How to get better at chess?

+70 votes
asked May 26, 2015 in Education by BillieStephe (370 points)
I am an amateur chess player. I love to play in local tournaments but I want to know how I can get better at chess so I can play in larger tournaments.

3 Answers

+22 votes
answered Aug 8, 2015 by GeriBlanchet (350 points)
I hope the answer is simple but it is not. There is really no shortcut if you want to be really good at chess. The only way to do that is to play lots of games and learn in the process. Do you think the famous GMs became chess wizards just by playing chess occasionally? No, they’ve been playing the game their whole lives. So my advice to you is go out and play every day. Play against players who are stronger than you. You may lose lots of games because of that, but you will also learn a lot.

Don’t be afraid to go against players who are rated higher than you. The only way to check your progress is by playing against better opponents. If you want to move up the ladder, then you have to beat those who are already ahead of you.
+2 votes
answered Sep 19, 2015 by JacklynGosse (220 points)

You need to study the basics. Chess is a very complicated game but lots of work have been put into breaking down each every facet that you can study every possible combinations that have ever been played. You can find some great books offering clear analysis and explanations regarding the phases of the game. For example, the Irving Chernev’s classic Logical Chess and Laszlo Polgar’s Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games. Read them and learn from them.

And don’t forget to practice what you have learned regularly. Play every chance you get. Only then you can test if you are applying what you have learned so far. It’s good that you are joining local tournaments because that will pit you against players who might be better than you.

commented Oct 26, 2015 by MindaKenyon (150 points)
Totally agree with you. Reading classic chess books is definitely THE answer to how to get better at chess!
0 votes
answered Jun 21, 2015 by RegenaCovent (150 points)
Computer software can help you get a lot better at chess. There is a great difference between playing against the computer and a human player. While human commit mistakes, computer software will follow exactly the way it is programmed. Playing against a fairly advance chess program will teach you solid basics of chess since the software will always follow the correct sequence of moves. It never commits mistakes so you have to play a fairly great game to beat it.

Another advantage of using computer software to study chess is that you can review every move if needed. It also allows you to play all you want and practice for as long as you like.
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