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  1. 18 Jun '12 21:17
    I am 15 years old. I've been playing chess for about ten years. I would like to reach a master level one day. I only read books in my spare time, but I'm not always sure what I should be studying to further improve my game. Please give me some advice.
  2. 18 Jun '12 22:10
    Maybe join an OTB Chess club - find some strong players and ask if you can go over some of your games (wins and losses)?
  3. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    18 Jun '12 22:19 / 1 edit
    What Ploppy said. Play over the board against stronger players. Record your games, ask our opponent to go over the game with you after it's over. This IMO is a key to learning how the other guy thinks.
    Play games against 2000+ players here also.
  4. 18 Jun '12 23:46
    The advice about joining a club is best.
    If it's a good club there will be times when you will pick up more much
    in one evening that you would after a month of monk like study.
  5. 19 Jun '12 01:53
    Thank you guys! Hey, Greenpawn, I read your blogs all the time. They are very enjoyable. Would you mind looking over one of my games in your free time and letting me know what you think of my play? It would be a great help!
  6. 19 Jun '12 03:09 / 3 edits
    Hi sedilia
    I wish I had a penny for everytime I've been asked that.
    I never have the time to do it seriously and properly.
    Anyway face to face is better. My answer is always the same.

    Post a game you are not sure of, there are plenty of good players on here
    who give good advice.

    But I did have a quick look.
    Nothing drastic stood out on the few I looked at, you are OK.
    Get some OTB games in. They are the one that count. Post those.

    In your recent game on here v Sigmund Freud

    Here as White...


    ...you played 19.Ke2. 🙁

    OK you won but the games on here mean nothing. Experiment,
    shoot for the stars, let the mind go, have fun.
    You must have seen a double Rook sac in the games you have been looking at.
    As I said in another thread, this is not a GM only trick.

  7. 19 Jun '12 09:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    The advice about joining a club is best.
    If it's a good club there will be times when you will pick up more much
    in one evening that you would after a month of monk like study.
    i have always wondered about this, how is a chess club likely to help you? We make
    our own decisions at the board based on our own evaluations with our minds, how can
    a club help us with that? This is not a 'dig', at you GP, i really have wondered about it
    to be honest.
  8. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    19 Jun '12 13:28
    At a club you can be exposed to a diverse range of opinions, and feedback over a game or position can be had any time- chess players are very generous when sharing their opinions.

    At my club, sometimes someone will bring in an interesting game, and we will all gather round and discuss it move by move. We've made it a learning point recently that we do not touch the pieces when discussing variations, and we talk it through in our heads, even if it means pointing to squares and pieces for newer players.

    This also works for positions- if someone is playing through a book and has a game or position they do not understand, they bring it in to have the club elaborate on the book's point, or simply explain what is going on if the book does not. There is a limit to how much a writer can add, and a club can be a great contributor.

    Personally, I think it also makes going to tournaments more fun. It means I have a bunch of chess friends to hang out with between rounds and discuss what's going on with the tournament. I check on all my clubmates each round.

    And to paraphrase Spider Robinson, shared chess pain is lessened, and shared chess joy is increased, and a club is valuable on both accounts.
  9. 19 Jun '12 13:56
    Hi Robbie.

    Paul has answered you perfectly. Just speaking from personal experience.

    You meet in the flesh loads of people with the same interest as you.

    There will be players of varying strength to skittle against, trade ideas with.

    If you want to play net chess all the time then fine.
    But the real enjoyment comes from OTB play. At a club you get used to
    all the different styles, club noises, the atmosphere, the varying sizes
    and age of your opponent. It's a hot bed of learning the 1,000 things chess
    books cannot give you. OTB experience.

    All clubs have good players. They all love talking about chess.
    (especially if it's one of their wins.) But all I know will take time
    to go over a game you played.

    I don't know if you have ever had a good player look at a game face to face
    but it's a world of difference from reading posts.
    You can ask questions, get immediate answers and see in front of your
    eyes it acually happening. He can see your face to see it's sinking in, if
    not he can show different examples.

    Listening in to two good players analysing a game is also very beneficial.
    One small remark about a position, a throw away comment by a good player
    looking a position can make you look at the same position through different eyes.

    Yes we make our decisions, but joining a club broadens our horizons.

    As Paul said it's great having a bunch of lads looking at games.
    There is a club near you that plays in a league. League chess is great.
    We would decant to a pub after a match complete with set and go over each
    other's game. Some of these nights were fantastic.

    Join a club Robbie, it's the best piece of advice I can give anyone.
    I was a member of four at the same time so I could play in 4 different
    club championship and also play in a different league. Great days.
  10. 19 Jun '12 14:49
    Help you improve? gee! you're only 15 and have a rating above 1700... I wish I had that rating and I'm more than twice your age!
    I say worry about something else kid, your chess is better than most of us.
  11. 19 Jun '12 17:10
    Originally posted by sedilia
    I am 15 years old. I've been playing chess for about ten years. I would like to reach a master level one day. I only read books in my spare time, but I'm not always sure what I should be studying to further improve my game. Please give me some advice.
    don't join a club, they're full of egotistical idiots, do endgame studies, the more the better, then work on openings by your self, its the best way to learn, def. dont buy books on openings, they're rubbish too!
  12. 19 Jun '12 17:38
    Originally posted by fi092369
    Help you improve? gee! you're only 15 and have a rating above 1700... I wish I had that rating and I'm more than twice your age!
    I say worry about something else kid, your chess is better than most of us.
    You can always improve. Some players are grandmasters at 15, so 1700 at 15 is far from being the peak in someone's chess career.

    Also, 1700 on RHP doesn't mean 1700 OTB.
  13. 19 Jun '12 18:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by simonwells999
    don't join a club, they're full of egotistical idiots, do endgame studies, the more the better, then work on openings by your self, its the best way to learn, def. dont buy books on openings, they're rubbish too!
    wow, such controversy. Cant you just avoid the megalomaniacs? if they annoy you
    cant you just intimidate them somehow? I dunno, bite the head off their king and spit it
    out? cut your nails with a huge hunting knife between moves?
  14. 19 Jun '12 18:10
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi Robbie.

    Paul has answered you perfectly. Just speaking from personal experience.

    You meet in the flesh loads of people with the same interest as you.

    There will be players of varying strength to skittle against, trade ideas with.

    If you want to play net chess all the time then fine.
    But the real enjoyment comes from OTB play. At a club yo ...[text shortened]... play in 4 different
    club championship and also play in a different league. Great days.
    thanks GB, every Thursday i think about it, there is one that meets ten minutes from
    my home near Bishopbriggs, I looked at the Scotland leagues, East Dunbartonshire,
    they are not very good I think. Bearsden are better.
  15. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    19 Jun '12 19:49
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    i have always wondered about this, how is a chess club likely to help you? We make
    our own decisions at the board based on our own evaluations with our minds, how can
    a club help us with that? This is not a 'dig', at you GP, i really have wondered about it
    to be honest.
    At the chess club we play chess but we often go over our games after their concluded, unless the guy's a twat head, which explains your asking in the first place. 😛