Things I Need To Do To Improve

1. Play less blitz games.

2. Be more willing to consider candidate moves that require a Queen sacrifice.

3. Be more vigilant towards tactical opportunities that involve a pinned piece (a king pin in particular).

4. Go over my games (especially losses).

5. Go over annotated master games (Tal & Alekhine come to mind).

6. Play stronger opponents, and then try to go over the game with them.

7. Learn how to deal with early bishop pins.

8. Stick with and master the openings I have selected for my repertoire (The Scotch Gambit as White, The Accelerated Dragon as Black against 1.e4, and the Nimzo-Indian against 1.d4) no matter my win record.

9. Improve my thought process, and try to use it on every move (play ‘real chess‘ 100% of the time).

10. Have fun.

Feel free to add your own list.

beginchess has written 144 articles

5 thoughts on “Things I Need To Do To Improve

  1. beginchess says:


    I like many beginning chess players get fixated with opening study, but Dan Heisman and many other noted chess teachers agree that at our level opening study should take a backseat to tactics, a consistent thought process and basic chess principles.

    At our level the openings we select are not as important as making sure you stick with them (even if you lose with them at the beginning) and learn them well. My selection criteria revolved around not having to learn too much theory, and having a good reference to learn the ideas behind the openings I selected.

    I do recommend the “Chess Openings for Black (White), Explained” by Lev Alburt, but just remember to focus on tactics above all things.

  2. Nice blog! Next sidebar update, I’ll have to add it.

    I tried out the ‘Chess Openings for Black’ book for a little while, but at my level (~1285 at ICC) those hypermodern openings were just too subtle for my tastes. They require a degree of positional sophistication that I do not possess. Hence, I decided to go with e5 and d5 in response to e4 and d4, respectively. This has an added benefit: almost all beginner opening books, which are heavy on useful explanation, focus on these openings. This offers more learning possiblities for the starting player.

    Within the e5 realm you have to be prepared for a lot of possiblities from white, which my coach thinks is great for me: I’ll learn to play in the context of many different pawn structures (Ruy, Scotch, Giuoco, etc).

    In response to d4, I recommend beginners against the QGA, as it also requires fairly advanced intuitions about how to defend when the opponent has the stronger center. For that reason, I am playing the QGD, but another good option is the Slav.

  3. C.T. says:

    I agree with you.

    I think that it is better to focus on endgames instead of on openings.
    In fact to understand some of the openings you have to be aware of some of the endgames and the rest is mostly related to tactics.
    It doesn’t matter to know the right move. You have to know how to win if someone doen’t play the right move.

  4. Moorthy says:

    All the best for the blog…

    I think spending some time daily for solving puzzles (other than chess) will be a good idea.

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