Originally posted by Grandmouster
Sounds ok, but the best way to improve is play a lot of rated OTB tournamants.
The point in the article to which I refered in my earlier post, which fascinated and enlightened me, flatly contradicts this notion of playing games to improve. Here's the opening paragraphs of the article making the point:
The Path to Improvement
by Kelly Atkins with S. Evan Kreider
"What's the best way to improve at chess?" We've all asked ourselves that question a thousand times. If it were any other subject besides chess, we'd probably already know the answer: follow the path to wisdom in that field that has been blazed by others. For some reason though, the vast majority of us approach studying and improving in chess in the most haphazard and inefficient manner possible, trying everything except the tried and true methods that more experienced players advise, and the methods that are applied in almost every other field of knowledge.
With chess, most of us skip around. For example, we start studying a particular part of the game and then jump to something else. Or we read the first three chapters of a book, and then start a different book. We also study material that's far too advanced for us at that time. For example, we spend months studying an advanced opening monograph when we haven't mastered basic opening theory. Or we read My System when we haven't studied basic positional play first. Or we read The Art of the Attack when we haven't studied basic tactics first.
The end result is that our understanding of the game is completely fragmented. We know a thousand things, but we can't put them all together into a cohesive whole. Because of this, we never advance very far. No wonder most of us never rise above the Intermediate classes. We are a screwed up bunch of people! :-)
This is NOT how we learn most other things. In school, we have to read Fun With Dick And Jane before we tackle War And Peace. Before we learn to build an entire house, we have to learn to saw boards, drive nails, and so on. Before we get to play Carnegie Hall, we have to learn chords, scales and “Chopsticks” first. In fact, it's hard to imagine any skill or field of knowledge that we could master without learning the basics first and following some type of structured learning regimen.
If you go to the spring training camp of a Major League baseball team, you can learn a lot about how to master chess. These guys have been playing baseball almost every single day of their lives for 20 or 30 years. They're the best in the world, the GMs of their sport! You don't often see them playing actual baseball games during spring training, though. Instead, there they are, the masters of their sport, breaking the game down into its individual components and going through the same drills that the little leaguers are doing: They stand at the plate and face dozens of curve balls until they master hitting them. They shag fly balls for hours until they can do it perfectly. They field grounders by the hundreds until they can do so error-free. They practice base running, throwing, catching, etc., over and over until they can do it in their sleep. THEN they begin to put all those skills together and actually play entire games. Why should chess be any different?...