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Chess Tips

How to Improve

    • Tactics, tactics and more tactics
    • Get a coach
    • Play solitaire chess with decisive games of your favorite grandmasters
    • Play practice games
    • Limit your rapid and blitz games
    • Review your rated games, first with only yourself then with a computer
    • Study the endgame
    • Play correspondence/postal chess
    • Play with higher rated players
    • Be persistent and consistent
    • Watch broadcasts of top tournaments that have grandmaster commentary
    • Improve your physical fitness, chess above all else is a fight
    • Set a training schedule
    • Develop short-term and long range goals
    • Don’t listen to the naysayers
    • Work your butt off

How to Evaluate a Position

    1. Be objective
    2. Assess the material
    3. Look at open lines and diagonals
    4. Pawn structures
    5. Weak squares and color complexes
    6. Passed pawns
    7. Piece placement and coordination
    8. Look at combinative and tactics themes and possibilities
    9. Find your opponents ideas and plans
    10. Develop your own plan
    11. Select candidate moves
    12. Analyze variations

Tournament Advice

    • Prepare, spend extra time doing tactics, training games, and reviewing openings
    • Create a pre-tournament ritual
    • Consistently fine-tune your ritual
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Eat healthy food, that won’t make your glucose levels spike and dip
    • Be careful not to overdo the caffeine
    • Don’t play when you’re sick
    • Decompress between rounds
    • No game was ever won by resigning, make your opponent work
    • Don’t get caught up in rating, ratings lag behind improvement
    • If traveling, try and arrive a day or two early before the tournament begins
    • Have fun