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GinoTHEstud
13-08-2014, 04:53 PM
Greetings

I've been lazy and never really put work into my chess development. When I was in my teenage years I just played all the time and rode the natural talent until duly hitting a Plateau. I'd try and study but just end up playing through the main line moves suggested in books without reading the analysis and other side notes.

I want to get better, but I don't know where or how to start.

Has anyone reading this made 100-200 gains while being in there 20s or older?

I'm sure with some hard work I can't see why I couldn't be 2300-2400

Scott Wastney
13-08-2014, 06:37 PM
Greetings

I've been lazy and never really put work into my chess development. When I was in my teenage years I just played all the time and rode the natural talent until duly hitting a Plateau. I'd try and study but just end up playing through the main line moves suggested in books without reading the analysis and other side notes.

I want to get better, but I don't know where or how to start.

Has anyone reading this made 100-200 gains while being in there 20s or older?

I'm sure with some hard work I can't see why I couldn't be 2300-2400

I was rated only NZCF 1510 when 21 years old. I reached my peak of 2457 (and 2350 FIDE) at age 42. So it is definitely possible to progress as an adult. But I wish I had more opportunities for chess when I was a junior.

Scott

MichaelBaron
14-08-2014, 12:23 AM
Not sure what your current level is. The key is to identify your weaknesses and try to eliminate them. Also as Romanovsky (Russian Master) said once. ''It is not enough to be a good chess player, one should also play well'' - focus on increasing consistency and concentration. For stronger players, Dvoretsky's books about planning and strategy usually appear to be of great help.

Capablanca-Fan
14-08-2014, 12:29 AM
I was rated only NZCF 1510 when 21 years old. I reached my peak of 2457 (and 2350 FIDE) at age 42. So it is definitely possible to progress as an adult. But I wish I had more opportunities for chess when I was a junior.
Indeed, I don't know what it is about NZ, but quite a lot of chessplayers become very strong like that in an age which is supposed to be past a chessplayer's historic prime (~35), and certainly about twice the age that many players peak today. Steadman played his best chess when he was over 50 but was NZ Junior Champ in 1979. Dive and Ker are still representing NZ in the Olympiad in their late 40s. Sutton became an FM in his 60s, and IIRC Garbett became an IM in his 50s. It might be the Sarapu legacy; he won his 20th title just short of his 66th birthday.

GinoTHEstud
14-08-2014, 06:31 AM
Not sure what your current level is. The key is to identify your weaknesses and try to eliminate them. Also as Romanovsky (Russian Master) said once. ''It is not enough to be a good chess player, one should also play well'' - focus on increasing consistency and concentration. For stronger players, Dvoretsky's books about planning and strategy usually appear to be of great help.


Peak fide rating of 2196, currently at 2143 I think. 27 years old...

Gives me hope though!

Yes mike played some of his best chess in the last decade. I bought chessbase 12 yesterday, will watch tutorials on how to use it effectively.

Adamski
14-08-2014, 07:53 AM
Good luck, Gino. Never too late to work on one's chess. I often wish I had moee time to do so.

MichaelBaron
14-08-2014, 11:34 AM
There is no huge gap between 2200 and 2300 consistency alone could be the key along with developing an opening repertoire.

Qbert
14-08-2014, 03:19 PM
Peak fide rating of 2196, currently at 2143 I think. 27 years old...

I only started working on my chess when I was your current age - went from c1600 nzcf to the same 2100-2200 bracket you are in now. Mainly by varying my approach to round out my game and keep it interesting. But if I had good advice how to get beyond that I would use it myself! :)

Craig_Hall
17-08-2014, 10:43 AM
In part it depends on how much money and time you want to sink into it. A structured approach which is planned out over weeks and months will pay more dividends than randomly selecting stuff as you go. There are plenty of options available online, whether newsletters, e-books, trainers for your favorite database, or you can even go old-school and get a book. There are plenty of DVDs with videos if audio-visual learning is more your thing.

Here are some key (IMO) things to work on:

1. Tactics. 95+% of games are won or lost on them. Randomly doing puzzles is better than nothing at all, but results will be better from a structured approach e.g.a certain amount of time per day spent on a theme. Once you've mastered a theme, move onto the next one, but keep doing refresher exercises. Downloading a puzzle app (there are plenty of them) to a smart phone is a handy way to do a few puzzles when you have a few spare minutes here and there.

In my opinion, #1 is the big one, as my anecdotal "studies" suggest that it is a big part of most meteoric rises I've seen in club chess. Even for a stronger player such as yourself, tactics should still be a heavy part of your training, although obviously it will be at a higher level and deeper variations than would be appropriate for a 1500 player.

2. Endings. I assume you've mastered basic endings, but make sure you have. Again, a structured programme will pay more dividends than a random approach. If you don't have a lot of time, focus heavily on R+P (+minor piece) endings first as these are the most common.

3. Work on your weaknesses. Put your games through a chess programme and see what went right, and what went wrong. As you find consistent issues, work on them. A faster, more expensive way to do this, is to pay a master player/trainer to go through a collection of your games and identify your weaknesses for you, and then work on them. I don't know how much money you have/are willing to spend, so that may not be feasible, but it will get quicker, and probably better, results than DIY.

