From the desk of Tim Brennan
Date: Tuesday 7:49 pm
Subject: Your Chess Improvement
Dear Chess Friend:
Whether your goal in 2013 is to chalk more wins, prep for a tournament or increase your chess rating without blowing hundreds of dollars and wasting precious hours with boring and fruitless study, this is a report you’ll not want to miss..
Let me ask you a question:
Have you ever fumbled an important chess game?
Be honest with me here.
I want to know:
If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions then I have some important news for you:
You’re NOT alone. In fact, this list of questions was created from years of personal experience and learning this myself.
If you’re like I was when I first started working on my “chess game” then you’ve been in one or more of the above situations–probably MANY TIMES.
And what’s the WORST part when these things happen?
I’ll tell you: the most PAINFUL part of it is that as it’s happening, you FEEL that it’s YOU that’s screwing things up!
It’s not your opponent.
It’s not the game.
It’s not ANYTHING else.
It’s YOU…and you know it. You FEEL as if you’re out of control–of yourself and the situation, and you FEEL that you’re the one who’s screwing things up…because you just can’t get CONTROL of yourself.
And THAT’S the part that really sucks.
After many years of studying chess, reading forums, doing “self-help,” and working to figure out my own crazy mind and emotions, I started to wonder:
Why is chess improvement so HARD for most players?
I mean, it’s challenging enough to get up and go to work everyday, pay the bills and keep the car running right–but that’s only PART of life. We ALSO have to deal with the fact that our “hobby” can also drive us crazy and be very frustrating!
The question I kept coming back to was: Why is it so hard to improve at chess, raise my rating and win more games?
One of the answers I came up with was pretty interesting. And it’s something that could help YOU deal with some of these same challenges…
The answer I’m about to reveal is simple…but it took me a LONG time to figure out.
So take this as hard-earned wisdom…from one friend to another.
After all these years of study I think I’ve finally gotten it right.
I’ll also show you how to get your hands on an exclusive “insiders guide” to chess improvement that will raise your rating to the highest it has ever been. But more on that in a moment.
When I first started going to the chess club I would hear the stronger players talk about openings with funny names, and the hundreds of chess books that they had owned, and clichéd information like “You need to study end-games” first.
I would walk down to the Denver Public Library–which had hundreds of chess books–and just pick one up and start reading it.
All of the information was new to me so I figured it was useful.
I had already read “Chess for Dummies” and “The Idiots Guide to Chess” so I felt I already knew the basics–like what a pin was and what a fork was–and needed something more advanced.
So I started reading about “strategy” and “weak squares” and “planning” so I could “reassess my chess.”
The problem was that I was only rated 1100 at the time, and the basics I thought I had learned, I really hadn’t!
When reading books, if I came across a problem with a knight fork in it I would say to myself “Oh I already know that” and go on to study something I didn’t know yet…like triangulation.
It exasperated me to no end when I would later be playing a game and miss a similar knight fork! To add insult to injury, the opportunity to use my fancy newfound knowledge about “triangulation” in an endgame never even materialized!
That one simple shift in thinking changed my focus, took me in a brand-new direction, and ultimately had a major impact on my long-term success in the world of chess and raising my rating.
Once I’d made this shift, I started to experience the chess world in a completely new way, and this allowed me to discover new insights that I never had previously.
I’m going to share MY list of chess rating improvement game changers with you. Read through these, and see if this makes sense to you…
In 2004, I became editor of the Colorado Chess Informant magazine, which is the official state magazine for the Colorado State Chess Association. This magazine came out 4 times a year.
I started a column in that magazine called “Tactics Time,” which contained 9 tactics each issue, taken from games played in Colorado.
This was the first time I started really looking at class player games, and how they were being won or lost. This led me to the insight that most class player games are being won or lost by simple tactics.
I call this The Elusive Obvious.
This fact wasn’t evident until I had studied a lot of class player games, and I’d never heard mention of it by any chess books or teachers either.
Why it may not be obvious:
So if you only looked at Master games, or the best games of class players, you would get a very distorted view of what is going on in most chess games.
