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chess instructions for intermediates

chess instructions to attain advanced level

This page is for intermediates in chess who want to take their playing skills to the next level.   At this stage, almost chess enthusiasts stop.  Why?  Some of them simply do not want more.  However, most of them do not have access to good chess instructions for the needed improvement.  We give you here a complete guide for your study in all phases of the game, so that you can improve for sure and with greater speed.


Instructions for chess openings

First, you have to feel comfortable with all the positions of the main variations.  For example, if you want to play Caro-Kann because you like the Classical System, you have to like also the Advance Variation, the Panov Attack and other White's choices.  Therefore, to play the opening well, you have to improve in many type of positions.  This mainly means that the opening preparation has to be done together with the learning of strategy.  In addition, it would be very good to review many masters' games, since the more you study various games, the more you will discover and learn new opening systems.  If you will follow these instructions you will realize that certain positions that you did not like before will feel more and more comfortable to you and you will also know better how to evaluate their consequential positions.

You have to concentrate on understanding the plans of every principal variation, not to memorize the moves .  First of all, your opponent will not play like Anand or other top players, so initially it is enough to know good plans for your systems.

A good method for the opening study: try to find an explanation to the move order for the opening's variations!  Keep the chess board in front of you and think why it is important to make a certain move before another.   With this method you will gain:

  • a better understanding of your plan and opponent's counter play
  • better calculation skills
  • move-by-move learning of the variations (develop opinion on which you like)

In addition, if you will need more games for the study of your variations, you can search on by positions, ELOs and year played.  If you can afford it, one database with annotated games is a remarkably good help.  Finally, for our chess instructions on openings, we recommend you to get a material with a lot of annotations:


Instructions for chess strategy

First of all you have to (RE)learn chess strategy and to learn HOW TO THINK.  You have to develop your skills of evaluating and playing the typical chess positions.  You may want to write a summary of all the important things you learn from your books.  It is very useful to have a notebook and to read from time to time your glossary.  Here are the best chess books at this level:

  • Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur by Euwe
  • My System by Nimzowitsch
  • Understanding Pawn Play in Chess by Marovic
  • Chess Master School - especially good because of its structured method.

Other very good chess books:

  • Understanding Chess Move by Move by Nunn
  • Capablanca's Best Games by Golombek
  • Tal-Botvinnik 1960 by Tal

After you write all the important theoretic concepts from the materials pointed out here, it is very instructive to analyze and annotate your own archived games.  When possible, categorize your moves according to the general principles you have learned.  Continue doing so for all the games you will play in the next tournaments.


Instructions for chess tactics

If you study chess books on chess strategy you will drastically improve your understanding of chess.  However, you know for sure that a good game can be finished in just a few moves if you or your opponent does not pay attention to the tactical opportunities.  Moreover, a good strategic early phase of a game often wins in the end with a tactical blow.  Also, you have to calculate and play with full respect to your opponent's possible counter play.

When you study tactics, try to calculate on your own ALL the variations of the key-positions and after that compare it to the solutions given by the author.

The following books are the most suitable for your level:

  • Art of Attack in Chess by Vukovic
  • Chess Tactics for Advanced Players by Averbakh
  • Dvoretsky's and Nunn's books on tactics

Instructions for the endgame

Knowledge of the endgame helps more than you think at first.  For example when you have a good position in the middlegame but there is no possibility of a mate attack or winning a decisive material you make normal moves that take the game close to the endgame.  These types of positions are very frequent and you will have to find a line that leads to a winnable endgame.  You can calculate exactly the variation and then visualize the resulting position, but is it a good endgame or a bad one?  That is often impossible to calculate exactly and then your knowledge of the basic endgame positions becomes very valuable.  Here many players lose their way, since the misinterpretation of the endgame often changes the result of an otherwise good game.

Other benefits are less obvious: the endgame STUDY helps very much in gaining more calculation strength.   You need that at any stage of the game!  Other benefits include better understanding of strategy, since during the endgame, strategic elements (like square's weaknesses) are more obvious.

One very good and comprehensive book on the endgame is:

  • Endgame Manual (2nd edition) by Dvoretsky

other chess instructions for you

  • Play as often as you can in official tournaments.  After every tournament, analyze your games thoroughly.
  • Do not use your computer too much.  It is in vain to analyze games with software.
  • Your chess learning must be based on STUDY.  You must comprehend every game or position.  Do not forget: make a notebook!
  • ...and it is time to solve hard positions and get prepared for the real challenge.  A great material we recommend to you is the Chess Master School where you have tons of positional exercises to solve.

- Chess Instructions

We hope that in a short time you will be reading our chess instructions for the advanced players.  However, for now, we recommend to follow very carefully the above chess instructions.  Good luck!

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