5 Step Guide to an Adult Improvement in Chess

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Short and Sweet guide for improvement.

If you are in your 30s or 40s, this guide is perfect for you. Many people start chess late and when they see the YouTube videos and read articles they mostly get demotivated by thinking that it’s too late. Most of the chess legends say that if you are not a GM at 18, you should stop playing chess, etc.

If you are an adult improver and playing chess as a hobby, this is a perfect time to start. Most adult improvers are not trying to get IM or GM titles, they want to improve at chess slowly.

In this guide, we will see a few points which will help you to improve as an adult improver.

Calculate Weekly Available Time

Most of the adult improvers are doing some job or business and have to take care of the family. Because of this, they get very limited time to study chess.
It’s not important how much time you study. The more important is consistency and a growth mindset. Try to calculate the minimum time that you can spend on chess. Whether it’s 2 hours a week or 15 hours a week, it’s fine.
Once you calculate a time, it’s time to make goals.

Set Realistic and Clear Goals

Setting up realistic goals is very important. Do not compete with young players in terms of setting goals. Young players who are only doing chess and school can spend lotttttt of time on chess. If you watch the progress of any young player, it’s obvious that they will improve quicker than you because of the time and resources they have.
If you are not able to set clear goals, you can ask your coach. Following are some of the goals that you can set

  • Chess Study for 10 hours a week for the next 6 months
  • Gain 200 Rating points in the next 10-12 months
  • Playing 10-12 events in a year.

If you are from the United States then you will most likely find a chess club where they organize weekly events. That’s a great way to experience competitive chess as well as socialize.

Hire a Chess Coach

A good chess coach will save you a lot of time. If don’t hire a chess coach the biggest problem is that it will take a lot of time to understand your mistakes and also you will not get a clear path for improvement.
You can read my last article published on Lichess to get a better idea about how to hire a chess coach. (The article is for chess coaches but also helpful for someone who is looking to hire a chess coach)
Weekly one session is more than enough for adult improvers. Ask your coach for a training plan for every week. Also once you hire a chess coach, take atleast 3-5 sessions with him as it takes some time to understand each other.
It is completely okay if you don’t hire a chess coach and try all other methods. But it will take a longer time.

Follow a weekly schedule

Create a weekly schedule by yourself or ask a coach to create one. Let’s say you have 10 hours of available time in a week, it’s better to have an exact 10-hour schedule.
You should atleast spend 50% of your time studying chess and remaining time in playing and analysis. Following is an example of 10 hours schedule that I have provided to one of my student.

  • 4 hours of rapid games and analysis
  • 1 hour of blitz games and analysis
  • 3 hours of puzzles
  • 2 hours of studying classical games and watching a lesson on chess com

It is also important to change the schedule according to the requirements. For e.g., if you are aiming to play some event, it’s better to work more over the board rather than playing online chess.

Track Your Progress

Make a daily or weekly tracking sheet. Make sure to update it on a daily basis. Write down what you have done and time. Also, note all the repeating mistakes that you are making in the games.
You can also make a column where you can add monthly rating progress.
I have created a planner which you can check by clicking here. It’s FREE for everyone to download. Make sure to change it according to your preferences

You can now schedule a chess coaching session with me from here -

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