All of us at some point in our chess journey reach a plateau. It can seem like it’s impossible to improve at chess anymore than you have. We all get caught at a certain ELO, lose a series of games, or just cannot seem to crack a tournament. For times like these, it’s important to take a step back and remind ourselves what it’s going to take to overcome this challenge.
Play More Games At The Right Level
It’s easy to say, but hard to do. Playing more games will of course lead to improvement. Practice makes perfect after all. But we have to remember, we’re not all chess machines. Emotion and mental health are genuine factors in how many games we can play. When you’re stuck at a certain ranking, it can be painful to keep playing games without improvement.
The key is allowing yourself to play games at a level you can enjoy. Drop the level of difficulty and you’ll find yourself more able to play an extra 2 or 3 games a day, which in turn will help you improve. Don’t burn yourself out in an attempt to improve at chess, because nothing gets in your way like not having fun.
To Improve At Chess, You Must Analyze
Analyzing games is a must, and if it sounds boring to you, you just haven’t been doing it right! Post-game analysis can be a very educational experience. It’s important to know where you went wrong, and use online tools to calculate better moves than the ones you made. We coach many students, and we find that most of them end up loving the exercise of analysis. It gives you some time to unwind and share ideas with someone of a similar skill level. Even better, if you have a coach helping you, analysis becomes extremely valuable.
Do Untimed Chess Puzzles
Doing 5-10 chess puzzles a day can be a load of fun, and a great way to improve at chess. Focusing on untimed puzzles keeps your analysis skills sharp. Give yourself a lot of time to think through the puzzle, and make an informed move. Remember, at this stage you are not training your speed, but the basic foundational reasoning behind your moves. Plus, adding a timer when you’re already stressed about improvement is a recipe for burn out. Take it easy and enjoy the game as you try to improve.
Find a Partner
Lastly, improving at chess is much easier with a good partner. We offer amazing group chess lessons, during which community building is a fun focus. That partner can also be a coach! A good coach is an excellent way to rapidly boost your chess skills. Contact us to be paired with one of our skilled chess coaches today.