Originally posted by Dem Ravenburg
Hi, I’m currently battling around the 1200 mark and have only been playing chess for about six months so a real beginner but I love the game and want to get a lot better.
For starters I have collected few chess book, two are problem collections and the other three are, batsfords modern chess opening, the art of the middle game(keres and kotov) and ...[text shortened]... k my study down, to ensure productive study and not neglecting vital areas of work?
sounds like the thing you're missing is tactics. start doing them every day, the more the better, but a steady diet is more important than the quantity. it's by far the most important thing for a beginner.
chessmaster is a great way to get the basics. after you're done with it, fritz is the most common choice for 'serious' engine analysis. it also has some database functionality and master games. -it doesn't really matter that much which engine you use though, all of them will do a good enough job on the only thing they're useful for, which is finding tactics you missed. - don't pay too much attention to engines though, it won't get you anywhere. a human can't think in terms of alpha-beta pruning of the search tree, so there's no point in trying. engines simply play very differently from humans, although you'll now doubt run into vast amount of (beginning) players who will debate that to death.
if you want to buy one more book, get chernev's "logical chess move by move". it'll teach you a lot
of the basics of chess. don't use excessive time on studying specific openings, it's pretty much time wasted until you stop dropping material in practically every game, which is gonna continue to 1600-1800. basic opening principles will get you a long
way with a tiny fraction of the study time.
getting better at chess requires huge amount of persistent work and self dicipline, over a long time. we are talking about years and decades rather than months. everyone who got anywhere has done the legwork. there are no shortcuts.
one more thing: memorizing
a thing in chess is only 1% of the work. it won't get you very far. the rest 99% is repeating that thing on a board, until you can't
get it wrong, no matter how drunk or tired you are.