Alberto Chueca, FIDE Trainer & International Master 
how to get better at chess board
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Learn how to get better at chess

Learning chess can be very obsessive for some people, I know it, I’ve been there but is great fun too. If you are passionate about chess just as I am it will be a great journey to master this beautiful sport/art/ science.

Remember, for improving effectively is necessary to be patient and consistent with your training. Before giving you my advice I have to tell you: Chess training always has to be fun.

So don’t overdo these tips, if you rush they will not be good for your chess and cause you frustration. Keep it fun so you will improve consistently while having fun remember after all chess is a game.

Mastering one sport or art is difficult, working hard and discipline are needed, yet, it is possible, I am going to give you five tips on how to get better at chess in fun ways.

  • Solve strategical and tactical problems

There are many patterns in chess and solving tactical and strategical problems helps you keep them in mind. For example the next position:

1 Qd5+! Kh8 2 Nf7+ Kg8 3 Nh6+ Kh8 4 Qg8+!! Rxg8 5 Nf7#

If you know the mating pattern to checkmate here winning should not be difficult for you. Here in Spain, we call this “El mate de la coz” and is so famous almost anyone should find the solution easily.

If you didn’t don’t feel bad over it, it doesn’t mean you’re horrible at chess, it just means you need to train your tactical vision with puzzles. Learn how to get better at chess with puzzles.

Important that you DON’T forget about strategy, a lot of players would train tactics and no more. The strategy is as essential as tactics in chess one should complete the other.

Strategy can be studied by learning concepts and then reinforce them with exercises or analyzing master’s games. You can see this study method very often in chess books or even online classes.

Here I’ll leave you with a puzzle, hope you succeed in finding the solution!

1… d6! Your weak pawn is gone now!

Remember all comes down to the quality of your study, look up “how to get better at chess with tactic and strategy puzzles.

  • Ask yourself: What has changed with my opponent’s last move

Understand how to get better at chess by asking yourself what is my opponent thinking about and how can I stop it.

how to get better at chess king
how to get better at chess king

Maybe you have a great positional understanding of the position, but it will crash down if you don’t pay attention to the threats. After your opponent moves a piece ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is he threatening something?
  2. What is the purpose of that move?
  3. What is he attacking/defending with that move?

You must not spend much time on this, it may sound a little annoying to do it but masters do it automatically. Asking yourself these questions will ensure you do not fall into a quick trap, mate, or positional difficulty.

You can also realize your opponent just left an unprotected square you can use to your advantage right away. Sometimes we get so focused on our plans that we forget about everything else in the world and we can lose opportunities.

Remember the chessboard has infinite possibilities so it’s good to have a plan, but is not necessary if there is an easier solution. The best way is the simplest!

  • Define a plan

plan in chess
 

It is common for beginners and even amateur players to make meaningless moves. This leads the player to be an automatic chess player, this is a key tip on how to get better at chess.

Strong moves are the ones with a clear purpose or objective in mind, this way your moves will come to life. The reason why we chess player considers moving a wooden piece like art is because of the ideas behind.

You are not just “moving a wooden piece”, you are creating ideas and painting a beautiful plan on the board. How to be better at chess? Create your own plans by understanding the position.

You can also study the typical plans on different openings, like the minor attack in the queen’s gambit declined exchange variation.

But don’t put yourself inside of a brain cell, don’t limit just to “know” the plan but understand the essence of this idea. This will give you good positional knowledge in general, this is an imperative chess skill called analytical thinking.

  • Spot your weaknesses

This is the whole point of how to get better at chess, analyze your games (especially the lost games) and catch the main ideas. Determinate where you need to improve for example:

“Oh, I lost because my opponent put pressure on my weak pawn but wait! This would not have happened if I hadn’t assumed a weakness on d6 by my previous move e5!”

Maybe you are very good at attacking positions but you don’t know how to play correctly with an isolated pawn. So the answer is easy, right? I have to study isolated pawn positions to learn how to play them properly.

This is a fantastic way to improve because you are taking the weak points of your technique and improving them.

To know how to get better at chess you need to know which part of your play you want to improve.

  • Read articles or watch videos

how to get better at chess pawn
 

At the beginning of this article, I said chess training has to be fun so you don’t perceive training as a boring study but as a fun game. Maybe reading books does not appeal to you.

If you don’t like books watch videos, read articles, go to a chess seminary, and play with friends, etcetera. There are many ways to train your chess.

You need to find how to get better at chess while spending a good time and having fun. Just try out different study methods until you find the best for you.

Also, it’s not bad to stop training now if you don’t feel like it, don’t push yourself so hard. You have to train but you always have to keep it fun so you always feel motivated to study.

You may also like:

Chess bishop maneuvering to beat your Rivals

4 Hacks to get better at Chess with the Reddit Chess Forum

8 Chess Fundamentals beneficial for your chess

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