As easy as it may seem, chess is one of the most challenging and mind sharpening strategic games that you can play. It doesn’t matter what your level of expertise is, there is always room for improvement and ways to polish your skills. Professional chess players implement a variety of strategies and techniques to achieve this goal. While some obsessively study countless books, others choose the route of practical advancement by playing more adept players.
Every player is gifted with a unique style of playing chess. Below are some of the most popular methods for improving your chess skills. The benefits of becoming a more adept chess player don’t stop at the game, but can also sharpen your mind and improve your memory at the same time.
Take advice from the experts
There is no better way of improving your chess skills than by taking advice from people who have been where you are, made some or the same experiences and then went on to succeed. Having a teacher, or coach so to speak, is not only essential for sports, but absolutely crucial for chess as well. Next to strategies, professionals will also be able to give you an idea about developing the right mindset it takes to succeed in the game.
Practice, practice and practice again
“Practice makes perfect” and this is so true for the craft of chess. The game enables you to think outside the box. It teaches you to get out of what he might call “sticky situations” that might seem hopeless at first, but can be turned to your advantage if understood properly. The ability to see these patterns can only come with regular practice sessions. Especially when playing timed games, it is of great importance to acquire what we might call almost a “mechanical” understanding of the game. Other times there might be no time restrictions in place, giving you ample time to consider a variety of strategies. No matter what your approach, practice is essential for advancement.
Learn from your mistakes
Every student of chess is bound to make mistakes on a regular basis. This does not necessarily imply he lost the game, but could mean that due to some folly he prolonged it. Obviously these mistakes will only be visible retrospectively, so it is very important to fully understand your errors. As chess is a highly complex game and your mistake might have happened near the beginning of the game, this process can be very difficult as the game has to be reconstructed under different scenarios. Thus it is of great importance to set aside ample time for this process. What is important in the end is to learn from your mistakes and not repeat them. Also don’t be dissuaded by them and remember that many of the most adept chess players in the world made terrible mistakes at their beginnings. But they learned to move on and use them to their advantage and so will you. Arguably the more you practice, the more mistakes you make, the more learning opportunities you have, the better a chess player you will be.
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Don't misjudge your opponent
Even when playing someone less skilled than you at the game, always give it your very best shot. This is the only way you can improve your skills and coincidentally also avoid humiliation. But when ever possible, you should select an opponent just as or even better, more adept and experienced at the game than you. This is when you can really profit the most by learning their moves and the methods they use to counter your seemingly sophisticated attacks. Having the opportunity to beat an “authority” in the world of chess can be a greatly motivating factor. You will eventually start to imitate your opponent’s moves and thus progress in the game. And if it does turn out that you loose all games, don’t worry and look at it as an opportunity to grow.
Play professionally in tournaments
Especially in the beginning, winning should not be your main goal, as many people will then hesitate playing better players, those same players from whom they could learn most. Take part in national and international chess tournaments. Never play with a fear of loosing but a desire to develop your skills. Mingle with the best and learn from their experiences. These tournaments are a great opportunity to get to know people with similar interests to yours, namely improving their chess skills.