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  1. 22 Apr '08 02:43
    I've been playing since September. I've completely fallen head over heals for chess. Its GGRRREEETTT!! (Thanks Tony)

    Problem is.... I suck. Like... a lot. And I play a lot.... but I still suck. I'm worried its genetic but I'm hoping there is something I could do to correct it.

    I was playing 200+ games for a while to try and learn but that was dumb because I was just making the same mistakes over and over. I'm working on getting my games down to 40 or less so I can focus more on them. Past that I'm working through Susan Polgar's tactics book.

    I only have an hour a day to play/practice and I'm willing to work on a plan that might take many months/years. I am in desperate need of advice on how to become a better player.
  2. Standard member najdorfslayer
    The Ever Living
    22 Apr '08 05:56
    Originally posted by meta x zen
    I've been playing since September. I've completely fallen head over heals for chess. Its GGRRREEETTT!! (Thanks Tony)

    Problem is.... I suck. Like... a lot. And I play a lot.... but I still suck. I'm worried its genetic but I'm hoping there is something I could do to correct it.

    I was playing 200+ games for a while to try and learn but that was dumb ...[text shortened]... ke many months/years. I am in desperate need of advice on how to become a better player.
    40 games is still to many cut down to 5 or so and read

    1) Silmans how to Reasses your Chess!! (Covers basic endgames positions and general strategy)
    2) A general book on openings a good one for a beginner is
    UNDERSTANDING THE CHESS OPENINGS (Sam Collins)
    http://www.gambitbooks.com/books/openings.html

    Also join a club, you can learn lots for experienced players.
  3. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Apr '08 08:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by najdorfslayer
    40 games is still to many cut down to 5 or so and read

    1) Silmans how to Reasses your Chess!! (Covers basic endgames positions and general strategy)
    2) A general book on openings a good one for a beginner is
    UNDERSTANDING THE CHESS OPENINGS (Sam Collins)
    http://www.gambitbooks.com/books/openings.html

    Also join a club, you can learn lots for experienced players.
    Also, MCO15 is out, a great opening book for regular players. You should pick one opening for white and learn it solid and one for black, like the modern defense and learn it backwards and forwards. That will at least let you last long enough to get into an middlegame The other book he mentioned is very good also. There is one for more advanced players when you get far enough along, Best Lessons of a chess coach, by Sunil Weeramantry, more advanced stuff and harder to understand but when you get up to that book you will be already pretty strong.
    Like he said, even 40 games is too many for learning. Just 5 is plenty to dig into. Don't forget to go over the game history to see what you could have done better and if you can't, a copy of fritz is very helpful along those lines, to analyze the game after the fact, it will find lines nobody else would but a grandmaster! Of course you can't use fritz during the game but there is nothing wrong with using it as a learning tool. BTW, Fritz 11 is out and has a training mode that is like having your own personal coach. I was just in a tournament over the weekend and won two games but lost two really badly because I didn't know how to handle the openings I used, both black, so I have the game scores and I go over them and see what I could have done better. One game I goofed bigtime on my first move! I would have avoided a whole ration of poop if I had known that before hand, and you can bet I know it now! A local club can help too. We have one here in Allentown, Pa at a local Lutheran church, where we take over the basement on saturday and they have a permenant 30 minute quick game tournament, not like 5 minute blitz but not like the hour and a half regular time either so you can play several good games in one day that way. Almost any of the strong players will give you time if you ask for it, mentors are a really good way to advance quickly. Good luck! And get your game load down to under ten!
  4. 22 Apr '08 09:03 / 1 edit
    Here's my advice, especialy for a begginer: Tactics, Tactics, Tactics! Until you're rated 1800+, NOTHING ELSE REALLY MATTERS. Learn some basic openings and defenses, stick with them until you can play them in your sleep, and keep doing as many chess problems as you can every day. Yasser has a good tactics book worth buying. And cut your games down to, say, 4, so that you can really see what you have done wrong or right.
  5. Subscriber AttilaTheHorn
    Erro Ergo Sum
    22 Apr '08 10:25
    Originally posted by Sebastion
    Here's my advice, especialy for a begginer: Tactics, Tactics, Tactics! Until you're rated 1800+, NOTHING ELSE REALLY MATTERS. Learn some basic openings and defenses, stick with them until you can play them in your sleep, and keep doing as many chess problems as you can every day. Yasser has a good tactics book worth buying. And cut your games down to, say, 4, so that you can really see what you have done wrong or right.
    I completely agree. Until one gets to about an 1800 level, chess is all about tactics. However, I would add endgames too, not necessarily complicated endgames, but basic ones. In this way, you're always moving towards something you're reasonably familiar with. If you spend all your time looking at openings, you're always moving toward the unknown in your games. Know a few basic openings and stick with them and you'll automatically become familiar with others, and emphasize tactics, tactics, and more tactics.
  6. 22 Apr '08 11:28
    I would go with chessmaster 11 instead of all those books first. it would cost a lot less, and is much more enjoyable. if you take those tutorials seriously, it should take you up to 1400s in a few months.
  7. 22 Apr '08 15:10
    Originally posted by AttilaTheHorn
    I completely agree. Until one gets to about an 1800 level, chess is all about tactics. However, I would add endgames too, not necessarily complicated endgames, but basic ones. In this way, you're always moving towards something you're reasonably familiar with. If you spend all your time looking at openings, you're always moving toward the unknown in yo ...[text shortened]... automatically become familiar with others, and emphasize tactics, tactics, and more tactics.
    Yeah, I left the endgame part out. K vs K & Q, K vs K & R, K vs K, B, & B, and finally K vs K, N, & B, are also things you should practice til you can do them while dead drunk. You'll be be suprised by how many games you get to where "Oh all I have to do is trade these guys off, and I have an easy endgame win." Not a very glamorous win, I know, but it's always nice to have something in your back pocket.
  8. 22 Apr '08 15:20
    I would not bother with silmans middle game books right now or too much on openings. I would get CT art 3.0 to work on tactics and get Silmans complete end game course for learning the endgame as you progress. At least that is what I am doing. I do use a database for opening though so I just kind of learn them as I go. Good luck.
  9. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    22 Apr '08 15:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by najdorfslayer
    40 games is still to many cut down to 5 or so and read
    that's exactly what I was going to say. -there are benefits for playing loads of games (gaining experience), but as a beginner it takes a lot of thinking time to begin actually seeing what's going on on the board. to build up the base for understanding moves. stare at the positions for ages, try out ideas, move the pieces around. try not to send the move within the first hour, instead let it all simmer in your head. go away, come back, use days rather than minutes (or god forbid seconds!).

