Forgot your password?

You Can Become Better at Chess!

By Edited Jun 25, 2016 1 8

"How can I become better at chess?" This is the eternal question that almost every one playing chess is asking himself at one point. At the beginning, it is easy. Play a couple of games and the rules start getting clear. Play even more games and you start discovering some patterns.

But what then? What when playing more games does not help anymore? What to do when you are stuck at one point and do not manage to improve anymore?

1. Don't Panic

Improving your chess skills takes time. Chess is a fascinating game but also a complex one. Two similar positions may require two different approaches. In a given situation, you may need to go against the normal principles, ...


Also, don't underestimate your opponent just because you have studied chess and feel you should have become better than him. First, you need time to really assimilate what you are learning at chess. Then, your opponent may have studied too. And finally, you may simply be unlucky that a brillant sacrifice you have seen is not working because of something "stupid" at the end of it.

Don't panic, just keep practising and studying. It will eventually come.

2. Stop Blitzing All Day

Blitz games (online, against friends or against the PC) are fun and help developping your tactical skills. You will especially become good at setting up traps and avoiding the ones of your opponents.

They can also help checking your opening preparation. If you lose all your games with a given opening, then, it may be time to take a better look at it or to change to another one.

But playing blitz games does not help you improve your strategical understanding of the game. What to do in a quiet position? Where to put your pieces? How to take the most of the imbalances in a given position? 

In Blitz, you will NOT have the time for such considerations (at least, not deeply), and you will therefore not get any better on this level. I have recommended 3 chess books here that can help with this particular issue.

3. Start Analyzing Your Games

You don't need to analyse every single game you play. If you try to do so, you may end up getting bored of it and not analyze anything at all.

But try to analyze some of them, both the ones you won and the ones you lost. Why the ones you won? Because you may have made a mistake that your opponent did not see. Or maybe you won with a sacrifice which was not correct. Having a look at your won games can also teach you a lot.

Why the lost ones? Because you have probably made some mistakes. Even if it was a stupid one, could it be that you made it because you were under pressure already? How did your opponent manage to seize the initiative? Again, you can learn many things there.

To take the most of it, you should try to play long games or at most rapid games so that you can remember what was going through your mind when you were playing them. Also, try to play against opponents that are a bit better than you and against several opponents (so that you can experience different play styles).

Fritz 13 - Chess Playing and Analysis Program
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Jun 25, 2016)
The program I use to analyze games. You can also use the free chessbase light software but I believe Fritz is worth it with its database, opening books, etc...

4. Study Masters Games

This will not only improve your play but it will also give you a lot of satisfaction. Going through these jewels from the past, these incredible games and duels can be amazing.

Don't be afraid to look around, some players may better suit you in terms of play style or openings and you may appreciate some authors more than others. 

5. Don't Give Up

Many chess players give up studying chess because they are desperate. Their rating is stagnating despite their efforts, they don't feel they are improving, etc...

But don't focus on your rating, don't be too demanding on your results, simply have some fun playing games (and not only blitz), analysing them, studying others' games and I promise you, you will improve.

At least, more than if you give up.



May 22, 2013 10:50am
Very true about blitz games and investing time
Jun 23, 2013 2:31pm
Nice article.
Jun 24, 2013 12:55pm
Congrats on the feature! Really nice article. My dad plays on the computer a lot. It's to keep his brain active more than anything else so I won't mention "blitzing" to him. :) I play on occasion, but find that I have a hard time settling down so that I can really pay attention. Therefore it ends up being something I do when on vacation...but then no one else wants to play. :) Thumbs up!
Jun 24, 2013 3:39pm
Thanks for your comment. Blitz is definitively good to practice and fun to play. The problem is that you will reach a barrier by only playing blitz. Your play will get more and more "trap"-oriented (more than strategically sound) and you will stop improving at one point. I strongly believe that to get better at chess, you need at least to analyze games (yours or masters). Paying attention is effectively a challenge after a hard day at work or during the weekend (or holiday) when you simply want to chill out...
Jun 24, 2013 5:41pm
I love the pictures you inserted in your article. Like many activities, it takes years to master Chess and you do a great job of explaining how a player can do so. Patience and practice are definintely a virtue. Great job!
Jun 25, 2013 1:38pm
Thanks for your comment! Glad you enjoyed this article. I agree that many activities (if not all) require years of practice to master.
Jun 25, 2013 11:36am
I enjoyed the article and have great admiration for those who play chess well. I have tried chess several times; it is definitely a game I would enjoy learning, but I fear I do not have the patience. I have great difficulty in strategizing and trying to figure out what my opponent will do. Indeed, I get beat quite easily.
Jun 25, 2013 1:40pm
I believe practice will help you and even if it takes effort to improve I find it worth it as it is so nice to understand the game better (why this move is wrong even if it does not lose, why this piece is better placed there even if this does not secure the victory immediately, etc...).
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Entertainment