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  1. 16 Jun '08 22:51
    I've always liked chess, but in the past month, getting better has become an almost obsessive drive. I came to the realization that I'm horrible at chess. I've been trying to improve, by doing alot of tactics puzzles and have been reading things. The three main books I have been studying are "5334 problems, games, and combinations" by Laszlo Polgar, "The Mammoth book of the World's Greatest Chess games", and "Win at Chess" (forgot the author, published 1995). I have been playing regularly on here, OTB with friends (I'm better than all of them, most of them are absolute begginers) , and on FICS. My rating still hasn't hit 1100 on here...anyone have any advice on what I should do to get better? I'm very lost.
  2. 16 Jun '08 23:08
    I strongly recommend that you buy, borrow or steal (okay, please don't steal!) Logical Chess: Move by Move by Irving Chernev. It will teach you to how "think chess." Studying tactics puzzles like you're doing is also a good idea. Also, to make sure you're grounded in the basics, you might want to read a good chess primer like The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess by GM Patrick Wolff, or Chess for Dummies by James Eade.
  3. 16 Jun '08 23:11
    Originally posted by Ithorian Guy
    I've always liked chess, but in the past month, getting better has become an almost obsessive drive. I came to the realization that I'm horrible at chess. I've been trying to improve, by doing alot of tactics puzzles and have been reading things. The three main books I have been studying are "5334 problems, games, and combinations" by Laszlo Polgar, "Th ...[text shortened]... on here...anyone have any advice on what I should do to get better? I'm very lost.
    At 1100 (if we're talking slow games) you should really just try to avoid hanging pieces or pawns because sooner or later the other person will at that level.

    If you keep studying hard you will get improvements, they wont come instantly but they will be there. One of the recommendations I see a lot and personally believe to work quite well is the one that suggests you play 20 slow games (something like 90+) and analyze each game deeply once you've play it. I might add in those 20 games you should use your time wisely its not worth getting a 90 min game and making all your moves in 5 mins.
  4. Standard member RevRSleeker
    CerebrallyChallenged
    16 Jun '08 23:12
    Just a quick thought here, Id say watching a few games here can help....although quite 'lofty', player 'mgbal' I enjoy, lots of logic employed there. Watch a game as it is played and anticipate whatever moves you can. I tend to run a few tables giving different potential moves of each player but you needn't get so involved. Just soak up what you can make good sense of, Dean.
  5. 17 Jun '08 06:08 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Ithorian Guy
    I've always liked chess, but in the past month, getting better has become an almost obsessive drive. I came to the realization that I'm horrible at chess. I've been trying to improve, by doing alot of tactics puzzles and have been reading things. The three main books I have been studying are "5334 problems, games, and combinations" by Laszlo Polgar, "Th on here...anyone have any advice on what I should do to get better? I'm very lost.
    if you are doing tactics puzzles consistently (say at least 30 mins a day), and still not hitting 1100 in a couple of months, then there might be a problem in your frame of mind when you're playing.

    always blundercheck(on every single move), and instead of "hey, this should work", ask yourself "how can my opponent take advantage of this move".

    at that level I was hanging pieces all over the place, I assume you are doing the same. scan the board, and the "ranges" of the pieces on each move and try not to hang pieces.

    and do not be lazy about analyzing or calculating. I think this is the most important weakness of a beginner, they're so lazy and hopeful during a game.
  6. 17 Jun '08 16:31
    Originally posted by Ithorian Guy
    I've always liked chess, but in the past month, getting better has become an almost obsessive drive. I came to the realization that I'm horrible at chess. I've been trying to improve, by doing alot of tactics puzzles and have been reading things. The three main books I have been studying are "5334 problems, games, and combinations" by Laszlo Polgar, "Th ...[text shortened]... on here...anyone have any advice on what I should do to get better? I'm very lost.
    I'm not familiar with the third book, however, if you go through Polgar's book, then complete the Mammoth book, you will have done more study than many players. Try doing the Polgar book without setting the pieces up on a board. This will help you develop your vision and combinational ability. When you decide to go through the Mammoth book, play through those games with a board and pieces, or better yet, a chess program. Take a note card and cover up the moves and try and guess each successive move by both players. Pretend this is just like a competitive over the board game in a tournament and really concentrate. Go through each game three times like this, and after the third time, try and summarize the game in just two sentences, for example: White won because he developed faster and posted his Knight on f5 where it could not be dislodged; or, Black won because he sacrificed material to post both his Rooks on White's seventh rank. I would suggest only going through two or three games a day like this, but the important thing is to set aside time each day to study, rather than cramming on the weekends. Good luck.
  7. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    17 Jun '08 16:47 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Ithorian Guy
    I've always liked chess, but in the past month, getting better has become an almost obsessive drive. I came to the realization that I'm horrible at chess. I've been trying to improve, by doing alot of tactics puzzles and have been reading things. The three main books I have been studying are "5334 problems, games, and combinations" by Laszlo Polgar, "Th on here...anyone have any advice on what I should do to get better? I'm very lost.
    you're on the right road, but 1 month is not that long. give it time, keep at it, and you will see results. -also, chess ability seems to improve in jumps rather than steadily.

