How to Get Better at Chess Fast? The ultimate guide


Chess board and clock

This question is the holy grail of all questions, and that is what can I do in order to get better at chess fast? I mean everyone wants to improve at an accelerated rate. There are two types of people that create this question, the realistic and the lazy ones.

If you are realistic then you are looking for practical advice that can take you to the shortest path to success, however you still understand that there is work to be done. If you are lazy then you are looking for a “silver bullet” that doesn’t exist, a shortcut that can magically turn you into Carlsen.

Nobody has magic, but this article will have practical advice. Keep on reading if you are interested 

Analyze your own chess games to improve quickly

The reason most people plateau or never even improve in the first place is they never analyze, all they do is play without any insight. This is bad, if one wants to be an expert at something they need to fill the gaps in their abilities.

If you are a student taking an academic exam you would have the urge to view your mistakes, this is only natural since those mistakes can appear on the bigger test for that subject. It is the same in chess, people are too fixated on the games to fix themselves.

Analyzing your own games is an underrated way of improving in chess fast, most beginners do not analyze their games which is why they never improve. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again you shouldn’t expect different results, analyzing is a deep form of self-reflection.

If you want to get better at chess fast you need to get better at analyzing your own games, a student views his mistakes in order to prepare for future exams. You should also view your own mistakes in order to prepare for similar positions in the future, so that you could act differently.

Use chess engines when analyzing your own games

Another mistake that people commit is they only analyze by themselves, this is bad since you need to be already good at chess to have a reasonable insight. For beginners, analyzing their own games with a deep insight is next to impossible.

It is like looking at the bottom of the sea without any light, though one can infer some things about it, their findings would be incredibly limited. This is why you should use a chess engine during an analysis, it is the flashlight of insight that would allow you to become better.

You can easily find the good old stockfish (for free) if you go to lichess, stockfish will definitely come up with variations that you have never even considered. No human player alive today can beat the strongest chess engine, you should use this unbeatable entity to its full utility.

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When analyzing your own games there wouldn’t be a lot of insight if you are a beginner, this is why you should use engines. To get better fast you need someone to accompany your analysis, a good chess engine can be that good company.

Improving quickly by analyzing grandmaster games

One of the most enjoyable parts of our era today is the existence of the internet, chess has become more entertaining and educational due to the web . If you want to get better fast you better watch grandmaster games, the best thing about it is you can do it for free.

Just go to our big pal youtube and you can easily find many live streams of live chess games, you can also wait for it to finish and view an analysis. There are also the youtubers like Levy Rozman and Agadmator, who summarize games using a chess engine.

The best chess players can easily be viewed with the use of a little computer box in your pocket, this is amazing and beginners should make use of it. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that one can become stronger by just watching, not if the one being watched is one of the best.

Now this is something that might not work for some beginners, but there are many who have improved a lot by analyzing grandmaster games. Analyzing your own games is one thing, but grandmaster games have more insights that can be squeezed.

Solving chess puzzles to get better at chess fast

One of the ways to get better at chess fast is to solve chess puzzles at a specific interval, if you are a complete beginner you need a big volume. Solving some 20 chess puzzles a day can be beneficial if you are looking to improve at tactics, it is a great tool when used correctly.

Beginners usually don’t have the instinct on the finishing blows yet, and whenever they play they let such chances get away. Puzzles allow beginners to head straight into the decisive position and make the right move, without having to play through everything all over again.

Beginners shouldn’t focus on tactics solely but this is why you will only be doing it in a particular time frame, you would stop and learn something else once you had enough. If you want to get better fast it is better to play chess puzzles as much as you can, as long as you are still self-reflecting about the problem of course.

You can solve puzzles either by the amount or by the hour, depending on how much time you are willing to invest. For people who have a day job it might be better to solve puzzles by the hour, just find your own routine that will be convenient for your lifestyle.

Improving quickly in chess by having a chess coach

Another way that people can get better at chess fast is getting someone to teach them the concepts, preferably someone that has a chess title. Higher rated players have insights formed from years of experience, these people will have practical advice that apply to most people.

