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  1. 02 Dec '12 20:30
    What are good ways to improve chess ability?
    I'm not keen on poring over other players' games in the newspaper or elsewhere, just after some "spot techniques" and general tips to help myself become a stronger player, such as helping with concentration and figuring out how your opponent will probably move to think ahead, good practices in games and so on.
    These are some of the basic general rules I gleaned as a boy:
    Aim for good development into the centre during the opening.
    Castle early.
    Keep the queen back until the board has opened up.
    Bishops are better later, knights earlier.
    Get rooks onto open files.
    Piece values: pawn =1, knight/bishop=3, rook=5, Q=8
    Look for knight forks (and other forks), discovered attacks, double checks, smothered mates, back rank mates.
    Force exchanges when you are ahead on material.
    Avoid isolated pawns and doubled pawns, and try to get supported passed pawns.
    Be aware of the en passant rule.
    Do not drink and play (I worked this one out later).
    Even when your opponent is clearly a novice or just a poor player, don't get over confident and abandon caution.

    If anyone feels like giving more advanced/focused tips, they'll be gratefully received.
  2. 02 Dec '12 20:41
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    What are good ways to improve chess ability?
    I'm not keen on poring over other players' games in the newspaper or elsewhere, just after some "spot techniques" and general tips to help myself become a stronger player, such as helping with concentration and figuring out how your opponent will probably move to think ahead, good practices in games and s ...[text shortened]...

    If anyone feels like giving more advanced/focused tips, they'll be gratefully received.
    dude, analyse your own games, this is the single most important factor in my opinion.
  3. 02 Dec '12 20:48
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    dude, analyse your own games, this is the single most important factor in my opinion.
    Thanks for that, robbie. I'm sure that's a great strategy, but I find it too boring to contemplate. I wonder if there are things I can do which are seemingly unconnected, like, for example, solve quadratic equations, which might boost my abilities.
  4. 02 Dec '12 21:03
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    Thanks for that, robbie. I'm sure that's a great strategy, but I find it too boring to contemplate. I wonder if there are things I can do which are seemingly unconnected, like, for example, solve quadratic equations, which might boost my abilities.
    There is no substitute for it my friend, unless we identify our weaknesses how are we
    supposed to eradicate them, no you cannot do something similar, chess is learned to an
    extent subliminally, its not like mathematics.
  5. 02 Dec '12 21:09
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    There is no substitute for it my friend, unless we identify our weaknesses how are we
    supposed to eradicate them, no you cannot do something similar, chess is learned to an
    extent subliminally, its not like mathematics.
    I suppose I would hope that if I improved my ability to recall, concentrate, visualise and think logically, analysis could be done "on the fly" by recalling past games during present play. Granted, it would still be analysis of a sort, just not in the conventional sense of taking time out to pore over past positions.
  6. 02 Dec '12 21:10
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    What are good ways to improve chess ability?
    I'm not keen on poring over other players' games in the newspaper or elsewhere, just after some "spot techniques" and general tips to help myself become a stronger player, such as helping with concentration and figuring out how your opponent will probably move to think ahead, good practices in games and s ...[text shortened]...

    If anyone feels like giving more advanced/focused tips, they'll be gratefully received.
    I recently read "Magnificent Mind at any Age" by Dr Daniel G. Amen

    In it he says that chess is less good than has been supposed for good brain health and mental dexterity recommending table tennis instead.

    You read it here first!

    Other than that Robbie is right, you have to start where you are - not where anyone else is.
  7. Subscriber venda
    Dave
    02 Dec '12 21:23
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    I suppose I would hope that if I improved my ability to recall, concentrate, visualise and think logically, analysis could be done "on the fly" by recalling past games during present play. Granted, it would still be analysis of a sort, just not in the conventional sense of taking time out to pore over past positions.
    If you watch the grandmaster games online -such as the London 2012 chess classic which is going on at the moment(just google it and watch Andrew Martins game of the day),you will hear lots of things like "In 1965 chesssky offsky played such and such in this position but that doesn't really help the likes of us.
    You may pick up a few tips , but there's no substitute for practice and experience.
    Lose a few games by making silly mistakes and you'll soon learn to play better!!
  8. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    02 Dec '12 21:58
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    What are good ways to improve chess ability?
    I'm not keen on poring over other players' games in the newspaper or elsewhere, just after some "spot techniques" and general tips to help myself become a stronger player, such as helping with concentration and figuring out how your opponent will probably move to think ahead, good practices in games and s ...[text shortened]...

