A new method of beginner’s instruction!

So I came up upon this blog post of Grandmaster Alex Colovic (Top rated player in Macedonia, participant in the Chess Olympiad and chess coach). In the post he announces a new instructive training method where he analyses a position with a club level player at the same time, without the use of an engine. In this manner the chess coach is able to assess where the player’s thinking is going wrong while the memory of the game is still fresh in the player’s mind. He is able to offer tailored advise and provides plenty of instructional moments.

For the video I’ve included above, GM Colovic analysed the game between David Kramaley, co-founder of chess learning site Chessable and a random online opponent on Chess.com. The key takeaway seems to be the case for many of us. Develop a disciplined manner of thinking where you always go through the same steps before making your move. For the player in the analysis this involves always considering ALL candidate moves before moving, not just one or two.

Whether or not most of us can afford our own master-level coach, either way I plan to start applying such a disciplined thinking pattern to my own game and I think you should too. Best of luck in your improvement efforts, dear readers!

The Best Chess Books!

If you want to get good at chess, you better be prepared to read a lot. A good chess player reads a lot of books about chess so that they don’t make the same mistake other players have made when they were improving. Reading books about Chess is the best way to get more knowledge about the game and if you truly like playing chess then reading the best Chess books will definitely be a great use of your time. Having read the top selection of the best chess books by chess masters, I was encouraged to pick my own favorites, here they are:

Collection School of Chess Excellence by Dvoretsky

This is not a single book but rather a complete collection of 5 books. These books are aimed towards experienced players that are hoping to advance their game. The Collection School of Chess Excellence is by far one of the most comprehensive and best chess books ever due to the vast amount of positions, strategies, recommendations and information regarding chess. Some strategies can even give the most experienced grandmasters a good run for their money.

Chess by Laszlo Polgar

Chess by Laszlo Polgar is one of the best chess books ever written. If you’re a beginner and want to improve your game fast, then this chess book is made for you. This book contains 5,334 different chess problems, combinations and games that will boost the tactical capacity of any beginner. Even though this is a great book for beginners experienced players can learn quite a bit as well. The majority of this book is complex enough to give experienced players a workout while keeping them entertained. It definitely worked for me which means it’ll probably work just as well for you.

Zurich International Tournament by David Bronstein

If you’re looking for one the best chess books that are more focused on the story, then Zurich International Tournament is the perfect fit. The Zurich International Tournament held in 1953 was the most meaningful tournament in the postwar years and constrains all parts of the tournament contenders. In the comments made by the author, more focus has been put on the middlegames of each game.

Secrets of Grandmaster Play by Nunn

The Secrets of Grandmaster Play is not a very well-known book but reading it will definitely help you understand how to win at chess and help you become a better strategist. This book is targeted towards advanced players that need to figure out a way to reach the next level of their game to prepare themselves to reach for the title of the grandmaster.

My 60 Most Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer was one of the best chess players of all time, this book has Bobby Fischer’s 60 most memorable games documented which any chess enthusiast will love to read. This book is written by Bobby Fischer himself and covers a rather awesome selection of games, not just the wins. Reading about how Bobby Fischer felt when losing or having a draw is an experience of its own and will surely result in a great read for any chess enthusiast.

I hope you enjoy some of my recommendations, and good luck on your path of chess improvement!

How to teach chess to kids

If you’ve had the idea of teaching chess to your child for any reason, it is no doubt a really great idea and don’t worry…it does not have to be complicated. Of course, it’s not like you can sit with a child and start playing, you have to teach them about the variety of game pieces to consider, how each one must follow its own specific rules allowing it to move and attack the opponent’s pieces on the table. For this reason, you have to take things very slowly, and teach them step by step while making sure they have fun and here’s how you’ll do it.

Get To Know the Pieces

First of all, you should introduce all the game pieces to your young one. You should make sure that he understands them and can identify each piece without any difficulty before moving to the next step.

Learn the Objective

Clarify to your child that the main objective of the game is to protect your king at all times. You could show your child an already set chess board and show them a few different ways to keep the king safe. Your child might not manage to come up with really good ideas first. Getting your child interested and thinking strategically is the whole point, and it might take a while.

