Learner Series #14 – Felipe Mourato

Learner series interview #14 features Felipe Mourato. He's a very active member of the ChessGoals Community and has been featured in some of our YouTube videos. Felipe's Caro-Kann wins in 18 moves was one of my favorite videos. He had recently won a copy of the ChessGoals Caro-Kann Course and it was fun to share his victory. Felipe recently beat me in a very nice simultaneous exhibition game, and I'm looking forward to seeing his continued progress! Here we go with Felipe's answers: GENERAL OVERVIEW How old are you and…

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Learner Series #13 – Crossing 1000

Learner series #13 highlights ChessGoals member Jack Nowland. Jack has been working with the Novice Study Plan since December and recently crossed into the four-digit club. He just started playing chess at age 29 and I'm excited to share his answers to our learner series interview questions. GENERAL OVERVIEW How old are you and how long have you been playing chess? I am 29 years old and I had never played a game of chess until before the quarantine. I remember I happened to be on twitch one afternoon and…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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