Alberto Chueca, FIDE Trainer & International Master 
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Ways to dramatically improve at chess

Everyone wants to become better at what they are doing, in this case, improve at chess. Mastering chess should definitely be a journey, is quite an experience over the years.

There are many ways to improve at chess, and they can involve topics that you would never think of. Speaking about improving at chess is speaking about discipline, consistency, and mindsets along with the correct method for you.

First, we need to know where you will not find magic tricks to beat anyone right away. However, when you apply these keys to your game you will immediately feel different and more confident in front of the board.

Some of the tips we will mention you can apply right away, but some of them are in the long term. People usually want to improve at chess fast, but the things you invest time and effort on taste better in the end.

This article is meant for players at any level, from beginners to grandmasters, you can find some good information here. Based on my experience on how I became an International Masters, here are some keys to improve at chess.

Have a winner mindset

improve at chess child

The winner mindset is a characteristic of all grandmasters and good chess players of the world. Not to mention this is a necessary value in everyone’s life, not to give up.

Have you seen those grandmasters’ games in which one takes the advantage at the 22nd move? However, the other player doesn’t give up easily, and ends up flipping the hotcake into his favor and wins after 65 moves.

This is actually so important; chess psychology plays a fundamental role in the players’ motivation.

There is something called “psychological impact” on chess, which is an invisible, yet real advantage and this is key to improve at chess.

Have you ever experienced it? When your opponent makes a move that grants him a decisive advantage, how do you feel?

That sentiment is normal, we are not machines, however, as a chess player, you have to know how to control your emotions. We need to develop a strong mind to absorb these hits and use them in our favor.

The feeling of having a disadvantageous position is caused by the perception that the game is lost. But the game is never lost until is checkmate! You can play on it, that is your decision.

I don’t mean that you follow up a game in which you just have the king against a queen and rook. But always take your time to ask yourself if there isn’t really an alternative to keep yourself in the game.

You don’t know when there will be checkmate in 3, always be aware!

Analyze your games

improve at chess training

Analyzing your games is one important key to improve at chess, and is a practice even top-level players make. The benefits you can get out of analyzing and re-playing your lost games are amazing.

Most of the time you can identify your mistakes, calmly and slowly by looking at your games having the spectator’s perspective. When we are watching a game you see all of the good moves, but when you are playing is a lot harder!

This is not rare, I think every chess player in the world is like this, but the solution to improve at chess is this one, analyze games. When you lose a game, always analyze the game and ask yourself “why did I lose? Where is the mistake?”

And it doesn’t necessarily need to be your games, you can also analyze grandmaster games, and grasp the ideas there are. This is a common practice even for top-level players, you will note the difference and correct simple mistakes that you didn’t see before.

Toughen up your training

improve at chess child analyze

This is an important factor of the chess players’ training, it always has to be more and more challenging. By challenging I don’t mean uncomfortable, extremely difficult, or even boring, that’s a misconception people have.

By challenging a mean, you recognize your own chess level and act accordingly to your realistic perception as a chess player. To do this correctly, you have to know how to test yourself and identify how far you can get.

But, we need to know is that you will always improve, by default, if you train every day consistently, there is just one possible result: Improve at chess.

This is why you need to take into account, you will grow over time, and if you want to keep growing, your challenges have to grow with you to improve at chess.

You don’t want to be in a comfort zone, in which you feel good and are scared to come out. Try out the hardest of chess engines, try to beat it, at the end of the day, is not invincible.

Indifferently to the result, you will know if you are able or not to beat it yet, and you will lower the bar or not. Always adapt your training to your level, your chess level attached to your own perception.

Play tournaments!

GM Yasser Seirawan tournament

Definitely, the best way to improve at chess fast, practice, practice, and more practice, is the secret. Practice will make you a master, when you combine it with putting some goals you will be unstoppable.

Playing tournaments is also good for another reason, it’s super fun, remember improving at chess always has to be fun.

Playing in tournaments will surely give you a good approach to yourself as a chess player. Also, is a good way to test your strength against players all around the world.

Playing in tournaments will also give you some practical knowledge and skills that you can’t learn from books. Of course, the theory is important, but practice will always be more important, so be sure to have fun and challenging competitions to improve at chess.

You may also like:

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The Hybrid Chess’ Revolution!

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SHIV SHOME India
Alberto is giving me step by step guidance on how to progress in chess. Because of his strong repertoire and game analysis support I was able to get an initial rating of 2148. My sincere thanks to my mentor Alberto who constantly supports me in my game analysis and helps me strengthen my game before going to the next rounds. He has a huge database of knowledge that caters to the beginner up to the master level. Thank you, Alberto, for being there throughout my chess journey.
ARVIND VIDYARTHI USA
Vyom and Omya have been learning from Coach Alberto since they were USCF rated ~1500 & ~1000 respectively. Coach Alberto played a critical role in understanding Vyom’s weaknesses and helped him overcome them. He has been an exceptional chess coach with a lot of patience with my kids. He played an instrumental role in teaching them different openings for both black and white. He is always available to help/guide them. He helps to analyze the games and suggest good moves. Our kids are very comfortable with the teaching style of Coach Alberto. He being an active player also helps as he shares what he learns from his games and experience as well.