It would be like the people overseas who think that “Baywatch” is an accurate portrayal of what people on American beaches look like!
So once I started looking at these games closer, I realized just how many games are being lost by stupid one-two move mistakes.
Since then I have looked at, and analyzed THOUSANDS of class player games. I literally collect them! I run them through super powerful chess computer programs, and write about them on an almost daily basis.
I wanted to crack the code on why class players were getting stuck at their rating levels–not improving, and how games were being won or lost at the class level.
But I also learned that there is more to winning than just turning your brain into a chess tactics computer…
I’ll confess, I’m a huge fan of Tony Robbins.
You may know him from his late-night infomercials selling his “Personal Power” program, or from the movie “Shallow Hal” as the guy who hypnotizes Hal into thinking his girlfriend looks like Gwyneth Paltrow.
I attended his “Unleash the Power Within” seminar here in Colorado Springs a few years ago after I was having a really difficult time in my personal life.
My wife that I loved more than anything in the world had left me, and I found out she had been cheating on me for years with one of my best friends!
I basically had a nervous breakdown, and was a complete wreck.
I went to Tony’s seminar, which totally brought me back to life.
He had us jumping up and down, chanting, and walking on hot coals in our bare feet.
It was an insane experience, but it really helped me.
Tony taught about the power of positive thinking, focusing on your outcome, visualizing success, and using your body and “anchors” to give yourself an amazing feeling of power.
I drank up these ideas because I was desperate for something that would help me get out of the mental and emotional hell I was in.
Two weeks later I traveled to Reno Nevada to play in the Far West Open B section in Reno. Despite all of the drama and traumatic emotional experiences that I had just been through, I was able to UNLEASH and won first place, going undefeated in my section!
I also learned from this experience the power that chess has to give you confidence, even if you felt you had lost it. Winning that tournament really helped me ease the pain I was feeling inside at the time, and feel better about myself.
Years later, while working on my website and database, I “accidentally” ended up winning another chess tournament. Even though I hadn’t been playing much and was “rusty,” looking at so many tactics made my tactical muscles and board vision really strong. I wasn’t really even “studying” them, mostly glancing at them, and organizing them. After I won the tournament–and several hundred dollars–my friend Anthea remarked that my database gave me “Tactical Steroids.”
After I won this tournament I had TONS of confidence because I knew my system was working. I was proud of what I’d created, and pictured it helping thousands of other chess players around the world. This confidence led me to ask out a really cute girl at my gym, who is now my girlfriend! If I hadn’t won that tournament, I’m not sure I would have had the guts to ever ask her out.
After learning from Tony Robbins, I got more into studying things like psychology, motivation, success, self improvement, and how humans “tick” in general.
I started reading and listening to a ton of audio books such as, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, and “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. I attended seminars and retreats, and absorbed everything I could on the subject.
One idea that I really like is “Learning Equals Behavior Change,” which I got from Eben Pagan and Wyatt Woodsmall.
For most of us, “Learning” just means that you know something. It’s a simple thing to understand, right?
If someone tells you how to lose weight for example, then you’ve “learned” how to lose weight, right?
Not so, according to Wyatt and Eben.
What they teach is that “Learning Equals Behavior Change.” In other words, learning isn’t learning, and matters very little if it doesn’t effect some change in you.
So if you read how to do an “Arabian Mate,” solve a puzzle with this idea, but then miss a similar mate a week later at your chess club, you haven’t really learned anything, because your behavior hasn’t changed.
They also teach that “education” means literally drawing out what’s already inside a person, not filling them up with information they don’t need or want.
That is what I do with my Tactics Time Product.
Most chess players can find the right moves in positions when they are presented as a chess puzzle. Most of them aren’t really that difficult.
And I have no desire to fill your brain with useless chess knowledge just for the sake of it.
What I would really like to draw out of you is the behavior change of always seeing these same types of tactics in your real games.
To look for tactics on every move.
To never miss a tactic, or an opponent’s tactic.
To just see the tactic automatically through pattern recognition.
The skills to find the tactics are already in most of you, they just need to be used on a more consistent basis–i.e. behavior change, and true learning..
