Guidance and goals from the chess team of Eric/Graham/Steve and Paul – January 2022

We want to highlight some points and objectives to help you progress with your chess.

Standard you wish to reach – goals – what are your personal goals

Similar to every class and chess is no exception however you are here playing chess because you enjoy and like the game and want the intellectual challenge.

Our 1st session players are very strong & three juniors are now playing adult league chess and have represented Dorset. 2 of the three are Hampshire champions.

Our aim is to advance your game to be able to challenge them and play a good standard of chess. Even if you don’t wish to play at the highest standard, chess gives you so many things and your aim should be to at least play at a reasonable standard without any mistakes.

Every one that comes to our Saturday club has potential, the question is how far do you wish to go. These top players play games and go through tactics and puzzles almost daily. Some players have natural ability and do not need to do this but the Saturday sessions alone are not enough for you to reach the goals we would like you to achieve.

Nearly all players initially need to improve on notation of moves. The purpose of writing your moves down accurately, is to allow you to review your games afterwards. The best way to improve is to especially look at games you have lost, this is how you learn – from your mistakes. Learning notation is only the first 2/3 pages of any chess books or learning devices.

We have broken our sessions into two rooms this was specifically during the covid period and the sessions are divided into 3 sections. Beginners/Intermediates and Advanced. In some cases, players are better with periodic one to ones, which can be given in the intermediate session.  Even if you have become used to playing with the advanced players unless your game is improving it maybe better in the short term to revert to the intermediate sessions.  Learn and review more tactics until you feel confident enough to return to be playing with the advanced players.  We will be moving some players around in the next few weeks and hope this will provide progress.

It is most important to practice more outside the Saturday lessons you can do this on – Lichess or – training in puzzles/tactics/openings/endgames. We recommend Lichess where we have our own club – if you do not have an account then ask Graham who can advise and help you get online with this and you can join our online club. (not beginners at this stage).

You need to vary your openings – you need at least 3 different playable openings for both white and black – how many do you know? – do you just repeat what you know?. Look at openings on Lichess or ask any one of us and we will help you along. Better players know several openings inside out and again this should be your goal

You need to improve on finishing off – by looking at puzzles and endgame theory. We do go through some endgames at the sessions but if you would like more advice, again just ask one of us and we can help.

One of the worst things in chess is continually losing and it’s depressing. We want all of you to win games so if you follow this advice and put more time in to learn and develop you will win more games than you lose – this will drive you on and bring satisfaction and personal reward.

If you can follow some of this points then you will already be a better player, enjoy winning more, reduce mistakes and go home happy.

Eric Sachs

17 January 2022

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