    reading chernev's logical chess move by move would be a great idea.
  8. 17 Jun '08 16:59
    Thanks for the advice guys. I'll also check out Chernev's book.
  9. 18 Jun '08 14:44
    Originally posted by Ithorian Guy
    I've always liked chess, but in the past month, getting better has become an almost obsessive drive. I came to the realization that I'm horrible at chess. I've been trying to improve, by doing alot of tactics puzzles and have been reading things. The three main books I have been studying are "5334 problems, games, and combinations" by Laszlo Polgar, "Th ...[text shortened]... on here...anyone have any advice on what I should do to get better? I'm very lost.
    I looked at a random bunch of games that you played, and almost all the ones you lost seemed to be due to simple tactics. If you were to get rid of these blunders, your rating would,d increase at least 200 points, if not more. My recommendation is to buy Chess Tactics for Beginners by convekta and do 50 puzzles a day (not as much as it seems; should take you at most half an hour. The CD has about 1300 problems, so you should finish it it quickly.After you have completed it, do it again (I've done it 9 or 10 times over the past 2 years) and your tactics are bound to improve. Also, if you Google "400 points in 400 days", you'll find an article by Michael De La Maza where he recommends doing chess vission drill. One is called a the concentric circle,and if you do it for two weeks you will notice and large decrease in your buners. I know I did.
  10. 19 Jun '08 15:53
    Originally posted by chesskid001
    I looked at a random bunch of games that you played, and almost all the ones you lost seemed to be due to simple tactics. If you were to get rid of these blunders, your rating would,d increase at least 200 points, if not more. My recommendation is to buy Chess Tactics for Beginners by convekta and do 50 puzzles a day (not as much as it seems; sho ...[text shortened]... if you do it for two weeks you will notice and large decrease in your buners. I know I did.
    Has anyone tried Blokh's combination art cd? I heard that was pretty good.
  11. 19 Jun '08 18:10 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by YourChessFriend
    Has anyone tried Blokh's combination art cd? I heard that was pretty good.
    you mean ct-art? I'm struggling with it for more than a year, I must admit that the problems up to level 40 are just so nice, but after
    that, it gets so insanely crazy that I got back to the starting point feeling I haven't learned much.

    it's a great program anyway though. But bear in mind it's certainly not for beginners.
  12. 19 Jun '08 19:10
    Originally posted by Ithorian Guy
    I've always liked chess, but in the past month, getting better has become an almost obsessive drive. I came to the realization that I'm horrible at chess. I've been trying to improve, by doing alot of tactics puzzles and have been reading things. The three main books I have been studying are "5334 problems, games, and combinations" by Laszlo Polgar, "Th ...[text shortened]... on here...anyone have any advice on what I should do to get better? I'm very lost.
    I looked at a couple of your recent games. Almost all mistakes seem to be missing simple tactics: missing a mate in two, dropping your queen to a knight fork, missing that your opponent can take one of your pawns etc.
    Apart from that, I also saw some strange mistakes; for example, at some point you were making a favourable exchange (a piece for a pawn and a piece), however halfway during the exchange, you simply made a random move which had nothing to do with it. Your opponent stayed up a piece and later won the game.

    This makes me think that you aren't spending enough time on your moves, you aren't thinking about what your plan was, what was happening on the board, what IS happening on the board, what your opponent is threatening etc.