4. Pawn structure. This is something that separates the men from the boys, as it were. Learn the different structures and the likely plans for both sides in them, particularly the relevant ones to your opening repertoire.

I have skipped openings because I assume you have a reasonable opening repertoire, but fitting your opening repertoire to your strengths while masking/avoiding your weaknesses will improve results, although it may not help your strength so much. Also, make sure you play regularly, but not too much. A ration of blitz occasionally is not a bad thing, especially when doing opening prep, but if you play blitz all day, every day, it will work against your training. Consider playing correspondence chess (whether official rated stuff, or not, is up to you and your budget) instead.

I'd say good luck, but as the saying goes, the harder you work, the luckier you get, so I'll say hard work!

Mr Buss
17-08-2014, 05:39 PM
Great advice Craig.
Your point on pawn structure is one area that is often overlooked.
A really good book that covers this is pawn structure chess by Andrew Soltis, it covers all structures that arise from the openings. It pays to study them all, because often you transpose into pawn structures from other openings.

GinoTHEstud
18-08-2014, 03:11 PM
In part it depends on how much money and time you want to sink into it. A structured approach which is planned out over weeks and months will pay more dividends than randomly selecting stuff as you go. There are plenty of options available online, whether newsletters, e-books, trainers for your favorite database, or you can even go old-school and get a book. There are plenty of DVDs with videos if audio-visual learning is more your thing.

Here are some key (IMO) things to work on:

1. Tactics. 95+% of games are won or lost on them. Randomly doing puzzles is better than nothing at all, but results will be better from a structured approach e.g.a certain amount of time per day spent on a theme. Once you've mastered a theme, move onto the next one, but keep doing refresher exercises. Downloading a puzzle app (there are plenty of them) to a smart phone is a handy way to do a few puzzles when you have a few spare minutes here and there.

In my opinion, #1 is the big one, as my anecdotal "studies" suggest that it is a big part of most meteoric rises I've seen in club chess. Even for a stronger player such as yourself, tactics should still be a heavy part of your training, although obviously it will be at a higher level and deeper variations than would be appropriate for a 1500 player.

2. Endings. I assume you've mastered basic endings, but make sure you have. Again, a structured programme will pay more dividends than a random approach. If you don't have a lot of time, focus heavily on R+P (+minor piece) endings first as these are the most common.

3. Work on your weaknesses. Put your games through a chess programme and see what went right, and what went wrong. As you find consistent issues, work on them. A faster, more expensive way to do this, is to pay a master player/trainer to go through a collection of your games and identify your weaknesses for you, and then work on them. I don't know how much money you have/are willing to spend, so that may not be feasible, but it will get quicker, and probably better, results than DIY.

4. Pawn structure. This is something that separates the men from the boys, as it were. Learn the different structures and the likely plans for both sides in them, particularly the relevant ones to your opening repertoire.

I have skipped openings because I assume you have a reasonable opening repertoire, but fitting your opening repertoire to your strengths while masking/avoiding your weaknesses will improve results, although it may not help your strength so much. Also, make sure you play regularly, but not too much. A ration of blitz occasionally is not a bad thing, especially when doing opening prep, but if you play blitz all day, every day, it will work against your training. Consider playing correspondence chess (whether official rated stuff, or not, is up to you and your budget) instead.

I'd say good luck, but as the saying goes, the harder you work, the luckier you get, so I'll say hard work!

Thanks for your thoughts Craig. Yesterday I managed to blow the easiest rook ending ive ever had and that cost me $150. It was extremely embarrassing, after I drew mike steadman said "chess was the real loser today".

It was so bad, that I'm still not over it. Would of won me the tournament outright too.

Qbert
02-06-2015, 12:17 PM
Great advice Craig.
Your point on pawn structure is one area that is often overlooked.
A really good book that covers this is pawn structure chess by Andrew Soltis, it covers all structures that arise from the openings. It pays to study them all, because often you transpose into pawn structures from other openings.

I just finished and can recommend Winning Pawn Structures by Alexander Baburin, which covers the opening, strategy, tactics and endgame specifically in IQP and some related structures.

Capablanca-Fan
02-06-2015, 12:29 PM
I just finished and can recommend Winning Pawn Structures by Alexander Baburin, which covers the opening, strategy, tactics and endgame specifically in IQP and some related structures.

Yes, that's very good, and most worthwhile since so many different openings can result in an IQP structure.

Johns
05-06-2015, 10:21 PM
I just finished and can recommend Winning Pawn Structures by Alexander Baburin, which covers the opening, strategy, tactics and endgame specifically in IQP and some related structures.

I can tell you this. Don't get old !!! but if you do try to enjoy the game more than the winning.

MichaelBaron
07-06-2015, 12:42 AM
I can tell you this. Don't get old !!! but if you do try to enjoy the game more than the winning.

Age is not a big factor anyway as long as you are motivated to get better :)

Johns
07-06-2015, 02:26 AM
Age is not a big factor anyway as long as you are motivated to get better :)

I never have met you but I can say you are not old. one day you will understand.

MichaelBaron
07-06-2015, 06:37 PM
I never have met you but I can say you are not old. one day you will understand.

I am old enough :)

Johns
08-06-2015, 11:24 AM
I am old enough :) 53