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Advice thread - Learning chess

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭ 17larsson


    What is the best way to learn chess?

    I'm mid thirties and have never played competitively but since watching it on Channel 4 back in the day with Carol Vorderman I've always loved it, and played it with family, but never delved deep into it.

    I know nothing about opening moves or any kind of tactics but I'd love to get to a level where I could go to a tournament and not completely embarrass myself. I know this would take years but how best to go about learning. One to one with a teacher? Books? Online lessons?
    Any suggestions would be much appreciated


Comments



  • Theres lots of free resources online to help you learn.

    I find youtube pretty good.

    When the clubs open back up you could join one. https://www.icu.ie/clubs

    practice on lichess.org with players around your own level.

    play lots of tactics puzzles, this will get you familiar with common patterns. https://lichess.org/training

    With a bit of effort it wont take long to get to tournament standard. There's usually different sections in tournaments depending on your strength so you wont be out of your depth.




  • Yeah, just jump in. Online in particular, there's always a level. Correspondence - where you've a couple of days to make a move if you want - would be better than blitz I'd say; it's less rushed. (Which isn't to rule out blitz entirely of course)

    At a beginner scale in particular, tactics are king. As L1m1tless says, any decent site - lichess, gameknot, chesstempo, chess.com - will have tens of thousands to try at various levels.

    If/when you start playing over the board games, analyse the games shortly afterwards - either with your opponent, a stronger clubmate, or a computer. You can read all the openings books you want, but looking at your own games is the best way to improve.

    It won't take years to get to tournament level. Derust online and you should be ready to enter the next weekender here (hopefully Jul/Aug pending vaccine rollout).

    Don't be too frustrated by mistakes or annoyed at defeats; it's all part of the game!




  • How much study time is needed to improve?

    For someone who plays casually with a 2000 rating in Lichess, how much work involved to get to 2100?




  • Some decent videos on youtube where IMs/GMs explain their thought process and theory as they play against lower ranked opponents.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ytkf3qZTj74&list=PLT1F2nOxLHOcmi_qi1BbY6axf5xLFEcit

    There's 69 videos there from a GM and they are extremely informative.

    Puzzles on chess.com are great too for learning about concepts such as forks and pins.




  • naraicjul wrote: »
    How much study time is needed to improve?

    For someone who plays casually with a 2000 rating in Lichess, how much work involved to get to 2100?
    It'll vary for everyone to be honest.

    On lichess, if you're playing blitz, a good run of form could get you up from 2000 to 2100, though holding it there is different of course.

    I went from a real-life rating of 1620 to 1840 in two years recently; a decent gain for a non-junior I think. :) I spent 60-90 minutes a week analysing my games with a computer (I play about 50 games a year); nothing else.


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  • Chess on Eurosport there tonight!
    I've started playing a few games on chess.com against the computer, it's amazing how obvious my mistakes are afterwards!




  • I should add to my previous post - for a beginner, make sure you know the basic checkmates (queen v king, rook v king, etc). You'll never win a game if you don't! There's plenty of YouTube videos showing them.

    On openings, just keep in mind the basic opening principles. Don't be too worried about learning opening theory to start off with; there's tonnes of it and it can be a daunting way to start.

    And don't play if the idea of losing to kids under 10 worries you!




  • Brilliant, thanks for all the replies. I'll look through all these options at the weekend




  • @cdeb, would it make some sense to update the sticky note with a name such as "Recommendations: learning links, playing apps, and other chess info" instead of "new in chess..".




  • Yeah, I think so - and I've linked this thread in so it's always accessible for others who want to ask similar questions.

    I might also go through that sticky thread and try tidy it up into one large post later as well.


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  • Get yourself familiar with the main and some sidelines of a White opening e.g. e4 and stick with that to keep yourself out of opening trouble. It is very easy to lose a game in the opening.

    Get yourself familiar with the main and some sidelines of responses to e4 and d4 (by far the majority of white openings you face at low level will be e4 in my experience with some e5 thrown in) when you are on the black side of the pieces.

    Do this and you will generally end up with a workable position going into the middle game, where ideas and tactics come into play which can be honed by doing puzzles among other things.

    Develop and implement a pre-move checklist, I just grabbed the first answer off the web, but ensuring you run through all these before moving will help immensely.
    Pre-Move Checklist:

    1. Make sure all your pieces are safe.

    2. Look for forcing move: Checks, captures, threats. You want to look at ALL forcing moves (even the bad ones) this will force you look at and see the entire board.

    3. If there are no forcing moves, you then want to remove any of your opponent’s pieces from your side of the board.

    4. If your opponent doesn’t have any of his pieces on your side of the board, then you want to improve the position of your least active piece.

    5. After each move by your opponent, ask yourself: "What is my opponent trying to do?"




  • 17larsson wrote: »
    What is the best way to learn chess?

    I'm mid thirties and have never played competitively but since watching it on Channel 4 back in the day with Carol Vorderman I've always loved it, and played it with family, but never delved deep into it.

    I know nothing about opening moves or any kind of tactics but I'd love to get to a level where I could go to a tournament and not completely embarrass myself. I know this would take years but how best to go about learning. One to one with a teacher? Books? Online lessons?
    Any suggestions would be much appreciated
    If you live in the Kildare area I do a lot of coaching from beginners to intermediate players. I am available for individual or group coaching.




  • @cdeb, would it make some sense to update the sticky note with a name such as "Recommendations: learning links, playing apps, and other chess info" instead of "new in chess..".
    New sticky added so. Post away in it with suggestions, but to keep it tidy, I'll try add suggestions to the main post and then delete all other posts.

    I'll also sticky the two advice threads (including this one) for casual posters who have any questions they want to ask.


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