To whichever rating category you belong, your ultimate goal is to get better at chess. Isn’t it? Now, there are many helpful resources about chess out there, but you need to have a perfect roadmap and a solid blueprint in your mind in order to improve fast.
So today I am going to share that blueprint with you. Right at the first, I want to tell you that I am not a professional chess player but, I am a huge chess enthusiast. I play chess with my friends, read chess books and the only question that keeps coming to my mind is how to get better at chess.
I researched a lot on this topic and today I am going to share whatever I learned so far. Even if one idea from this article can help you in your chess improvement process then my goal is accomplished. To get the maximum benefit to continue reading till the end. Without further ado let’s start!
Here’s how you can get better at chess:
1. Identify the right content
There is a lot of content on the internet ranging from articles, books, YouTube videos, twitch, and many more. But the key is to filter the right one and stick to that.
The problem with the resources on the internet is they are not structured properly. This is not just with chess but with any other field. And this can overwhelm you and distract you from the right path.
Moreover, you may find professional and rated chess players giving tips for improvement but sometimes they are so obvious that aren’t helpful or are not necessary for you. Hence, it becomes very important for you to select the right content.
Now the point is how to identify which resources or content are good for you to improve. The answer to that is you have to look for content that is in the form of a lesson.
Look for the content in which the content creator has the intention to teach you something valuable.
The content which is for entertainment purposes will not gonna help you much. So considering these facts the chess books or youtube videos in which someone is trying to teach some important concept will be the right content.
If you are a beginner then you can also check out my free chess basics series in which I walk you through the process of how to play chess and its basic concepts from start to finish in different lessons.
You can follow a particular YouTube channel for your taste and then stick with it.
Remember that if you try to understand the same concepts from different people then you will surely get confused.
Sometimes we make things more complicated than they are. So always try to choose content that is clear, simple, and well organized.
2. Apply the knowledge in your game
Once you have identified the right content now it is time to actually apply all the knowledge in your games. You have to see what works and what doesn’t and then analyze your mistakes.
I know this all sounds like common advice but bear in mind that applying the knowledge and learning from the mistakes really helps you to improve your rating.
Now one thing I want to tell you that you may already know is, playing bullet chess will not help you much to get better at chess.
The reason for this is because in bullets the player doesn’t think a lot because of less time and depends mostly on intuition. Now to improve at chess you have to develop your thought process. But playing rapid chess games like bullets where you barely use your mind your thinking skills doesn’t develop much.
Moreover, since in bullets the time is always less, so you make moves that make your opponent think longer and eventually make blunders. But had that game be played with normal time controls then that strategy wouldn’t have worked.
Another thing I want to mention is whenever you play the game then just try to apply the knowledge you have gained from the content you are following.
Now I know it is not possible to learn everything and then apply it. So don’t get afraid of it. Just relax and recall the concepts and eventually, you will/ really see some improvement.
3. Analyze your game
After you have chosen the right content and applied the knowledge in your actual chess games. Now it is time to analyze your game.
One of the important things that you should do is turn off the chess engine.
Normally after you play a chess game on any famous online platform, you have the option to review it which is usually with the help of a chess engine (a computer program that analyses chess positions).
The program suggests the best move in the positions where you blundered and many other things. Now by doing this although you are reviewing your game you are not utilizing your brain in this process. You are not thinking about the moves by yourself which is necessary to improve your game and get better at it.
I know sometimes you might just want to skip the analyzing part and play another game but you should not skip it. So the noteworthy point while analyzing the game is to turn off the engine and guess the best move by yourself.
Your thought process should be like, what moves you could have made better, what if you tried a different move, what would have happened if your opponent had made a different move and like that…As you start thinking like this it will be much easier for you to spot the mistakes and correct them.
You can also recall whatever you have learned and see if you missed applying something so that you can do it next time.
After guessing the right moves, now you can turn on the engine and cross-check your answers. You can evaluate the moves using the engine and just see what happened right and what went wrong. You can analyze the report and make helpful changes in your playing strategy.
Thus eventually by self-analyzing, you will start seeing much improvement in your game.
4. Train yourself to solve chess puzzles
Now training yourself by solving chess puzzles is also important apart from analyzing especially if you are a beginner.
While playing a game many times it may happen that you are stuck with a piece and can’t get into a good position. Or maybe you are having the advantage but not able to convert it into a win.
In these situations, if you are able to find the tactics then it will be very helpful. And to be able to find tactics in real games you need to solve puzzles.
Puzzles are important because they allow you to work on particular concepts again and again. Let’s suppose that you want to learn a specific concept and so you play a series of games.
So just think how many times will that concept be actually used in any of those games. While on the other hand, in the case of puzzles you can select them as per your choice and practice them repeatedly and strengthen your concepts.
So that’s it! Hope you liked reading this article. If you found this article helpful then do share it with others.
Now if you are a serious chess player then I highly recommend you to check out my article on how to get FIDE rating in which I have explained the complete process from start to finish. It will really help you out building your chess career.
Thanks and Good luck!
How can I improve my chess skills?
To improve your chess skills first choose the right content in the form of chess books, youtube channels, or any other helpful resources. Then apply your knowledge by playing actual games, analyzing your games, rectifying your mistakes, solving puzzles and that’s it.
Why can’t I get better at chess?
This can be because you don’t have the right resources, strategies, or planning to improve your game or you may be expecting the results too early. Chess is a skill and like any other, it takes time to get better at it.
Can you get better at chess by just playing?
The short answer is yes but the long answer is no. By just playing you may develop intuition that will help you to improve. But to get better at chess you need to master all the areas and for that, you have to study many strategies and implement them in your actual game.