Many chess players ask me one best way to get better at chess. Many times players study and didn’t get results as expected and they think to quit. The reason for this is that they don’t follow systematic ways and approaches to studying chess.
When I become FIDE Master and crossed 2300, I followed only one way that was solving a lot of puzzles. I focused more than 80% on solving chess puzzles. The best to improve in chess is to do what you like. It should be the systematic and correct way. E.g. only playing bullet will not improve your chess.
What is the best way to get better at chess?
There is not a 100% correct answer for this question. But solving puzzles would be a great option for players up to 1800 to quickly improve 200 points. If you are a beginner or intermediate player then this strategy will work for you perfectly. If you are studying chess 10 hours a week, I would recommend you to solve tactics for 7-8 hours. Remaining 2-3 hours, you can work on openings and middlegame.
Solving chess puzzles can help you in improving tactical vision, middlegame play, positional play. You can choose any books from the following list to solve.
Chess Puzzles Books for Beginners Players
Chess Puzzle Books for Intermediate Players
- The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book
- John Nunn’s Chess Puzzle Book
- The Complete Chess Workout: Train your brain with 1200 puzzles!
Chess Puzzle Books for Advanced Players
Other ways to get better at chess
As I said not everyone will agree with my opinion about solving puzzles or Maybe you are already very strong in tactical puzzle solving. In that condition, you have to find different ways to get better at chess.
Study basic endgames
Studying basic chess endgames will help you a lot as a beginner player. You must know basic Pawn Endgames and Rook Endgames. Sometimes studying endgames helps you in middlegame also. I would recommend you to start with 100 endgames you must know book by Jesus De la Villa. If you already know about games then I would recommend you to go with Silman’s complete endgame course. If you are an advanced player and already studied the above two books then you can start the Dvoretsky Endgame Manual.
Apart from the above books, you can also solve some endgame studies. Endgame studies will help you to improve your chess imagination power.
Remember basic opening principles
As a beginner, you must know some basic opening principles and opening variations. I think Consuming a lot of time on opening is like wasting your precious time as a beginner. If you know the basics of opening, probably the first 7-8 moves, then also it’s fine.
To learn opening I would recommend you to hire a good chess coach. This will save you a lot of time and energy. If you don’t have time or money for that then you can simply purchase any chess books or courses. As a beginner or intermediate chess player, chess.com or chess24 membership is a good option to start with. They have almost every video on opening.
Important Opening Principles
- Don’t make too many pawn moves
- Don’t move the same piece twice
- Develop towards the center
- Keep Your Pieces Protected!
- Control the Center
- Don’t block your center pawns
Play lots of games
Playing lots of games will help you to improve. Remember that, playing a bullet game will not improve your strength. Playing rapid games will help you to improve a lot faster. As a beginner, you should play atleast 10-15 rapid games per week.
Playing also includes OTB games. If you can spend time in an OTB tournament then nothing better than that. Try atleast playing 6-8 OTB tournaments in a year. This will give you a tournament feel and some motivation after seeing top-level players. The ideal scenario is to play 10-12 classical tournaments in a year with proper practice.
Analyze your games
Analyzing your games is the greatest way for improvement. Try to analyze games as soon as you played. You can remember maximum variation when you analyze it immediately. To analyze your games, you can ask your opponent or maybe ask your friend who has the same strength. There are multiple websites available that can help you to analyze your mistakes with the help of AI.
- Decode Chess
Follow current games and trends
Following current games helps you to understand new opening trends, new novelties in openings. You can spend around 10-15 minutes in a day and watch all games once. You can watch the game quickly and shortlist some games to save in your database. It will also improve your chess database slowly. Here are a few apps which will help you to follow live games.
How to get better at chess openings?
To get better at chess openings, you have to study chess openings deeply. Studying chess openings requires a lot of analysis. The best way to get better at chess openings is to hire a chess coach. I would recommend you to hire a chess coach who is atleast more than 200 points and a maximum 500 rating point. The chess coach will provide you with an opening repertoire or create it according to your level. That will save you a lot of time.
After learning openings, you can start working on expanding your database.
How beginners can improve quickly?
Start with solving a lot of puzzles. Solving puzzles will help you to boost your overall ability to see tactics. As a beginner, start with only tactical puzzles. Even solving chess.com puzzles for 1 hour will also help you a lot. Solving chess puzzles regularly can improve your strength by 100-150 points in 3-4 months. The other way is to play rapid games and analyze your mistakes. If you landed directly here then you can also read this article to get some insights.