PrestaJay’s Amazing Results – 142 Points In 12 Weeks

In this Learner Series #12, we interview Matt (PrestaJay) to learn how he gained 142 blitz rating points in twelve weeks while on the Intermediate Adult Learner Plan. These quick results will hopefully continue for Matt onto his next plan. He is now working on the Intermediate Rapid & Classical Plan for the next twelve weeks as he wants to focus on slower time controls. Matt's documented his 12-week study plan here in the ChessGoals Chess.com forums. PrestaJay GENERAL OVERVIEW How old are you and how long have you been…

Comments Off on PrestaJay’s Amazing Results – 142 Points In 12 Weeks

Why You Need the Caro-Kann

Just 5% of all games that begin with 1.e4 are met with 1...c6 at the club level. According to an online database for all classical games in the rating range of 1600-2200, black scores better than white after the move 1...c6. Black wins 49% of games, white wins 45% of games with 6% draws. At this skill level, the Caro-Kann scores better than every other defense against 1.e4. The problem with the Caro-Kann, I believe, is mostly marketing. The Sicilian defense captured the world's heart with dynamic, sacrificial play. Some…

Comments Off on Why You Need the Caro-Kann

Introducing the Chess.com Bot Championship

Chess.com bots are an exciting way to play chess against a silicon opponent. The streamer bots consist of popular content creators who have recently taken on chess streaming as well as FIDE titled players who now stream professionally. Which bot is the best bot? We are seeking to find it out in the Chess.com Bot Championship! Format We are including all 14 of the streamer bots that are not chess Grandmasters. Inspiration for this came from the Chess.com I'm Not a GM Speed Chess Championship, the Computer Chess Championship, and…

Comments Off on Introducing the Chess.com Bot Championship

Study Plans – A Complete List Of Reasons To Use Them

Last week we started a contest to win a free ChessGoals premium study plan. So far we have 25 responses and the feedback has been incredible. The contest ends on January 31st, so if you haven't replied please check your email. We are going to take a look at the top reasons to use a study plan based on the replies received so far, and with resources for each. Even if you aren't using a premium study plan, we can help you set up a plan to reach your chess…

Comments Off on Study Plans – A Complete List Of Reasons To Use Them

Can Blitz Chess Make You a Better Chess Player?

This question has been around for at least as long as chess clocks have been standard. How can it be beneficial to instantly blitz out moves in a game, chess, that requires spending so much time thinking through all of the possibilities? I learned to play chess in the early 1990s, and this topic was as popular then as it is now. The movie Searching For Bobby Fischer highlights two distinct camps on this topic. Theatrical release poster In the movie, young Josh Waitzkin has a famous chess coach named…

4 Comments

Takeaways, The Best Method For Game Analysis

Last week we looked at part 1, highlighting the study plan of Nicolas Celedon Hernandez, aka coriollis. In this post, Nicolas explains his five-step method for creating takeaways. The inspiration for his method came from our game analysis post and Natalia Pogonina's game analysis post. His method uses Chess.com premium features. The rest of the post is from Nicolas. Please let him know on chess.com or in the comments below if you like his method (Nicolas' Beginner Study Plan). How I Analyze my Games I will use my most recent game…

Comments Off on Takeaways, The Best Method For Game Analysis

Nicolas Celedon Hernandez’s Detailed Study Plan (Part 1 of 2)

Note: This post contains Chess.com affiliate links, and ChessGoals may receive a commission if you click the links. The ChessGoals Club forum on chess.com has been active with members posting about their study plan progress. One of the best examples of an extremely thorough study plan is Nicolas Celedon Hernandez, aka coriollis. Nicolas has been following the Beginner Study Plan for about 15 days and posts an update every day to help hold himself accountable. In this post, we will highlight Nicolas' study plan updates for the past two weeks,…

Comments Off on Nicolas Celedon Hernandez’s Detailed Study Plan (Part 1 of 2)

How Much Opening Study Should I Do?

One of the most common questions we get when it comes to chess improvement is how much time to dedicate to opening study. Thankfully, our survey results paint a picture that gives us real-world insight into how much players improved based on how much they study the opening. The answer to this question highly depends on your rating. Generally, the lower your rating is the less time you should dedicate to the opening. Our study plans give specific recommendations for how to study the opening as well as how much…

Comments Off on How Much Opening Study Should I Do?

Jose (49) Shares How He Improved 220 Points In 8 Months

Learner Series #11 One of the hottest topics we encounter at ChessGoals is adult chess improvement. I met Jose Fernandez-Triana, an adult improver, via email correspondence back in October 2020 and we have been chatting about chess improvement ever since. In this interview with Jose, he will tell us a bit about his background, his chess training, and how he improved 220 rating points in 8 months at age 49. Introduction Matt: Hi Jose, can you tell us a little bit about how you first discovered the ChessGoals project? Jose:…

Comments Off on Jose (49) Shares How He Improved 220 Points In 8 Months

Two Systems You Need To Solve Chess Tactics Puzzles

When it comes to chess tactics, there are two key components. First, there are tactical themes that immediately jump out at us. This is our intuitive puzzle-solving skill at work. Secondly, we have our deeper calculation skills. How far ahead can we think in a given position in order to solve a longer sequence of moves. In this post, we will discuss intuitive chess tactics and how to balance the two systems. Note: This post contains Amazon and Chess.com affiliate links. ChessGoals may receive a commission if you click on…

Comments Off on Two Systems You Need To Solve Chess Tactics Puzzles