Play with Pawns

Playing with the pawns will be your child’s first time playing the game, so you might want to make it as much fun as possible. Teach the how pawns move and capture the opponent’s game pieces. You should try playing chess several times with your child with only pawns in play, it would help your child to master the pawns.

Add the Knights

When your child has gained a thorough understanding of the pawns’ play, it’s time to add knights to the mix. Firstly you’ll need to teach them about the movement of the knight. It might prove to be a bit complicated. So, you might start by showing them the movement of the knights around the board without any other game pieces. When your child understands it, you should play a game with only pawns and knights, so that they can master it.

Learn the Bishops

Now you need to teach your kid about the Bishop and how they move diagonally. Teach them how the bishop moves and attack. Play one or two games with only pawns and bishops to let them learn, when they get a hang of it, play with pawns, bishops, and knights.

Add the Rooks

Teach your child about the rooks. Teach them their horizontal and vertical movements around the board and let them understand their movements. After that add rooks to the board and let them practice their moves and coming up with different ideas to play.

Present the King

You should remind your kid from time to time about the king’s importance and that it is the piece you’re trying to protect and capture from the opponent during the game at all times. Tell them the meaning of “check” and “checkmate”. Check means that your king is in danger and you have to do something to protect it, whereas checkmate means that one of the kings has been captured and the game ends.

Meet the Queen

In the end, introduce your child to the most powerful and complicated game piece, the Queen. Show your child how the Queen has the power to move as far away as desired and in all directions, unless one of her own subjects is in her path, something only a knight can overcome!

The blog is back! I’m a chess beginner, so my first post will be a motivational one. How do we improve at chess?

Every chess player can improve his/her game, we might not get all that good that we get the right to play on the same levels as pros, but it sure does make playing chess more enjoyable.

The best thing is that it isn’t really that hard to improve your game; although in chess the learning curves tend to get steeper and steeper the better we get. However, there’s always a way or another idea to add a few more skills to our list of talents and a get a few more points in our ratings. Well, this all is really easy, and that’s the point we are about to discuss here: five easy ways to improve your chess.

Play Like Everything’s On The Line

Psychology plays a huge part in chess, just like every other competitive game. Why are you even in a game when you don’t plan to give in all your effort and attention? Don’t lose and use your casual attitude as an excuse every time. Don’t hold back and always give your 100 percent effort and know that sometimes even pros lose a game now and then. Have pride in your game and the moves you make on the table.

Analyze Your Own Game

To analyze your own game is a really important thing to do. Sometimes it still happens that I play 10 blitz games with same opening moves which I don’t know well enough, one after another. And most of these times I found myself in situations about which I don’t know how to play and I happen to repeat the mistakes I’ve already made before. I could have avoided this whole situation if I would have just bothered to take a moment and think and analyze the game first, it also would have helped me to learn something new and useful.

Role-play Professional Games

There are a lot of great games of excellent players in chess history which we can play and enjoy over and over. That’s the reason behind the invention of chess notation – so that the games would not be lost to posterity. Playing over such insightful games is easy, fun and it also has a great deal of instructional value. You can pick up a lot of things and learn a lot of great things about chess just by replaying the games of better players. And this is the reason why chess databases are so popular. You can very easily find thousands of games to replay and replay the ones which you find interesting.

Play As Much As Possible

Play as much chess as you can, like not so much that you forget your family or lose your job over it, but as much chess as you can in your free time. You can study a lot about chess but all that studying would be of no use if you don’t practically apply it in a game. Even if you’re not up for studying and reading about chess you could just keep on practicing, and you’ll still get better in chess with time.

Try To Have Fun

If you’re just starting out, you’ll feel frustrated about losing too much. Try to have fun and learn as much as you can while playing. Anticipate what your opponent will do but never forget to enjoy chess if you want to improve your game.

Right, having said all that, I hope I can start improving again and get out of this rut, here are some resources I will be using to achieve this: