Improving at chess is a slow and long term process, you need to have lot of patience and need to put in hard work regularly. You have to give some time and play tournaments to improve your game. Coaching is an important factor in the journey of chess improvement. But there are few exceptional cases where players improved without coaching. I have increased my rating from 1920-2321(at the time of writing this article) without any personal coaching. So I am giving some recommendations to improve your chess skills.
Tactics are the best way to improve your game. There are various apps/websites on which one can solve tactics. The benefit of solving from the apps/websites is that you will get puzzles that will improve your game gradually. Tactics solving makes our brain sharp and improve our concentration. There are various websites such as playchess, chess24, chess.com, and apps such as tactics frenzy developed by Magnus Carlsen team. You can solve tactics from books also with board and pieces. I will recommend book series written by Artur Yusupov (Build up your chess, boast your chess, chess revolution) which consists of a total of 9 books from level 1200- 2000. Following is the book I recommend to beginners
Playing tournaments consistently is a must to improve your game. At least players should play 8-10 rating classical tournaments in a year and a maximum of 2-3 tournaments back to back. There should be no gap more than 2-3 months in between tournaments. Playing tournament games will improve your knowledge of the positions you play, analytical skill, and seriousness. You can follow All India Chess Federation official calender for Indian tournaments or for worldwide calendar, you can follow FIDE calendar and chessmix calendar
Reading books (old/new) whichever available will help you to get more knowledge and interest in chess. When a player studies with the book then automatically he practices on board and as I stated in the next point practice on board is very much important. There are various must do books that every chessplayer should do in his/her career. I will try to publish that list in the next article. Nonchessplayers can also read some books such as amazon India bestselling book mind master by former world champion Vishy Anand or my life and games by Vladimir Kramnik. Here are some suggestions of classics books. If you know more books to comment below!
a- Mindmaster by Vishwanathan Anand
b- Coaching the chess stars by Vladimir Tukmakov
c- Inside story of chess genius by Carsten Hensel
d- Russians vs Fischer
4-Practice on board
Practicing on board is the best way to improve board view but in this online world practicing with board and pieces is a bit boring work. At least players who just started chess or who wants to learn chess should practice on the board only. It is important because the player will remember the game because they are making their moves by hand and not by mouse. This also improves patience to sit at one place.
5-Playing online games – 9 game strategy
In offline tournament generally, you play 9 games so its best strategy to play 9 games at once. I read this strategy from an article written by Armenian grandmaster Avetik Grigoryan. You can read a full article about this here. This strategy will work for most of the players and personally I feel its most effective. One more advantage is that you can try new openings in online games.
6-Following current games and tournaments
Following top-level games and results of top-level tournaments will improve your knowledge and boost your confidence and motivation. It will help you to build your opening reporter with the latest opening trends by a top player. Players can implement those openings to their games. Following are websites and apps to follow games
a- Follow chess app
7-Improve blindfold chess
Playing blindfold chess definitely is a by-product of chess expertise. After achieving a certain strength in chess skills & some practice most players will be able to play blindfold chess. Blindfold chess is an excellent technique to improve your memory and calculation skills. Grandmaster Timur Gareyev of the USA played blindfold chess with 50 players in a simultaneous exhibition.
8-Analyse your games
Analysis of games is a must for every player. It will improve your overall skill and help to understand mistakes. During the analysis of your own games, you must focus on opening repertoire, mistakes in openings, a new trend in openings, and rectification of errors. The best time to analyze your game is immediately after finishing round in spite of any result because all that time you remember plans in your game so you can save that easily
9-Practice with partner
Practicing with players of your strength is very useful. It is very boring to practice individually, but if you get some practice partner with you then you can share thoughts with each other, discuss opening, prepare ideas, solve problems and even play some endgame positions. Mostly try to take a partner with the same level to share thoughts.
So these are my 9 ways to improve chess skills. If you like this article then like, share, and don’t forget to comment.