10 Expert Tips To Improve Your Chess Skills

Brad Robinson
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Improve Your Chess Skills

Play a lot of chess, get smarter with the information you are reading in manuals, and analyzing your own games (or games of other people).

Secondly, learn to minmate the minimum you can ask of yourself, in other words, learn to identify the characteristics of your game that you need to improve the most and then adjust your training accordingly.

Once you have identified those areas that require attention, then make it a point to give each of them specific attention every time you practice.

Also, every time you are playing a game, ask yourself for possible answers to those specifics characteristics that you have identified as needing attention, that will help you improve.

Thirdly, shield yourself with the knowledge of Chess Endgames, they are the backbone of all Chess games and it is very important to become an expert in them.

Fourthly, as far as playing chess itself is concerned try to focus on your opponent rather than the board. What I mean by this is to actually try to visualize the game the way your opponent sees it.

That way you can always have a commanding advantage over your opponent and their tactics will always be beatable.

Practice time management. Efficient time use is half the battle, so imagine each and every chess position as anything but a mechanically driven one. Use your time wisely.

Solve Tactics Every Day

Tactics are essential prep work for the battle of wits you have with your opponent in the later stages of the game.

Start solving tactics on a daily basis, understand them and attempt to solve them correctly before looking at the solution.

Abide by the following. Solve tactical problems to increase your speed.

Solve tactical problems to improve your pattern recognition.

Solve tactical problems to improve your accuracy.

Solve tactical problems to improve your visualization skills.

Solve tactical problems to improve your general knowledge of chess.

Solve Tactical Problems to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills

Solve tactical problems to increase your focus.

Practise Makes Perfect

When you are learning a new skill such as playing the piano or playing chess, you need to be sure that you have a natural aptitude. Read as many books on chess as you can, try out all the strategies you can find, and see which ones work for you.

When you feel you have found your natural chess style, you need to start going to tournaments, even if they're small ones.

The more you play against other people, the better you will get after every time you leave the tournament.

Find Your Style

It is important to be yourself when playing chess. In chess, the most important thing is your own style. You can only do what you know how to do best.

Players need to analyze their own games and note where they got into trouble, what they could have done better, and what is usually their best move and their worst move.

Ultimately, a player finds what his own best moves are and learns the best way they are executed.

Often players find that they are usually better, and more confident, in simpler endgames than in complicated middlegames, and that they tend to make better moves in positions where they are able to view the board from a bird's-eye view.

There are certain things that every player must do in order to gain a full understanding of his style. Such as learning the basic squares on the chess board, and learning how to maximize his potential in those areas.

In the same way, he learns where his most common weaknesses are and how to avoid them in the first place.

Play Competitive Chess

The best way to improve your chess skill is to challenge yourself to play games against more experienced chess players.

You can look for local chess clubs in your area, play chess online, or simply challenge your spouse or other family members to play chess with you.

Playing competitive chess will not only help keep your brain engaged, but playing stronger players will also polish your chess skills and your ability to analyze your opponent’s next move.

Study Grandmaster Games

Just like a boxer studying a fight on DVD, studying a professional chess game is an excellent way to improve your own game.

On the surface, you may not notice the grandmaster making any mistakes, but there is almost always something that you can learn from studying the game.

For instance, you may not notice that the grandmaster often develops pieces to specific squares, or that he or she often maneuvers through specific patterns.

Taking these and other ideas from grandmaster games, you can develop your own strategy and style as you improve your chess game.

Always Keep An Eye On Your Queen

Your queen is the most valuable piece on the board. If you lose your queen, you’re usually going to lose the game, so avoid exposing this piece to unnecessary danger.

When your opponent brings your queen into your territory, you should be sure to create a safe zone with your other pieces, specifically your knights.

Here are two examples of what I mean: ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬

Now, if you have a strengthening piece occupying the area of your queen, that¬s even better.

So keep an eye on your queen and try to strengthen the space that it is occupying.

Follow 20/40/40 Rule

Unlike a lot of games, chess is a game in which you think a lot, not a lot of board manipulation, which you need to bother about.

Chess is a game in which you have to think a lot because although you have 32 pieces on the board versus your opponent’s 16, only 6 pieces are engaged and paid to think (8 pawns and these two are occupied only if advanced).

Thinking a lot is possible only if you have sufficient time to think. You can have sufficient time to think only two ways, either by making your pieces move very fast or by slowing your opponent’s pieces down.

The trick is to master both. You should have some opening moves that are quick in moving pieces and some long moves used in middlegame when the game settled down and your opponent is taking time to accomplish his task.

The time you need to think is calculated thus: you have at least 10 minutes to think and make hopefully a move by every two minutes. This gives you enough time to make about 12 moves in 25 minutes.

Whatever, you should not let somebody make more than 10 moves in 25 minutes unless you are strong enough to beat them without making any moves.

Use Technology

Some of the best chess players have a wide range of tools they use to strategically analyze their chess games from an expert perspective. Technology can help you mature your play like a pro and gives you an extra edge in the game.

Players use programs like Fritz and a chess board layout on a computer screen and can analyze games while they play, saving them time in-between matches.

Fritz provides a deeper amount of data and insight than most human players giving you a serious advantage against your opponents.

This Video Shows Us Some Chess Tricks Using Fritz

On the iPhone and iPad chess app, you can use your smartphone to take a picture of a chess board and send it to your friends, giving them a look at the board without them knowing. It’s so easy to use and it’s much better than describing the board to your friend.

The app is called ChessViz and it’s like a strategy boardtable, you can place pieces in the right maneuvers about the board so you don’t forget the positional strategy. Negotiating through a whole match with this app is awesome, you can take as much time as you need about the board and nobody notices about it!

Find A Mentor

Chess can be very masterful and confusing. Whether you are a beginner or experienced chess gamer, you can’t go wrong once you have a mentor.

Someone who is willing to spare time to explain further your advances and flaws in chess is surely a perfect mentor.

A good mentor is the key to your success since they offer valuable insights and future perspectives of the game.

If you are wondering how to find a mentor, your friend, chess master, or even your co-employee can make you a good mentor.

Your mentor can be anyone. It doesn’t have to be the chess master. As long as the person knows about chess, he or she can become your mentor.

Don’t forget to thank your mentor for their time and support.

Remember To Have Fun

For a long time, chess was played in solitude.

You would play with a chess set at home. The only social chess play was your weekly club night.

Nowadays, chess has developed into a popular spectator sport. Competitions are held in large halls with big stages, screens, bright lights, and often big prizes.

What didn’t change, was the love for chess and it is something that all tournaments, both large and small, share.

When you are playing in a tournament… the first thing that you should always remember is:

You are there to enjoy the game, and to have fun. Without enjoying the game, the players will not perform in the best of their abilities and the game will become stale.

So never forget, chess is a game, first and foremost.

It is a team effort

Chess is essentially a team sport. This is because there are two sides that play against each other.

Even if you are the only person who plays an important role in the team, there is no such thing as a one man army.

I know it’s hard not to get carried away by your own brilliance, but it happens to all of us. So don’t worry if it happens to you.