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Yes, the analysis of a chess engine is useful, but the problem with it is that you still need to interpret its findings. The engine’s insight might be godly but your interpretation is not. Having a chess coach allows you to gain incredible insight that you wouldn’t have interpreted otherwise, this would make for an incredible lesson.

Consulting a chess engine is like riding on a car, it might be fast and sturdy but you still need to navigate the roads which can get you lost. Consulting a higher rated player is like taking on the train, the tracks are predetermined for major destinations, there would be a little margin to error.

Most people who have become higher rated (fide) have consulted with a higher rated chess player at some point, this tells you something about the utility of this method. If someone can show you the way things are just much easier, preferably someone who has walked the same path before and knows what they are doing.

A competitive field for a fast rating growth

There are many ways to improve quickly in chess, but one of the most proven ones is just to play with significantly stronger opponents that forces you to be good. A lot of beginners get so bogged down with weaker players and they never go beyond, this is bad for improvement.

If you only play against opponents that do not play decent moves you will never learn, as soon as you are thrown in a competitive setting you will learn to adapt. It is like the concept of evolution, a species will only advance into a more adaptable organism if it is forced to change.

This is why the best way to improve in chess fast is just to play rated games, it doesn’t even matter if this is online or over the board. Basically you want a good competition that allows room for you to grow, don’t worry if your rating becomes low (this is a part of the process!).

Like a small iguana being thrown into the dinosaur era, you might be small but you will keep improving since you can’t die (unless your account is closed). You will keep on playing to become stronger in order to adapt to the competition, like a small lizard becoming a mosasaurus to take on the mighty dinosaurs.

Focus on the endgame hasten your learning curve

Now this is an advice that people who are new to chess almost always hear, and that is to start their learning journey in the endgame. There is a reason why people keep on promoting this idea, the endgame is the deciding factor of the game which will have decisive results.

If one were to play splendidly in the opening, great in the middlegame, and terrible in the endgame the game would still be likely lost. On the other hand, if someone were to play a less impressive opening and middlegame but with a good ending, they might just win the game.

The difference in importance is different, the endgame matters more since it is in the phase where a single mistake can neutralize some 10-40 good moves. Beginners should focus on this if they want to improve fast, since it is the deciding factor of the chess game it will help them win more games.

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Many of the concepts that can be applied in the endgame aso exist in the other phases, one can hit several stones at once by focusing on endings. This is actually why a lot of beginners find it hard to improve in chess, they mostly focus on anything but the ending.

If you want to get stronger fast you should focus on the endgame among anything else. The sequence of learning should be the endgame, middlegame, then the opening, this is the order that a lot of people can find value in quickly.

The worst thing that you can do is to start in the opening memorizing moves without understanding the intent behind them, this is horribly inefficient. One cannot fully grasp the meaning of moves without the tools to interpret them, learning the endgame provides the tools that can help people in the other phases.

Consistency is necessary for chess improvement

Now this is something that people who are new to chess do not talk about enough, just like with training the body, chess abilities do deteriorate if not given enough care. One needs consistency especially in the beginning in order to see continuous improvement, if one is not consistent it can be a problem.

There should be a set number of days where you are consistent with chess learning, it is like being in math class back in college (or highschool). You might be good at math but you will still struggle even if you just miss one class, all of the topics compliment each other after all.

Even if you are naturally good at chess it will be difficult to continually learn if you start falling off habitually, there should be  a consistent routine that you follow to maintain your learning. This is critically important in the beginning, because such a learning phase is when people easily forgets about new concepts.

Being consistent with constant studying/playing is important, if you fall off for multiple weeks, months of hard work might become pointless. At the beginning consistency is the most important (not intensity!), you will never improve if you keep on being away from chess at the beginning.

There are many things that you can do in order to be good at chess fast, if I were to choose what is the most important it is probably focusing on the endgame. The ending is such an underrated phase in the chess community (even when it is so important!), if you want to improve quickly then the endgame is crucial.

The second and third most important advice would be getting a coach and analyzing your own games, you need powerful insights to bridge the gap in your abilities. If you are ready to improve I will hope for your success, thank you for reading.

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