Learner Series #4 –

Welcome to edition 4 of our learner series! Alex begun playing chess again in the summer months of 2016. His chess.com Blitz rating was underneath 1000, and now it is above 1500! 


How previous are you and how prolonged have you been taking part in chess?

I am 32 yrs old and have been actively playing chess “seriously” for 3.5 yrs.  My father taught me how to perform when I was a kid, but we only played a handful of game titles. I hardly ever played in any tournaments, and my childhood friends did not play chess. 

When I was in faculty (around 2007) I met fellow student (and long run NM) Matan Prilleltensky, who played me in a blindfold sport or two.  Matan also introduced me to his pal, IM Marc Esserman, who occurred to be in city.  We performed 1 recreation, which went just as a single would anticipate.  So, until eventually that point in my daily life, the only opponents I can recall were my dad, and two definitely solid gamers!  

How many hrs per 7 days do you shell out on chess?


Chess internet site usernames?

Chess.com DarkHorse613 Lichess: This is a solution! See my clarification underneath!

What’s your recent talent level or score?

On Chess.com my Blitz rating is 1427 (down from a substantial of 1570), Swift is 1521.  My Lichess Blitz rating is in the 1700’s. 



Occasionally. Probably all over 3 video games for every thirty day period, usually with my neighbor.  He was rated above 1800 USCF as a child.  We play devoid of a clock.

On the web

About, 4-6 days for every 7 days.  I likely typical about 5 several hours of enjoy for every 7 days.  I largely play 5+5 on Chess.com and 5+3 on Lichess.  I also try to participate in Quick as usually as possible, but it’s hard to uncover uninterrupted time for extended time controls.

Finding out OVERVIEW

Activity Assessment

Analyzing one’s have video games is absolutely important, but it’s tough to uncover the time to assess each and every single game.  I test to review at minimum just one of my video games from every on-line session.  Recently I’ve been compiling a google doc made up of significant positional and/or tactical tips that I missed.  That way, I can seriously power myself to understand from my issues.


I resolve methods rather much just about every working day.  Primarily on Chess.com, where my ranking is presently 2305 (down from a large of 2468).  The relevance of constant analyze of methods are unable to be overstated.  Even so, what I believe is understated is how one should really review techniques.  I really do not believe employing an on the net practices trainer is the most effective idea when you are initially starting off out, simply because if you are utilizing “rated” manner the difficulties become steadily more difficult and the positions are random. 

What inexperienced persons want is to understand tactics thematically, and on a basic stage.  I advocate Maxim Blokh’s Combinative Motifs for this reason.  Just aim on the lessen level methods until the themes become much more acquainted. 
A term of warning.  I feel that resolving way too quite a few tactics as a newbie produces a “tactics bias,” where by the participant focuses only on his or her have offensive possibilities and not the opponent’s. 

I recommend Wanting for Hassle by NM Dan Heisman, and Tune Your Chess Tactics Antenna by FM Emmanuel Neiman, for counteracting strategies bias.  The previous reserve consists of only defensive tactical puzzles.  The latter will assistance you raise your feeling tactical options for both sides, as the tactical “signals” that Neiman teaches implement to equally sides.


This has not been my precedence, for better or for even worse.  I very own a number of opening guides.  1 on the Caro-Kann, the other on the Slav.  For white, I rely largely on John Bartholomew’s d4 repertoire, which is obtainable for cost-free on chessable.


I personal two endgame books: 100 Endgames You Should Know, and Endgame Tactic.  Regarding the previous e-book, in his introduction (or perhaps it’s the first chapter) the writer directs the reader to the most vital endgames contained in the e-book.  My suggestion for newcomers would be to aim on those people endgames.


I am a large lover of Karpov’s Strategic Wins, a two-volume set that was proposed to me by IM John Bartholomew.  I assess a handful of of all those online games each 7 days in excess of a bodily board, attempting to guess Karpov’s moves.


I very recommend observing IM John Bartholomew’s “standard” game titles readily available on Youtube.  Aside from self-examine and participating in game titles,his channel has been, probably, the single most important discovering useful resource that I have arrive across.  Chess players learn differently.  Some obtain wonderful talent seemingly just by actively playing blitz and/or bullet video games. I am not that way, and learn best when thoughts are described to me verbally.  John Bartholomew’s channel satisfies my discovering fashion.  His explanations are crystal very clear, and he generally finds ways to drill in recurring positional and tactical themes.

I imagine it’s important to stay away from “tilting” as substantially as feasible.  “Tilt” is when you play extremely aggressive, generally right after a reduction or two.  I feel that becoming improved at chess necessitates you to continually improve your objectivity at the board. 

If you shed your objectivity, like when tilting, you create lousy routines.  And undesirable practices will inhibit your chess enhancement.  A person way I try out to steer clear of tilting is simply just by switching servers (say, from chess.com to Lichess) if I experience like I have lost too lots of ranking factors.  There is some thing about having a “fresh start” (hence, why I’ve retained my Lichess username a solution!) on a new sever that can help chill me out if I’m discouraged about a decline or two.  Ideally it will aid you much too.

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