This will cause you to win more games, raise your rating, and have more fun playing chess!
That is my goal.
Queue up the groovy spy music.
Listen, here’s The Bottom Line…
NOT having the success you crave in the chess arena feels bad.
It leaves you feeling you have no power in your life. It creates an underlying “distraction” that overpowers everything else…which leads to anger, frustration and a simmering resentment.
It leads to feeling you’re a FAILURE.
On the other hand… KNOWING how to play a winning game of chess feels… AWESOME.
It feels good to win tournaments… and it feels good to have the admiration of your friends…
It feels good to know how to find the best moves… so you control the game instead of the game controlling you.
It just feels good to win chess games.
It not only feels good to YOU, it also feels good to YOUR FRIENDS… and it’s WORTH LEARNING.
Let me tell you a little story…
One time shortly after I moved to Denver, a co-worker invited me and another buddy over to his house to play chess after work. I was a class “D” player at the time, and they were both rated higher than me.
I arrived a little late, and these two guys were finishing up their game. I watched the last 10-15 minutes of the game, when it was over I offered my analysis on the final position.
Once I was done giving my two cents, the “host” said to me, “WHY don’t you BE QUIET, and MAYBE YOU WILL LEARN SOMETHING.”
The only reason he felt it was his right to speak to me in this insulting tone was because of my lowly rating.
Needless to say I immediately left, went home crushed, and vowed to do WHATEVER IT TOOK to raise my chess rating.
I read every resource I could get my hands on to figure out the quickest path to chess improvement.
I’ve tossed thousands of dollars in the ‘chess furnace’ trying to learn what works in the area of chess improvement.
I’ve attended lectures and worked with coaches, bought and read hundreds of books, magazines, blogs, forum posts, videos, software and done everything the “gurus” promised would work… only to wind up burned every time.
Until one day when I finally found what I was searching for–but more on that in a minute.
After all these years of study I think I’ve gotten it (mostly) nailed down. That’s why I want to give you a chess training formula to raise your rating that works. Every time.
First, lets talk about what your chess improvement plan must contain if you want to increase your rating and dominance at the chess board. Then discuss what to avoid.
These Little Mistakes Are Costing Chess Players Hundreds of Rating Points:
Getting back to my story…
The day where I had my “AH-HA” moment was when I read the article “How I gained 400 points in 400 days” by Michael de la Maza.
De la Maza wrote a two part article for chesscafe.com that outlined A SIMPLE PLAN with ONE MAIN IDEA.
That idea was to “STUDY TACTICS.”
What about Openings?
What about Endgames?
What about Strategy?
I followed Michael’s advice and I studied tactics until my eyes bled.
I went to bed dreaming of knight forks, back rank mates, and queen sacrifices.
I went through tactics books until the bindings were literally falling apart.
I would spend hours playing blitz against homeless bums at the 16th street mall–whose toxic body odor almost made me puke–just to get in as much tactical training as I could.
And you know what?
De La Maza was right!
My rating quickly rose from the lowly “D class” all the way to the “B” class in a matter of weeks. I almost completely skipped over the “C class” altogether.
I started winning tournaments.
I started to become feared.
My confidence grew, both over the board, and in my entire life.
Then a few months later I got my chance…
…the chance to play a rated game against the host who had humiliated me, and made fun of my chess abilities and lowly rating…
And I CRUSHED him tactically!
I even annotated the game, and had it published on the internet for everyone to see.
That may have been petty at the time–the host and I are now really good friends–but at the time it was important to me, and proved one important thing:
The system WORKED.
After I experienced this success for myself, I wanted to help other people to experience the joys of winning chess and rapid improvement that I had for myself.
First I started writing a column for our state magazine The Colorado Chess Informant, called “Tactics Time.”
It came out 4 times a year, and contained 9 different chess tactics puzzles.
The column has been quite popular over the past decade and I received some great feedback. But this had quite a limited audience, and was infrequent.
Then I helped my friend Francisco improve his chess game. I’d do analysis of his games and send him feedback. I repeated my mantra of studying tactics often.
