Ways to strategically improve your chess

“Every chess master was once a beginner “according the prolific chess player and author Irving Chernev, with this, alot of chess players just conclude that they would definitely improve and be a master someday even without studying, solving exercises, playing tougher opponent’s, analysis of Grandmasters games and more…Irving Chernev with his passion and love for the sport has shown that with the necessary sacrifice, a beginner can attain success as he had the strength of a National Master despite being an Author…In this article, I will be revealing some methods through which a beginner or intermediate chess players can systematically develop their understanding of the game of chess.

1.  Self-Evaluation: The first step in improvement in any discipline involves self evaluation… Solving a problem can only begin with identifying the cause of the problem..For instance…A doctor who doesn’t evaluate his patient before administering any form of medical aid can be said to be pouring water into a basket as the cure or prevention to any problem can only be determined after proper evaluation. As a beginner, Self-Evaluation will require you to know your present state which then helps you to decide on how to go about your development in chess. Here a rating system is required to determine the current state of a player, since most beginners are not FIDE rated and online ratings cannot show the true state of a player due to several conditions one may face while playing online i.e Network issues, mis-clicks and more. The best way for a beginner to evaluate his state is through an elometer (www.elometer.net), here an estimate of your chess skills is provided based on your answers to specially selected chess problems…This will give an idea to the player on his current state and is the first step to be taken for those who seek true improvement.

2. Discovering your chess style: You might have heard or read about discovering your chess style numerous times, that’s because the importance of discovering your chess style as a chess player cannot be overemphasized as it is key in determining the strength of a player… enabling him to convert any game into what he finds more comfortable while also controlling the game effectively as he  definitely knows his strength. A chess player may have that attacking flare, counterattack’s or feel comfortable defending….Discovering what suits you best as a beginner is another way to start rapid improvement of your game.

3. Adopt a role model: Alot of players think a role model must be a Grand master, it’s ok to have a successful titled player as a role model as far as he/she possesses your preferred style of chess. Although looking up to the highest level of the sports for GM’s with unique chess styles or trademark helps you aim high as analysing their games and observing how they deal with complex situations shortens your learning curve and also influences your style of play for the better.

4.  Learn opening systems and endgames: Learning the major opening lines such as c4,e4 & d4 is crucial as they determine if you find the middle game easy or go into the end game but it is advisable to follow the simple principles of openings and focus on understanding the in-depth principles behind the endgame and how to tackle endgame problems from every position. The principles of opening requires every player to fight for advantage in space and development while also fighting for control of the center.

5. Learn how to think: Chess is a game that requires critical thinking and analysis that’s why beginners are advised to play less bullets and blitz as they require more of  speed than tactics…One should learn to think effectively as more player see thinking as just finding the next move rather than analysis of the variations which can arise from present a position..Thinking requires precise calculations which can be learnt by studying books written by seasoned chess players….Learn to think like a Grandmaster.

6.  Exercise and practice frequently: Practice makes perfect isn’t just a phrase but a law that governs the entire universe…One that practices daily is bound to achieve perfection…Chess players in a bid to improve should devote time for solving puzzles, playing games,analysing and all chess activities that ensures development. Also keeping the body fit through exercise helps, as the mind can only push past its limit with a healthy body.

7. Analyse your games: Finally, it is important to know that failure is when you stop trying..After every game it is important to analyse your games to know what you got wrong or where you played outstandingly….Failure doesn’t exist when you keep trying..at that point you’ll be simply testing various ways to succeed….A popular chess quote says ” Look where you slipped and not where you fell”. Analysing your games helps in increasing your foresight in future games to avoid pitfalls.

This seven tips are the path to development in chess…Remember that the key to success is always hard work as there are no shortcuts!