Training Methods

When I first started playing all I did was play and watch the chessbrahs stream on twitch. I was actively aware that watching awesome chess players play bullet wasn’t going to add much to my game, although it did help me understand what was possible, and was definitely useful for motivation.

I decided to get a whole bunch of games under my belt before I did much else, and I’m not sure exactly where I switched over, but probably after 100-200 games.

After that point it’s been a pretty steady diet of the following:

  • Playing 10 minute games
    • and (fairly lightly since my mistakes are usually clear) analyzing┬áthe vast majority of them afterward
  • Working on my openings with memchess
    • I’ve found I have the best results when I focus on a smaller number of variations at a time
    • This also has gotten substantially easier now that I have a better understanding of openings in general, I’m not sure if I started too early or if slogging through was something I needed to do eventually no matter what
  • Working on my tactics
    • Almost daily
    • I use chess.com, but have tried other sites and like them, too
  • Watching St. Louis Chess Club videos:
  • Working on some chess books
    • I have an end game book I started working through but stopped because I didn’t have a dedicated space for the board I need to walk through them — I now have the board space but am still procrastinating
    • I have a book of famous and interesting games lent to me by a friend that I walk through
    • I recently got a book that explains openings
  • Playing with friends
    • I have one friend I play over the board with and one I play online with, it is way more fun to play games and discuss them with the person you are playing

I spend the vast majority of my time playing and then immediately analyzing that game. From time to time I’ll also utilize the chess.com database to see what I’m losing to the most or what people are playing against me and improving specific variations, such as my issues against 1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 that I talked about in this post.

I still watch the chessbrahs channel a lot, it’s just so fun to watch people so good.

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