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av8bndiace02 31 ( +1 | -1 )
learning chess In order for me to become a better player. Do I have to learn openings? Or will I get better just by playing alone? If I have to learn openings can someone give me some ideas where to start? I've been playin chess for about 15 months now and I don't fell like Im getting any better. TEACH ME!!!

easyeye 21 ( +1 | -1 )
learning chess U can learn the moves in 15 minutes. The stratigy takes a lifetime of learning. Enjoy the journey as u go--- the loses moreso than the wins for through defeat do we all become better players. Why? Because we are really not masochists'-)
caldazar 134 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, to get really good at chess, you eventually have to learn everything. But the most important part in improving is trying to figure out what mistakes you make, and then work on correcting those mistakes so you never make them again. Then, new mistakes will surface because those flaws in your play were previously hidden by the larger mistakes that you once had. So you work on correcting these newly discovered mistakes, thereby exposing other flaws in your play. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Playing experience is important; no one gets good at anything solely by sitting on the sidelines watching and reading about it; you have to jump in, gets your hands dirty, and actually practice. But it's equally important to collect your games afterwards and truly understand them; your thoughts during the game, the various ideas in play, tactics, strategies, strong moves, mistakes, and the like. If you don't understand what you really did during a game, especially the things you did wrong, how are you going to know what your weaknesses truly are? Once you've identified the problems in your play, you can begin working on some solutions, whether it be through book study, coaching, or what have you.

Best of luck to you in your chess studies.
easyeye 34 ( +1 | -1 )
learning chess Through time u will learn alot about yourself as well. In chess as in life I try to " keep it simple stupid." Not u, me. Someone once told me to K.I.S.S. And it took the rocket scientist in me to figure out what they were really trying to tell me. Be good and be strong. When u r ready for a game give me a holler. "easyeye"
clemens 80 ( +1 | -1 )
I think it will do you the most good to study tactics. (In my opinion, that holds true for a quite large range of ratings.) Get yourself a good tactics book with lots of problems and work through it methodically. You'll be amazed at how your rating will rise.

As for openings, I don't think at this point in your development it will benefit you too much to learn heaps of opening lines by heart; it will only frustrate you when your opponents stray from the main lines. I guess it wouldn't be a mistake to know a few moves of the most important openings (at your level maybe Ruy Lopez, Italian, Scotch.. ? That's what most people seemed to be playing when I was 1400), but generally, just go by basic opening principles.
coyotefan 129 ( +1 | -1 )
Also The biggest mistake I see on GameKnot is so many players think they will get a quick win attacking the f2/f7 pawn. Forget it, virtually nobody falls for the 'fish mate'.

Remember the basics of the openings are. Concentrate on the center, Knights before Bishops, move pawns sparingly (remember they do not go backwards), do not move the same piece more than once, castle early and often.

I would suggest getting familiar with a few openings as white. Decide it you want to learn King Pawn openings, or Queens pawn openings, and stick with it. Same thing as black, decide on one basic plan of attack against the KP, and one against the QP. I strongly urge any new player not to answer 1.d4 with 1....Nf6. There are way too many variations for an inexperianced player to face!

Another suggestion I make to newer players is chess edequite. Do not play your games out until mate unless there is still play. When you are down to a King and a few pawns against a full army, resign gracefully, and if you desire, challange your opponent to another game. You will be much more likely to have better players accept your challange if you have not just wasted 2 weeks of his time proving he can checkmate you with a queen and two rooks.
nivag18 46 ( +1 | -1 )
and I would agree with everything coyotefan has mentioned...But I would also add that you try o play people as good or better than yourself and to replay your games afterwards, especially your losses. As for openings I just play the same ones over and over again till I have an intuitive feel for them. At our level, tactics seem to be the thing. I'm getting better in this area and it has helped me alot...

the way I see it anyway
drgandalf 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Openings should be understood. The best book for understanding openings is "Logical Chess, Move by Move" by Irving Chernev. You will also gain appreciation for positional play and tactics.
coyotefan 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Best Books Lev Alberts understanding chess series. I think it is 5 books, well written, easy to understand, lots of diagrams.
ctrl-reset 89 ( +1 | -1 )
Play over your losses... I think playing over my losses with CB Light helped me improve. Losing is tough, but it is part of the game, especially games where I thought I could win but ended up losing.

At first I just accepted these losses and started other games, but I realized that I didnt improve much. So, I started to go over my losses with CBLight and have it show me where I made mistakes. I didnt realize that what I considered to be a strong move (I always played this move) was considered to be weak move by the chess engine. The only reason I didnt lose is because my opponents didnt know how to punish me.

This is how, I, a 15xx player improved my games. The best advise, of course, would come from the 2xxx players, these are the real good one's. But I thought I'd share with you my little experience.