“The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply.” – Dennis Waitley
3 STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
Practice tactics! Tactics are basically chess puzzles you try to solve. Setting up tactics on a physical board is probably best, but online practice works if setting up a board is too inconvenient. Check out ChessTempo.com, or Lichess.org for daily puzzles, or check out one of the books available in my classroom. Building a habit of solving 3 to 5 tactics a day is a great start, and doesn't require too much time.
Learn your endgames! As long as you're not blundering pieces, most amateur games are lost at the end of the game. You should know the most common endgame scenarios for your playing level. Check out SimplifyChess.com for a list of endgames for every level. Focus on studying and practicing one endgame skill at a time until you're pretty confident with the concept, and remember to refresh your memory every once and a while to make sure you're keeping your skills fresh. Chessable.com is a good place to start if you want to automate your endgame practice with spaced repetition for maximum effect.
PLAY AND REVIEW GAMES
Play often, play a variety of people, and always review your games! Play over the board when you can, but online is better than not playing at all, and usually a lot easier, especially if you're looking for a variety of opponents. Playing a variety of opponents is helpful because every player has a style and his or her preferred openings, and this variety will give you experience with all sorts of playing styles, openings, and in-game tactics. Try to regularly play at least a few 15- or 20-minute games (or longer) a week if possible. Review your games afterward to spot strengths, weaknesses, and missed opportunities. This is the chess player's version of reviewing game footage.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu
Lichess (pronounced lee-chess) is a great place to play and learn chess. A free account is required for all members of the team. Lichess allows you to play unlimited games of chess with friends or strangers and gives you access to thousands of tactics puzzles, training lessons, and studies for free. You also get free access to hundreds of training videos to help you master the game. You can even download an app for your phone.
Check out www.lichess4545.com to join an online league and play regular matches each week on Lichess.
By implementing science-based learning strategies like spaced-repetition, interleaving, and gamification, Chessable.com teaches chess using online chess books. Pick from a large free and paid collection of digital chess books, and learn them online. They offer many chess books for intermediate players, beginners and advanced players, including books on chess strategy, chess openings, chess tactics and chess endgames!
TAKE YOUR SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Mastering endgames is essential to chess improvement. Check out SimplifyChess.com for endgame training at every level of the rating scale.
This instructive YouTube series walks you through the thought process of IM John Bartholomew as he plays against other players online. Listen and watch as he narrates his games, and get a peek inside the mind of a chess master as he takes you on a journey toward the top of the rating ladder. Check it out here!
This YouTube series will take you from beginner to winner in no time. The quote "Every chess master was once a beginner" by Irving Chernev is certainly true. Once you know the rules of chess, consider viewing this playlist in order to continually build your understanding of the game in a very simplified step by step manner. Check it out here!
Stock images by 2happy