    If anyone feels like giving more advanced/focused tips, they'll be gratefully received.
    Anyone sub 2100, 80% of your time should be spent on tactics training. Most, if not all games played under 2100 are won or lost on tactical calculation/miscalculation.

    www.chesstempo.com
  9. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    02 Dec '12 22:04
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    Thanks for that, robbie. I'm sure that's a great strategy, but I find it too boring to contemplate. I wonder if there are things I can do which are seemingly unconnected, like, for example, solve quadratic equations, which might boost my abilities.
    I found that playing 'mine sweeper' actually helped my chess calculation. That said, there is no substitute for directed chess training using real game positions.
  10. 02 Dec '12 22:36
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    Anyone sub 2100, 80% of your time should be spent on tactics training. Most, if not all games played under 2100 are won or lost on tactical calculation/miscalculation.

    www.chesstempo.com
    I was following a live game on chess.com yesterday, its was a 2500 rated player v a
    2400 rated player and was like watching two 1600 rated players playing blitz. white
    sacked two pawns for an attack, it became sharp and tactical, the attack was refuted
    and white was busted, boring as anything.
  11. 02 Dec '12 22:47
    Originally posted by Marinkatomb
    Anyone sub 2100, 80% of your time should be spent on tactics training. Most, if not all games played under 2100 are won or lost on tactical calculation/miscalculation.

    www.chesstempo.com
    Thanks, Marinkatomb. That site looks amazing. Re minesweeper, I'll have to fire up Windows XP some time for a retro gaming session. It was the one game on XP I used to play, but I got fed up with the UI after a while.
  12. 02 Dec '12 22:58 / 1 edit
    ask this guy how he improved

    User 481769

  13. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    03 Dec '12 01:13
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I was following a live game on chess.com yesterday, its was a 2500 rated player v a
    2400 rated player and was like watching two 1600 rated players playing blitz. white
    sacked two pawns for an attack, it became sharp and tactical, the attack was refuted
    and white was busted, boring as anything.
    Chess.com has a weird way of calculating ratings. I reached 2150 at bullet on there which is a massive rating for me, way too high. I was regularly beating 22/2300 players, i never beat players with that sort of grade anywhere else. If you play people 300 point higher than you and win 1 in 10 games your grade can get really inflated really fast!
  14. 03 Dec '12 01:30
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    ask this guy how he improved

    User 481769

    [pgn][Event "Open invite"] [Site "http://www.timeforchess.com"] [Date "2012.05.19"] [EndDate "2012.06.04"] [Round "?"] [White "freeztyles"] [Black "bralen"] [WhiteRating "1354"] [BlackRating "1994"] [WhiteElo "1354"] [BlackElo "1994"] [Result "1-0"] [GameId "9286586"] 1. g3 e5 2. Bf1g2 Ng8f6 3. c ...[text shortened]... xe4 Re7xe4 25. Ra1d1 Rd3xd1 26. Rf1xd1 Na5c6 27. Rd1d7 Nc6a5 1-0[/pgn]
    White "tim88"]
    [Black "bundy66"]
    [WhiteRating "1223"]
    [BlackRating "1643

  15. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    03 Dec '12 01:38
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    ask this guy how he improved

    User 481769

    [pgn][Event "Open invite"] [Site "http://www.timeforchess.com"] [Date "2012.05.19"] [EndDate "2012.06.04"] [Round "?"] [White "freeztyles"] [Black "bralen"] [WhiteRating "1354"] [BlackRating "1994"] [WhiteElo "1354"] [BlackElo "1994"] [Result "1-0"] [GameId "9286586"] 1. g3 e5 2. Bf1g2 Ng8f6 3. c ...[text shortened]... xe4 Re7xe4 25. Ra1d1 Rd3xd1 26. Rf1xd1 Na5c6 27. Rd1d7 Nc6a5 1-0[/pgn]
    I think I can answer this. He stopped "winging it" and decided to get more serious about the game, and aimed to (as much as possible) eliminate the simple one- and two-move blunders common to careless chess.

    I have known him since childhood, and he has the intellect to be a GM if he weren't so busy flying around the country as a high-priced attorney. He is one of those guys that has the gift for recall and calculation at a level I can only dream of.

    I have been busting on him for years to step up, and he finally decided to do so.

    Greenpawn34 has spelled out the "raise your rating to the 2000 level on RHP" method multiple times here in the forum, but not many people pay enough attention to it.