I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback and e-mail from chess players, newsletter readers, and customers, from all over the world, who have been telling me that they have been winning more games, raising their chess rating, and having more fun.
I love hearing stuff like this!
To me chess doesn’t have to be that complicated. Getting better at chess doesn’t have to be that complicated.
Here is an e-mail I just got this morning from Timothy S. Timothy had sent me an e-mail about a month ago with the subject “Fed up”. He told me “I have been stuck with a 1500 rating for almost 2 years”.
This resulted in a lot of wasted time, money and energy. Not to mention a lot of frustration and no rating gains.
He was spending 3 hours a day on chess, and getting no where!
He was doing the things his teacher told him to, like going through annotating games played by masters, and reading chess strategy books like “The Amateur’s Mind”. All of these are supposedly important pieces of a good chess education, and the path to chess improvement.
I pointed Timothy to my recent post, “Bringing a Gun to a Knife Fight” about a friend of mine here in Colorado who was in an almost exact situation – taking expensive private lessons from a teacher who was filling his brain with useless chess knowledge.
I told Timothy, “don’t spend anymore time on annotated games”. I warned him that a lot of chess websites offer large sets of free chess tactics problems, but that these problems are often composed, and too perfect. So you will get good at smothered mates, and queen sacrifices, but not the “real” tactics that happen on a regular basis.
I told him that he didn’t need any more chess knowledge. He just needed to bring out what was already inside of him. I told him to do nothing but work on chess tactics.
This morning I got an e-mail from him, with the subject line “improvement”, which said…
Hi Tim, glad to let you know I stopped annotated games and strategy books and focused on nothing but tactics. I was low 1500 last time I emailed you and now I’m 1673 rated.
You too can get the rating that you deserve! If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my free chess tactics e-mail newsletter!