I’ve played seriously, as an amateur, since 1994 when a colleague at work kindly showed me the initial ropes. I’ve owned and read many a chess book and have played 10’s of thousands of games to date. It’s a fantastic game, arguably the best and is a friend for life. In retrospect I learned the game the wrong way round; too much time spent on opening theory, ignoring the middle-game and worst; not learning from mistakes. Were I to recommend a newcomer to this life-long passion, I would strongly recommend the following, in order:
Steps 1 + 2 will improve your game dramatically.
Steps 3 will fine tune and enhance other dimensions of the game.
1a. Read “Play Winning Chess” by Yasser Seirawan
1b. Read “Winning Chess Tactics” by Yasser Seirawan
2a. Using a chess clock, play short games (maybe 30 mins each side) with someone of similar strength. Learn the algebraic notation (important!) and write down the moves, preferably on score sheets.
2b. After each and every game -> using some chess software like ChessBase (and one of its internal chess engines), go over your game move by move. It is crucial to your improvement in chess to understand where you went wrong and what you could have played.
Which brings me to the most important lesson of chess: ………
Understand that you will always make mistakes, the trick, is to not repeat the same mistakes!!
…….by identifying your errors, you will eliminate them one by one and your game will improve leaps and bounds.
3. Absorbing as much as you can from these books:
Michael Stean “Simple Chess”
“Grandmaster Chess Strategy” Kaufeld & Kern