Frankly you need to learn how to seek out "the best move" in any given position.
Opening prep and endgame theory is all well and good but they won't help much when you miss a small tactic.
So, 1. Learn to play the best move you can find after considering all the variables on the board and learn one or two opening styles for white.
2. Don't play anyone below your own rating. You might win, but won't improve and losing will hurt your confidence.
3. Don't play anyone above 200 points higher than you. Chances are, you will lose, badly, because of some tactical error and won't learn much out of it anyway
4. Play against the computer at its lowest setting and analyse each game. Keep going back after you make a blunder and repeat till you start winning. Cheers!
Feel free to challenge me when if I am online.
@Mrchess78 Chess is a very difficult game, especially when you start as an adult. Being frustrated with your progress (or lack of) is normal. Keep in mind that most regular chess players have played since their childhood, and you can't accumulate as much skill and knowledge as they have in a couple months.
That being said, if you have a genuine interest for the game, here are a couple things that can help :
- learn the basic tactics, preferably from a book with curated examples (better chosen examples than in online random testers). Here are two books I know, but there are many others : tinyurl.com/uhrea66, tinyurl.com/wvovqbj - the second one is available on Chessable as well : tinyurl.com/tdbfyfq.
- join a chess club : it will give you motivation as well as free access to group lessons and advice from experienced players,
- get universal chess knowledge from the great players of the past - this will help with your development for years : tinyurl.com/w6bhjm3
- learn the truth about chess study - what works, and what doesn't from a very experienced chess player. Some truths hurt, but this book contains very valuable information so as not to waste too much time... : tinyurl.com/ryqrnas
- play a couple (2-3) long games (25+ minimum per side) every week, ask yourself "what can my opponent do ?" on every move, and analyze the games by yourself - try to spot a couple mistakes and lessons from the game. If you're stuck - post in some forums and ask for advice.
Good luck with your chess !
How do you think you're thinking about chess?
[[["Am i thinking about chess in the wrong way whilst playing?"]]]
This question is extremely specific and expansive.
When I taught people chess, I would have an introduction interview and assign some simple homework that would take 15 minutes to complete.
Based on their intro-interview and the homework that they provided me, I would then spend an hour or two reviewing that homework on my own time, so that I could provide a productive 1-2 hour lesson for their first lesson.
Effectively, your question is a very appropriate question.
Effectively, the answer to your question deserves a very case-specific approach.
People have conflated "How can I improve?" with "Am I thinking about chess in the wrong way whilst playing?", and as a result you're right back where you started.
The only comment that needs to be posted in response to your very valid question is:
"How do you think about chess?"
It's not a coincidence that this, and several subset questions related to this, are found on my entrance interview.
It's not a coincidence that I found your question to this topic to be perfectly salient.
You should lift your policy on hiring a coach to work with you.
Some of the most competent ones are dirt cheap (price of a cup of coffee) and can help fill in the gaps in your understanding.
Some of them can even teach you to be better than them.
But you should definitely consider a coach to help answer your question.
Short of a coach, you could try reading the books that your coaches will have read; you could try books like "Reassess Your Chess" by Jeremy Silman, or any other well reputed books that can help add some benefit and excise some detriment from your paradigm.
Short of books, there are many You Tube videos; however, people are describing an unbelievable incapacity to take 1000s of hours of You Tube study, and having it translate well into their own games.
There are many possible reasons for this, but that's a very long discussion with many tandem points that all deserve recognition; and we're right back to the efficacy of, and reason for, good coaches.
Read some eye-opener like „Move First Think Later“ and you will learn how our brain works when it comes down to chess. Or Rowson’s books are good as well.
I think OP is taking things too seriously, you gotta have a little fun. 1400 after 30 games is great for a beginner. There's always someone better than you, and as you get better you will simply face more challenging opponents and take more meaningful losses. The most important thing is enjoying the game and trying to learn from your mistakes (and your opponent's, since I analyze games I won often). When you lose a game on an obvious blunder, it's not always a great idea to dwell on that game, just keep playing. Go back and look at the game at the end of your playing session, or if the loss puts you 'on tilt' just stop playing.
You need to learn how to 'think' correctly, something which I think I have become much better at over the past few months. Firstly, look at the position objectively and observe things like weaknesses, strong pieces, bad pieces, weak squares etc. Then, start coming up with plans in the position, like a king-side attack for instance. After this create a candidate moves list with forcing moves (checks and captures at the top) which essentially is a list of the best moves which follow your original plans. Then, the inner scientist of yourself comes out - you calculate each and every move to whatever depth you like, before evaluating the position according to centre-control, pawn structure, material count, pieces and attacking potential. This process helps you decide what move is best.
In reality, however, you aren't going to calculate every move but rather intuition is used, but don't worry - this will improve over time.
Best of luck!
You can't post in the forums yet. Play some games!