    and there's no avoiding tactics. do some every day. the more the better, but doing them consistently is even more important than the amount. it's more about building that machinery to process positions instinctively in your brain, than actually solving the positions. the work you do is more important than the solution.

    it will all take a l o n g time and a lot of work, and there are no shortcuts.
  10. Standard member najdorfslayer
    The Ever Living
    22 Apr '08 19:22
    Originally posted by onehandgann
    I would not bother with silmans middle game books right now or too much on openings. I would get CT art 3.0 to work on tactics and get Silmans complete end game course for learning the endgame as you progress. At least that is what I am doing. I do use a database for opening though so I just kind of learn them as I go. Good luck.
    You use a database for openings.

    I have a BIG problem with this

    When playing an opening you must be familiar with the plans and strategies involved.

    Learning/playing an opening by using a database means you are playing moves purely becuase someone else has with no idea why you are playing the moves.

    Tactics are important but I believe strategy is JUST as important, otherwise you wont get in a position where you can show your tactics!
  11. 22 Apr '08 21:46
    you are assuming that. I have books that explain them as well. I just do not spend all my time reading opening books which in general is a huge waste of time. John Watson books on the Master the Chess Openings are good though for the general ideas(e4 and d4) and do not go into exagerated depth(a good thing). If I end up in some 20 move varation(God forbid) the database is useful and helps prevent one from making stupid errors in the opening as well. I like to read about the ideas as I play as well. I also get a grasp of the key squares etc just by playing them. It does not take long to know the general ideas of all major openings. But I would not waste my time learning some 15 move variation of some pet opening to surprise my oponent(hoping of course he or she actually plays what I want(unlikely!). at least not at my level.
  12. 22 Apr '08 23:22
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Also, MCO15 is out
    For an 1100 who's been playing for a year?
    Lol
  13. 23 Apr '08 00:51 / 2 edits
    Here's a suggested study plan:

    1. Read Logical Chess Move by Move by Irving Chernev. It will teach you how to "think chess."

    2. Solve all of the puzzles in 303 Tricky Chess Tactics by Fred Wilson and Bruce Albertson.

    3. Read Essential Chess Endings Explained Move by Move by Jeremy Silman.

    Play as often as you can!

    Take to heart what I consider to be the second most important principle in chess: Bad moves hurt you more than good moves help you!. A player who makes 30 mediocre moves will almost invariably beat a player who makes 29 good moves and 1 really bad move!

    BTW, the most important principle of chess is: Have fun!
  14. 23 Apr '08 20:35
    Thank you everyone. This was really helpful. I appreciate your time.
  15. 23 Apr '08 23:19
    One more thing- Rueben Fine's basic chess openings book is one of the best out there. It's short, to the point, and the opening chapters are worth the price alone. Read it and re-read it; nothing will really suprise you after that. Best of luck!