Many chess players are totally unclear about how to improve at chess. They think that there is some sort of secret formula that allows others to excel at chess picking up 100s of elo points in no time. I don’t want to disappoint you, there is no such secret formula out there… But, there are ways to improve. I can tell you more, there are effective ways to improve that will work for you. If you want to improve, you should read on and learn about these 5 simple steps that will allow you to succeed at the game you love.
Step 1. Set a goal
Having a goal is very important if you want to improve at chess. Whatever your goal maybe, make sure to write it on a piece of paper and put in place where you can see it on daily basis. A written goal is far more powerful motivator than the one you keep in your head. By simply writing your goal down, you will significantly improve your chances of success.
If you want to take this a step further, you should also write down why this goal is important to you and why you will be able to achieve it. Keep in mind, you need to set realistic goals, and you should believe in yourself. Don’t forget that a goal without a deadline is a dream. Set a strict deadlines for your goals, to keep yourself in track. For example, “I will gain 200 elo points in 4 months” is a valid goal. “I will become a Grandmaster” is a dream.
“Life has no limitations, except the ones you make” – Les Brown.
Step 2. Plan your training
After you have set your goal, you need to find a way to achieve it. It is pretty obvious that by simply playing online blitz you won’t be able to become an over-the-board master. Therefore, if you are 1000-2100 rated and want to pick up 200-300 points in the near future you need to have a precise training plan. On that level it is best to focus on the most important parts of the game:
– Positional Understanding
– Attacking Technique
– Endgame Knowledge
– Opening Preparation
There are many different ways to plan your training:
– You can do everything individually, solely relying on the books.
Whatever method you choose is up to you. Which method is the best is beyond the scope of this article. If you are having hard time deciding what training approach is appropriate for you, read this article.
Step 3. Play up
Most chess players want to improve their game. Yet, they don’t realize that the only way to improve is to study chess and to apply that knowledge in real games.
Another important aspect of chess training that many players miss is that in order to improve, you must play up. That means if you want to reach 1500, you need to play against 1500s. If you want to reach 2000, you need to play against 2000s. Don’t think that you can reach 2000 by beating those 1400-1500s dozens of times in a row. It is not the way to go.
Let me clarify one thing. If you are currently 1200 rated, and want to reach 2000, it does not mean that you need to play against 2000s right away. First, you need to start winning against 1400s, then 1600s, 1800s, etc. You need to move up step-by-step, avoiding leaps. Systematic way is the only way.
Step 4. Analyze your games
After having the goal, planning your training and playing up, you need to spend enough time analyzing your own games. Without critically looking at your own successes and failures it is not possible to make good judgement and to see what do you need to work on the most.
You should build a habit to thoroughly analyze all of you serious games. Many chess players feel skeptical about analyzing lost games, but are very happy to show off their wins. The truth is, we learn the most from our failures and lost games. These are the priceless lessons that if used correctly allow us to improve much more rapidly. To keep it simple, analyze all of your serious games and you will make a big step forward.
Step 5. Don’t give up
No one has become a champion by resigning. No one has become a winner by quitting. Keep these two things in mind; believe in yourself, follow your plan and you will achieve your goals.
If something does not work out the way you’d like, alter your training, change sparring partner, and see how that works. Making changes will change your game.
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:
- 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!