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How Good Are You At Chess?
Continuing the successful strategy on how to improve in chess I prepared another interesting quiz for you. From now on...
... you can perform this quiz and check your chess strength. Find it here.
There are a lot of common errors and mistake that taking place on beginner's games such as final killing blow, lack on tactical knowlege, endgame problems. For example they cannot find the winning move when they have the oportunity. They don't know a lot of a typical tactical motifs and this restrict their possibilities to claim an advantage. And of course they don't know the basic endgame ideas and in the most of the cases they are afraid to go into the endgame.
Does these errors look familiar to you?
If yes, then you are in the right place because I'm going to help you solve them. The most important thing is to understand any problem and after that it will be very easy to find the right solution. I'm giving great attention to student's mistake and for that reason I prepared a series of puzzles in order to find your chess strength. Do you know my special page on the website called "who are you"? You can find it easily, on trainer menu tab in the top, after that you can go on step 4 and then you can see all the puzzles. I suggest you to go through them in order to find how good are you in chess. Please note that you can jump directly there by clicking here.
Lack Of Organization
Before 2000 it was really hard to find good material on chess and it was even more difficult to improve yourself. Then the internet and computers start to play a more important role in our lives and consequently this helped chess as well. Nonetheless, the problem was the same, on how to improve; because you didn't had specifically training steps for each chess level.
Usually the coaches teach harder tasks than the students could handle as the result the majority stopped chess and felt totally unmotivated. Of course some of them moved forward, learn chess, become better players but the problem was the lack of the basic knowlege. You can easily learn 15 or 20 moves theory in any specific opening, but this knowledge will be useless if you don't know other important things. For example, it's more important to know how to calculate variations (see ahead), how to apply the correct thinking way, not losing your pieces (visualize the enemy moves), even how to play the endgame king + pawn against King.
Boost To Chess
I have taught chess from 2005 to many students in schools, chess clubs and private lessons. I used to have difficulties on how to organize the material in order to offer them the best way improving themselfs in chess. Thus, I have organized my material and restructure it accordingly. I try to find illustrative examples for different chess level.
Things started become better around 2010 when some websites start creating chess courses and strong players comment on big live events. It gave a big boost to chess community. Some chess series, a collections of books, have started to appear; as step method in chess by Cor van Wijgerden and Boost Your Chess by GM Artur Yusupov.
In 2013 I have worked on Remote Chess Academy as Affiliate program manager and little later as Translator manager; helping the company to translate some courses to Greek and other languages. In 2016 I have worked as Academy Manager, a very important positions. My responsibilty is to plan, check, and organize the future lessons. It's extremely intresting to me coorperating with title chess players and produce hight quality products; you may like to give a quick look at RCA website by ckicking here.
The common idea of all the above mentioned sources is the practical exercises after the theoritical lesson. This is something that you are not often see. The main reason for it, it's difficult! For example you can create video lesson with the two or three examples but in order to find illustrative games for the practical part it requires much more time. Please let me explain myself; in order to create a good practical part for the theoretical lesson you need approximately 10 examples. In order to find 10 good examples you need to search for 100 to 500 games!
The next problem is how to divide the lessons. I think the best way to do that is on how many moves ahead you need to foreseen ahead. Similarly, you need to learn the basics tactics first and then move forward to more complicated. You need to learn the basic checkmate pictures and after that stady how to attack.
Aforementioned series, Step Method and Boost Your Chess, have a good structure and the scaling program; something that rarely see in chess tutorials.
The main problem is that the Step Method is aiming to kids almost exclusively. The theoretical lessons are good for total beginners up to 1200-1300 ELO rating but not more. Some people believe that you can reach 2000 ELO strength after studying the method but this is nonsense.
This methods is not examine specific openings, not mentioning a unique thinking way, doesn't explain the common errors that a chess player could face to his career, and many lessons repeat it. Similarly, is not diving too much into the attack, and esencial ability for players. Plenty of strategic ideas are missing, that will help players to build their game from 1500 to 2000 ELO. Last but not least the method is very slow. This is a good thing for kids; trying to build up their strength year by year. On another hand, adults could be easily get bored...
Boost Your Chess
First things first, Yusupov managed to make a HUGE progress in his writing style. He used to work together with Dvoretsky; they wrote other books for chess training. Their chess training school manage to create plenty of strong Grandmasters and no one can argue against it. However, their books have extremely difficult and complicated examples comparing the theoritical knowlege. For example, they wrote something in theory with dificulty approximately to 3 level. Then they added some questions-examples with the difficulty of 10 level!
One friend of mine, who readed all of their books, ask me to go for coffee and chess in order to analyze some games. He's a stronger player than me and you might think that I'm very lucky to have someone giving me tips for free, right? Not at all! He's usually ask me to find some extremely difficult computer moves, so I try to avoid this free training... But in general he is a great guy; when he is not talking for chess. :D
Coming back to Yusupov, he manage to made a great improvement in his teaching style. The level on theory and practical examples are approximately the same right now. However, the dificulty of the books maight furstrated some people and make them stop chess. Similalry, the difficulty made it prohibitive for a child.
His first lessons in the book was about mating motives. I tried to solve the exersises, I'm a 1900 ELO player, I need to think hard about them. Finaly, I manage to solve them. The other negative point is that he covered all of the maiting motives only in 2 chapters and 10 pages.
Another point, in my opinion, is that the theoritical lessons are small; they could be explained better.
Please don't misanderstand my harsh criticism; I do like and appreciate both of that chess series. We use the Step Method on the chess club DIAS Petroupolis, the best and bigger Greece club. Similalry, I use occasionaly Boost Your Chess books on my private training lessons. The conclusions is that I like both of them, Step Method and Boost Your Chess, but I belive that I can improve then.
The Perfect Solution For You
For that reason I create my Training Program; this could be the perfect solution for you. I divided my Training Program to levels. I strongly believe with the correct training program an averange person (not only the super talented kids or adults) can grow up his strength for 100 ELO points per year. In order to do that he needs to spend approximately 2 hours per week and study approximately for 8 - 9 months. You can have your own job, other social activities, but definitely you can spend approximately 1 hour during the week to see some theoretical lessons and another 1 hour in order to perrm some tests, the homework, related to the theoritical lessons. Please notice that I said 8 - 9 months because we have some Critsmas - Easter and Summer holidays. Please also notice, if you have more passion and study more then you can prove faster.
The Begginer 1100 Training Structure
In this article I'm talking about the training program "Beginner 1100" in which you can learn all the mating motives seperatly with exersises. Plenty of endgames, as king + pawn vs king, rook vs knight, rook vs bishop, etc. Many players in this level make typical mistakes. I explained them to you and atfer that you'll stop making them. Of course we're going to take a look at some common opening mistakes and after the lessons definatly you're going to eliminate them from your games. Last but not least we're going to talk about visualization; an extremely important technique that will help you to calculate better and not losing your pieces.
Note: If you would like to see how the training programs are working technically you can check the free “Newbie 500”. You can understand the videos and practical test open on your mobile, tamplet or laptop, desktop, windows, MAC, and Linux. Please check it and subscribe for free by clicking here.
Question Of The Day
What is your vaforite chess book, or video, or applications? You're welcome to write it below in the comments.
Read more about the training program by clicking below.