 11:36 / 1 edit
    What you need is a basic chess primer that explains simply the first tactical motifs like pin fork skewer and discovery. How to use your pieces in a team to win material by attacking things more times than they are defended for example. It may also point out some formations that are generally advantageous as well as concessions to the opponent that it is best to avoid.

    Reading such a book may give you some guidance as to what to think about when you are out there on your own but it is not as quick as going through your own games and unpicking them - if possible with a stronger player. Doing this is the quickest way to identify the mistakes you are actually making so as to learn to reduce them. To begin with that will be losing material to one move threats, and missing opportunities to grab your opponent's pieces and pawns. After that you can begin to learn how to work your pieces as a team to conduct attacks, deliver mate or gain a sufficient advantage you can convert to win.

    A book is general - although it can point out well known mistakes. Analysis - even as simple as "I left the knight unprotected and he took it" - of your own moves is specific, humbling and on occasions so deeply unpalatable that many people find other drills to do to avoid facing up to it.
  5. 02 Dec '14 13:37
    Some famous player once said "tactics are 99% of chess" That's what I've gone by in trying to improve.
  6. 02 Dec '14 13:50
    Originally posted by woadman
    Some famous player once said "tactics are 99% of chess" That's what I've gone by in trying to improve.
    Chess is 100% tactics, I say.

    (but you have to look infinitely deep)
  7. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    02 Dec '14 16:32
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    Logical Chess move by move.
  8. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    02 Dec '14 17:02
    Originally posted by tvochess
    Chess is 100% tactics, I say.

    (but you have to look infinitely deep)
    Sorry, however well intentioned this epigram is I think this is just rubbish! For example, no player making their first move in a game is thinking tactically. Why? because there is nothing threatened, nothing to capture and no move that threatens anything other than possible schemes of further development.

    No tactics trainer will teach someone how to make decisions, how to play solidly, how to keep things quiet, how to complicate, how to assess risks, how to develop the initiative, how to make use of tempo, how to problem solve, what to consider when choosing between several available moves, whether putting a rook behind a pawn or on an open file is more relevant and so on.

    With due respect to her a quick look at the opening posters games place her firmly in the novice category. She loses pieces and pawns to one move threats and fails to pick up opponents pieces similarly. She struggles to find what is relevant in the positions she plays and many of her mistakes go unpunished by her opposition. I've yet to see a tactics trainer that addresses these basic needs. In a chess club you can smile indulgently and waggle a finger at the piece left hanging as you give the move back. You can go through games as you play addressing the actual mistakes the player is making. You can show them what compensation for a gambit pawn looks like, you can show them how to develop teamwork of their pieces by doing the simple mates with King and Queen, down to knight and bishop. You can show them why the vast majority of legal moves available in each position do not have to be considered. A book struggles to do that.

    Whilst tactics are important in chess, there are some building blocks to be put into place first.
  9. 02 Dec '14 17:15
    Maybe I should have added 😉 or 😀 in my previous post. I was at least partly joking.

    Nevertheless, let me take on the discussion. Strategy is only meaningful because of our limited horizon in thinking ahead. At the heart, chess is a pure tactical game. However, noone (even computers) can play it that way.
  10. 02 Dec '14 17:30
    Well said tvochess....Strategy is only having a "Plan". Once you have an objective, it turns 100% tactical to achieve.
  11. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    02 Dec '14 20:15
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    You may also benefit by posting your games (including real life/over the board)on the forum for analysis. Good luck.
  12. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    02 Dec '14 20:30
    Originally posted by tvochess
    Maybe I should have added 😉 or 😀 in my previous post. I was at least partly joking.

    Nevertheless, let me take on the discussion. Strategy is only meaningful because of our limited horizon in thinking ahead. At the heart, chess is a pure tactical game. However, noone (even computers) can play it that way.
    I think we have to believe that a successfully conducted chess game should be more than a series of random tactical events. If you don't focus your forces there must be less chance of victory.
  13. Subscriber sundown316
    The Mighty Messenger
    02 Dec '14 22:35
    Try these 2 Irving Chernev titles: Winning Chess: How to See 3 Moves Ahead. This one is great as an intro to the standard tactical devices. it devotes a chapter to each in a before/after format. Next is Logical Chess Move by Move, which I think is the greatest learning book for the aspiring player. 33 master-class games, with a clear, easy to understand explanation after every move, no masterese gibberish that will go right over your head.
  14. 03 Dec '14 09:28
    Originally posted by Ragwort
    I think we have to believe that a successfully conducted chess game should be more than a series of random tactical events. If you don't focus your forces there must be less chance of victory.
    1. At a human level, you are right. Strategy is human's strength, tactics are a weakness. Strategy is crucial because of our limited horizon.

    2. Tactical events don't pop up randomly if you have really deep vision. Under that premise, strategy is superfluous and often even wrong.
  15. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    03 Dec '14 12:18
    Originally posted by tvochess
    1. At a human level, you are right. Strategy is human's strength, tactics are a weakness. Strategy is crucial because of our limited horizon.

    2. Tactical events don't pop up randomly if you have really deep vision. Under that premise, strategy is superfluous and often even wrong.
    Re:2

    You are really talking about a game that has been solved and thus all moves and counter moves can be seen - much like an endgame tablebase. As chess has yet to be solved (prior to tablebases at any rate) it is reasonable to find schemes of development and plans of attack which will tend to swing the "numbers" in our favour given less than perfect defence.

    If chess-solved turns out to be a draw it will be interesting to see which if any dodgy gambits were sound, whether hyper-modern openings also draw and if so whether their only purpose mathematically was to increase the available number of moves and therefore the potential number of pits into which the opponent could fall.