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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!!!

luresau 9 ( +1 | -1 )
I would recommend you study tactics, and just learn an simple opening system
ordinary_man 97 ( +1 | -1 )
yes. study tactics for the first year. and basics of opening principles and endgames.

In the opening you want to develop ALL of your pieces as fast as possible, and not just on any old square, but on squares where they will have maximum influence on the game. Move only your center pawns at first, only move your flank pawns in the opening if you have some serious reaon for doing so. After you have all your pieces out and controlling the center of the board, and your king is castled, you can start to use the skills you learn studying tactics to start an offensive operation....if you win a pawn or even more material, you can use your basic endgame knowledge to convert it to a win...this is very elementary chess strategy....mainly study tactics, most games are decided by a gross blunder of material and studying tactics will help you avoid these blunders and hopefully help you to take advantage of your opponent's mistakes.
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zdrak 100 ( +1 | -1 )
At the under-1600 level, the most important things to learn are:

1. General opening principles; Those include rapid piece development, control of the center, and king safety. Learn the basics of 2-3 openings that adhere to those principles, for example Italian or Scotish Opening. Do not learn modern openings like Alekine Defense or Gruenfeld. At this stage they'll merely spoil your development.

2. Tactical patterns; Common forms of attack against a castled/uncastled king. Basic combinations with pins, forks and skewers. Overloading combinations. "Seeds of Tactical Destruction", as Dan Heisman calls it.

3. Basic evaluation of position; Simple "who's better?" evaluations based on material balance, piece activity and pawn structure. Nothing too fancy.

4. Basic endgames; Be sure you know with 100% certainty how to draw/win any of the following: K+Q vs. K, K+R vs K, K+P vs K. Develop the ability to evaluate pawn endgames 'by counting' (ie. "I promote in 6 moves, he promotes in 8 moves, ergo I win)
judokausa 250 ( +1 | -1 )
in agreement Your getting a lot of good advice. I will try to address your the question your indirectly trying to ask. The reason WHY learning openings is not that important. For players under say 2000 the vast majority of games are lost due reasons other than opening problems, mainly simple tactical mistakes or miscalculations. Yes opening traps exist but if you take a few moments to look at the threats, and apply opening principles you can for the most part see and counter them. Opening traps to me are "hope" chess. A player will play moves and hope their opponent falls for the trap. If you do they pat themselves on the back at their clever trick and go on playing and hoping to find opponents to fall for the trap. If they fail they are more upset that the opponent didn't fall for the trap than their poor opening play. Natrually opening traps can be part of normal opening play but for the most part they are a failure to follow the basic opening principles. To fall into an opening trap by following principles is the exception you can learn, to fall into a trap because you didn't follow opening principles is a conceptual error that can haunt your entire game.

A good grasp of tactics is a MUST to reach the expert level. if you get Reinfelds book or bain's chess tactics for students and go over every position until you need less than 5 seconds to solve them you will improve greatly. As for opening advice. Examine each of your games with chess assistant or chessbase light (CA7 plug it is an amazing program that costs less and do everything CB can and it can read and reconfigure CB files into other formats, did i mention it is a LOT cheaper!) The best opening advice I have receive in 15 years is to look up the opening your playing and see where you left it. Learn the next move. Do this for every game and after a while you will have a repetiore!
A great site and coach is:
mywebpages.comcast.net/danheisman/Main_Chess/chess.htm
I would suggest reading all his novice corner articles.
Learn a basic tactical opening, e4 is good since it forces you to play tactically for the most part. you can (and probably will) change your opening at a later date but learn the principles now and the rest will fall into place.
caldazar 76 ( +1 | -1 )
In order to become a better player, you have to improve upon the weakest areas of your game. The suggestion is usually to play a lot against opponents that are slightly stronger than yourself, but that's only half the story. You need to analyze your games afterwards to understand the mistakes you made so that you can look for patterns and try to correct the mistakes that occur most frequently. It helps to get second opinions on your games so that you don't mis-diagnose your weaknesses. For instance, a very common misdiagnosis is to assume you have a weakness in openings if you get totally slaughtered in the first 12 moves. This is not an opening weakness; this is likely either a tactical weakness or strategic weakness pertaining to understanding development.
lloydg 5 ( +1 | -1 )
bump these are really good thinks to remember