By Ramya Inapuri, Wizard Coordinator & Instructor in MA
While learning how to play chess can be easy, improving your chess game can be hard. Everyone learns at different speeds, and it can take years of practice to get to where you want to be.
With the amount of tips and tricks available, it can be hard to know what to do with all the information! You may find yourself wondering -
How much blitz should I play?
How do I create my openings?
Will playing lots of games help me improve?
With contradicting answers from everyone you talk to, it can be difficult to know what to really focus on. Luckily, no matter where you are in the game of chess, you can always improve, and with the right tricks, habits, and attitude, getting better at chess can be fun!
Over the past year, many parents have asked me about the best ways to help their child improve, and the time frame for how to improve their rating. These are my suggestions:
I wouldn’t suggest for children to learn opening variations until their middle game is strong, but some basic openings can still be learned. Choosing an opening is based on everyone’s individual style - one opening does not fit all. To choose the correct opening for you, carefully and honestly consider your strengths and weaknesses. Only then can you begin to choose lines that suit your style of play.
Blitz chess is a five minute chess game. Playing Blitz improves your reflexes – and you will quickly learn how to start pin pointing the tactics.
Just be careful not to rely solely on Blitz chess because it may affect the quality of your game since it focuses solely on speed, and not as much on the game.
Playing a lot of chess definitely helps! Remember that while winning will most definitely help you feel successful and improve your game, it is equally important to learn from the losses. Losses are what help you understand what you can do better the next time.
Improving calculation skills is also one of the major factors for improvement. When you want to calculate variation accurately, your mind should be fully focused on that variation only.
Remember, every player is on their own time frame to reach milestones. When the focus is on improving the overall game, it will automatically help to improve your rating. Play lots of games, participate in lots of tournaments, practice puzzles, learn from mistakes, and just keep doing it!