Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 18 Jan '10 05:08
    I can't seem to get through the few chess books I've tried to read. I'm stuck in the 1200s and am especially weak in endgames, but I think I don't know what I don't know. Please recommend chess-teaching software. Thanks.
  2. 18 Jan '10 05:47
    Chessmaster grandmaster edition tutorial, you'll get to 1400 in no time
  3. 18 Jan '10 13:26
    Try not to go down the software path, there is a better and more fun way.

    You won't do any better than joining a chess club.
    And friends you make at chess tend to last a lifetime.

    http://www.seattlechess.org/
  4. 18 Jan '10 15:15
    Originally posted by rasmithwa
    I can't seem to get through the few chess books I've tried to read. I'm stuck in the 1200s and am especially weak in endgames, but I think I don't know what I don't know. Please recommend chess-teaching software. Thanks.
    Ask yourself why you want to move a piece before you move it, instead of telling yourself why you moved it. That alone took me to 1400. That and gp34 pointing out I wasn't using my rooks, that they just sat in the corners until the endgame. Bang 200 pts right there. 1200 rarely move rooks to useful positions early enough.
  5. 18 Jan '10 15:39
    absolutely agree with greenpawn. simple way to improve:-

    play
    lots
    of
    chess
  6. 18 Jan '10 16:01
    How about this game

    http://www.chessatwork.com/gameanalysis/boardhistory.php?gameid=6917607



    For move two, why not Nf3?
    If ...Nc6, you can still play D4 next and now if both the pawns and Knights are traded on D4 your queen will end up on D4 with no knight to push her off immediately next turn.

    On move 5, why c3? Yes you can threaten the bishop next turn but you are already two pieces behind in development. Even if you play all your queenside pawns forward to harass the bishop, black can just play a6 and hide it behind the pawn at a7 as he does in the game. Also now your knight can not go to c3. Nf3 would have helped to contest both the d4 and e5 squares.

    Then for move 8 you played f3 which gave his black bishop even more scope. It prevented you from castling kingside and eventually caused you to lose the exchange.

    Move 21, keep in mind that pinned pieces can move unless they are pinned to the king.

    Maybe you might like to look through some morphy games? He tends to develop his pieces faster than his opponents; which, in this game, is what your opponent did to you.
  7. 18 Jan '10 16:04
    "Chess Fundamentals" by Jose Capablance. It's a short book with lots of quick tips. Perfect for the beginner.
  8. 18 Jan '10 19:12
    Originally posted by Sam The Sham
    "Chess Fundamentals" by Jose Capablance. It's a short book with lots of quick tips. Perfect for the beginner.
    Actually, it's a weird book, many things in it are advanced and some are for beginners.
  9. 18 Jan '10 23:14
    Thanks for the thoughtful responses everyone. I appreciate them.
  10. 19 Jan '10 00:05
    I like the idea of a chess club. It really helps when someone can explain why things are good and tell you what you are doing wrong.

    You can think you know what you're doing wrong, but most of the time you don't. If you knew what you were doing wrong, then you could correct it and get better. But people don't correct things, so they try to fix the problem with the wrong fixes and don't improve much.
  11. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    19 Jan '10 16:23
    Originally posted by rasmithwa
    I can't seem to get through the few chess books I've tried to read. I'm stuck in the 1200s and am especially weak in endgames, but I think I don't know what I don't know. Please recommend chess-teaching software. Thanks.
    I grew up on ChessMaster 2100 [really old by now]. There were some good tutorials [like how to win King and Rook vs. King], but mainly I just played lots of games against it on the weakest difficulty levels, then increased the difficulty gradually as I started to win some games.

    Computers will teach you tactics. They will hit you with Knight forks, pins, etc. until you learn to guard against them, and even use the same tricks against the computer [on the easy difficulty settings, at least ... they don't fall for much on their strongest setting]. It's all about burning the patterns into your brain.
  12. 19 Jan '10 17:13
    I'm afraid ''playing chess'' isn't enough to improve. You actually have to study. I guarantee rja and greenpawn didn't reach their level without serious analysis and studying. I have many friends who has played chess every day for a couple of years and are stuck in the 1200-1300s and are not improving at all. You HAVE to study and analyze chess to get to the next level. Only playing is a pretty bad approach. Why learn something from experience over a thousand games when you can learn it in a few minutes from someone else' experience? The key is to find a good balance. Joining a chess club is not crucial, frankly I got to my level only with software and internet opponents. I've only been playing OTB tournaments since last month and I'm about the same level there as I am on the internet.

    My advice is to, at the very least, learn the first 4-5 moves of some openings and buy a chess engine to help you see your mistakes when you analyze your games afterward. Also, go find interesting chess videos on youtube and such. Furthermore, I said it many times, the chess courses in the latest chessmaster are amazing. I seriously gained an easy 200 points (1400-1600) in around two months with it and I felt I was playing a video game. Plus, a big part of the course is endgame theory, so it addresses your issues completely.