One of the wonderful things about the game of chess is that there is always an opportunity for growth. No matter how many years you have been playing the game or how good you have already become, there will always be room for improvement. All you have to do is figure out how to consistently hone your skills and you will gradually be a better player with each passing day.
Professional players use all types of techniques and strategies to improve their game. Some spend several hours a week poring over various opening moves and figuring out how to best handle each of these moves. Others read as much as they can about the theory of chess, hoping to apply the concepts into their own game strategies. There are also those who try to squeeze in as many games as they can during their days, believing that old adage that practice does make perfect.
Without a doubt, all of these techniques do work; otherwise, people will not be using them at all. However, just because a particular strategy works for somebody does not necessarily mean that it will work for you as well. Each chess player has his own style of playing and will respond to different kinds of training. In order to find out which method will be most effective for you, it may be necessary to do a little bit of trial and error.
That said, we have compiled the most popular methods for game improvement that professional chess players have been using to enhance their skills. You can start boosting your own talent by trying the following methods and figuring out which will work best for you.
1. Learn from the experts. These days, it is not hard to find annotated games of the best chess players in the world. You can take your cue from these players by doing what they did and seeing where the moves will lead you. If you have a favorite chess player, you can do some research on his games and learn his techniques. There are many sources of such information on the Internet, as well as in dozens of chess books that you can easily find in your local library or bookstore.
2. Play as much as you can. It really is true that practice makes perfect. Beside, the more you play the game, the more scenarios you will be able to face, and the better you will be at solving the new problems that come your way. But it's not just all about playing more games – you should also try to play in different ways. For example, if you want to improve your analytical skills, an untimed game would provide more time for thinking. On the other hand, playing speed chess can improve your chess reflexes and enable you to think much more quickly.
3. Learn from your own mistakes. If you make a wrong move and later on realize the consequences of that move, it will be more likely that you will never repeat it again, compared to if you just read about that certain wrong move somewhere. So do not be afraid to make mistakes in the beginning. These mistakes will be your stepping stones to becoming the best chess player that you can be in the future.
4. Play against a better player. While it does feel good to win a lot when playing against a less skilled player, these kinds of games are not really very helpful for improving your skills. You are probably helping the other player a lot since they are benefiting from your "expertise" but if you want to hone your own skills, you should play more often with a better player than yourself. You may lose a lot but in the long run, it will be much more beneficial for you because you will be able to learn moves that you may not even witness if you keep playing against people you can easily beat.
5. Join tournaments. There are always amateur chess tournaments being held practically anywhere in the world. You should join these games not always with the intention to win but instead, to broaden your skills. You can also attend these events in order to meet people who share your interest in the game with what you can exchange strategies and tips so that you can all improve your chess-playing skills.
In addition to these very helpful tips, you might also want to invest in a good chess set. Some say it does not matter what kind of chess set you play with but there are people who are actually inspired to play more and to play better if they have a nice set to play on in the first place. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars because there are plenty of high quality chess sets these days that you can get for very affordable prices.