He went on to experience rapid improvement, and even BEAT GRANDMASTER WALTER BROWNE in a simul in Reno, which has become a famous game on the internet.
Francisco will be the first to admit he hasn’t studied strategy, tons of openings, or endgames, but that night he was a…
However, I still wanted to do something bigger to HELP MORE PEOPLE.
So I created the “Tactics Time” product, website and newsletter.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of using Tactics Time:
I personally hand-collected thousands of games from friends’ personal collections, forums, websites and internet playing sites. No games were taken from “Mega Database” or any commercial databases–these positions are all uniquely original.
I had three powerful computers running 24 hours a day for weeks on end crunching each of these games move by move looking for tactics.
After the painstakingly detailed process of gathering and analysis was done, I took the best of the best and gathered them into a database containing thousands of tactical problems for you to solve.
Note: For every tactical puzzle, you get the complete game–so you can play over the whole game if you wish, or search for tactics with a certain ECO opening code (not just a single diagram!)
My current Tactics Time 2.0 database contains 10,001 games in it, each with a tactic for you to solve!
I also include over 200 PDF Tactics Time Newsletter Articles that I have written on the subject of Chess Tactics, Chess Improvement, and Chess Success each containing:
These newsletters contain my BEST ideas on the subject of chess and chess improvement, and I’ve received a ton of really positive feedback on them.
Here are just a few of the topics and ideas that you will learn about in these easy to read, bite sized lessons:
If you’re serious about competing in this arena—-and reaping the rewards—-you owe it to yourself to get it now. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, this program will INSTANTLY make you better… and give you an unbeatable advantage over every other person who tries to compete.
I personally guarantee it.
You will also receive free technical support if needed when using the software, from me personally. I have years of experience using Chessbase products, a very strong computer background, and I am always happy to help.
Tactics Time is Great for:
Tactics Time contains a wide range of beautiful tactical motifs:
…that will provide hours and hours of training and hone your tactical eye.
Why Else Choose Tactics Time…
Save time, money and headaches. Using Tactics Time will save you months if not years of trial and error. Why torture yourself trying to guess what works and what doesn’t? Instead purchase tactics time today to get started making measurable progress in your chess-playing results.
FREE Lifetime Updates after you purchase the product. If I find any mistakes, add additional games, add additional tournament information, or make game score corrections–you’ll be notified and will get free access to updates that you can quickly download.
Who Shouldn’t Purchase Tactics Time
P.S: For only $29.95 you get a huge, professional computer-checked database of tactics problems guaranteed to raise your chess rating. Of course you can always continue to put your success in the hands of out-of-touch chess teachers who haven’t pushed a pawn in years, “copy and paste” tactics books riddled with errors, and sloppy, half-assed, over priced “database dumps” disguised as instructional chess books. Here is what you have to look forward to if you trust these resources: a waste of your hard-earned dollars, blown time that you will never get back on “utter crap,” embarrassment when others learn how much effort you spent trying to learn chess with no improvement, and that gut wrenching feeling that “I told you so.” Naturally you don’t want that to happen. Click the “Add to Cart” button above, and lets get started today.
P.P.S: Everything is a downloadable, so no need to worry about shipping costs or mailing something back, etc.
P.P.S.S: SPECIAL BONUS: Get started today and I’ll throw in the valuable bonuses that will really put your chess improvement on the fast track.
Just FYI, I am 57 years old. My Dad taught me to play when I was 7, so I have played for 50 years. I am USCF rated 1273.
I am up to TacticsTime newsletter number 9, and have only been doing the downloaded tactics for 3 days. Already, tactics are starting to ‘pop out’ at me during games. I have beaten several players in the 1500-1699 range in online rapid (15 minute) games.
I could have never done this before since I am a class D player. This gives me the confidence to continue with your program. Maybe I will have the confidence to play in tournaments again too.
Just to confirm what you have said on your website: I have played for decades at the same level. I have read all the classic chess books and have amassed a lot of chess knowledge, but no ability. You have found the key here. Thank you. You’ve made chess fun and exciting for me again!”