Many chess players are dealing with the same issues that are preventing them from progressing. Many people are unsure about when and how to begin, who to learn from, where to find the best chess openings for beginners, and what to do and avoid. Some even believe that a miraculous drug exists that may help you obtain 500 ELO points in no time, with no effort required. Is there such a thing as a miraculous chess pill? Let’s have a look.
1. Get started right away
Many chess players are seeking for the ideal time to begin practicing their game. Every time they want to start, they make a list of reasons why now, today, or even this week is not the ideal moment. I need to study, I need to read that book, I need to tidy up, I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m too elderly, I’m too poor, I’m too hungry, etc., etc. You will never begin your chess training in this manner. Let me tell you that there will almost certainly never be a day in your life when you have 5 hours per day to devote to your chess.
That’s not good news. However, there is some good news. Why? Because you don’t have to wait until Monday, next month, or next year to start working on your game. Right now is the best time, and there will never be a better time. In fact, things are just going to become busier.
2. Planning is important, but you must still put in the effort
Do you know any chess players that spend weeks deciding how to begin their training, investigating which approaches work best, and researching which books to buy or not buy? I think that preparing is critical, and that working with appropriate materials may help you better your game.
However, if you explore different study techniques and books to the point of exhaustion, you will quickly forget why you are doing it in the first place. You want to get better at your game. That is the fundamental objective. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Some players become so preoccupied with learning how to study that they neglect to study chess. That’s something you don’t want to happen.
3. Take Advice From Those Who Have Done It Before You
Learn from those who put their knowledge into practice on a daily basis. Many chess “experts” do not play themselves and simply teach others how to play. They may have been a good player in the past but have since retired and are still coaching. These instructors usually offer a lot of advice on how to enhance one’s chess game, but they don’t comprehend the real-world issues that players experience on the board or even during training. They see a chess tournament as the perfect environment, ignoring stress, time constraints, a lack of attention, and weariness.
Learn from the doers, or those who apply their knowledge across the board, to avoid getting into problems. You don’t want to study boxing from someone who only understands how to box conceptually. If you do, you should expect a disaster in the first game. Chess is no exception. It’s a talent, not an encyclopedia of information.
4. Don’t Listen to Everyone’s Advice
There are many people who are prepared to give you chess advise everywhere you go. They’ll look you in the eyes and boldly tell you that you shouldn’t play that opening, but instead should play this and that. They’ll tell you that playing blitz will sharpen your instincts and turn you into a tactical master in no time.
They will provide you with a wealth of information, both good and negative. The issue is that you have no idea which one is which. It’s a good idea to at least listen to the counsel of the more experienced players. Take no advise from those who are 300 points lower rated than you. They aren’t qualified to provide that counsel. In reality, it is them who should be approaching you for advice.
Stronger players are less likely to rush about providing advise; those who lack confidence and are eager for attention are more likely to do so. In weightlifting, something similar happens. Those who are stronger and fitter are less likely to provide advise to others. For those who are less fit, however, the converse is true.
5. In chess, there is no such thing as a magic pill
Many chess players think that there is a specific magic pill that can turn anyone into a chess master, if not a grandmaster. That miraculous pill may come in the form of a secret training method or preparation strategy that increases your ELO by 500 points. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but such a thing does not exist. Effective training classes, wonderful chess books, and superb tutors are all available to assist you in becoming a far greater chess player. They can only show you the way; nevertheless, it is up to you to put in the effort. That is the only option.