10 Tips for Becoming a More Productive Chess Player

10 Tips for Becoming a More Productive Chess Player

Many chess players complain that they don’t have enough time to work on chess and play chess because of their other responsibilities such as school, work, family, relationship and so on. In fact, the time constraint is the number one factor that prevents most adult players from improving their game.

Is it possible to work on chess more efficiently and to get the results you want by spending less time? If you want to know how this article is for you.

1. Have a study plan

It sounds simple, but surprisingly most chess players don’t have one. They work on chess “in general”, without following any specific guideline and expect to see the results. It does not work like that. You have to have a study plan, you have to plan your improvement before it actually happens.

2. Use short study sessions

Many chess players make a big mistake of having a single, long training session, on weekly basis. You can achieve much more if you split that 4-5 hour long session into multiple shorter, 1-hour sessions. By doing that you will make sure that your brain thinks about the game and tackles problems 4-5 times per week, instead of just once.

3. Pick the most efficient training time

All chess players are different. For some, 7 am in the morning is the most effective time to work on tasks that require a lot of brain power. For others, it is an early afternoon or even the evening hours. Whatever your most efficient training time maybe, you should try to schedule your chess training around these hours. That will guarantee a boost of productivity and will save you a lot of time.

4. Don’t be afraid to seek advice

You should realize and agree that all of your chess knowledge, talent and playing ability brought you to a certain number that measures your chess performance – your current Elo rating. That means if you are 1200 or 1500 rated you don’t have chess thinking on par with 2500 rated players.

Therefore, if you want to change that and increase your Elo, you should not hesitate to ask a stronger player for an advice. Even a couple of words of the right advice can make all the difference in your chess.

5. Build chess habits

We have already talked about the importance of working on chess in short study sessions, instead of a single long one. That is also important to build a habit of working on chess, and that cannot be done without a constant reinforcement.

This is a similar concept to jogging every morning or going to the gym 3 times a week. At first, it is very hard to force yourself to jog or workout, and you have to push yourself to get it done. However, after some time a habit is formed and you do it automatically, without thinking, similarly to brushing your teeth every morning or driving a car.

Our 21 Days Chess Training Program is a great tool to build a right training habit. Learn how.

6. Have dedicated rest days

In order to work on chess more efficiently, keep making progress a week after week and don’t get “burned out” you need to have the rest days, to completely take your mind off the game. I suggest having rest days scheduled strategically in your training routine. This is a much better approach than taking the days off randomly when you simply don’t feel like working on chess. That reinforces laziness, not training habits.

7. Stay positive

Any training is not easy, chess is no exception. If it was easy, everyone would be a Grandmaster. You should remain positive, and take your defeats as a learning experience.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, it matters how many times you get back up.” – Unknown.

8. Drink Water

Most people, including chess players, do not drink enough water during training and playing. Drinking more water will give you energy to go through your training, will keep you healthy and more focused on your task.

9. Set realistic goals

Setting a goal is extremely important part of any training, it will keep you more focused and motivated. However, setting your goal unrealistically high is not a good idea, because it will lead to a guaranteed failure.

In other words, if you are a 1400 rated player right now, do not set a goal of becoming a GM a year later. Set a more realistic goal of let’s say picking up 300 – 400 points and go from there.

You don’t start running a full marathon on day 1 of training. The first task should be to run a mile, then 2 miles and so on. Start somewhere and work your way to the top in baby steps.

If you want to improve your chess level, you need to have a clear study plan. If you aim for a dramatic improvement at chess you need to work on all of the elements of the game in a systematic way:

  • tactics
  • positional play
  • attacking skills
  • endgame technique
  • classical games analysis
  • psychological preparation
  • and much more

That seems to be like a lot of things, and that is. But no worries, we have made it easy for you. Our comprehensive training course covers it all and much more. Sign up for 21 Day Training right now!

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Updated 01.07.2024