Free online Chess server. Play Chess now in a clean interface. No registration, no ads, no plugin required. Play Chess with the computer, friends or random opponents.
Create a game Tournament Simultaneous exhibitions
Chess basics Puzzles Practice Coordinates Study Coaches
Lichess TV Current games Streamers Broadcasts (beta) Video library
Players Teams Forum Questions & Answers
Analysis board Opening explorer Board editor Import game Advanced search
Sign in
  1. Forum
  2. General Chess Discussion
  3. Training advice

Hi everyone, sorry for the long post, I will put a tl;dr at the end but I believe that answers from experienced players would be very helpful to noobs like me. Basically I would like to know how you train at chess.
I got into chess a few months ago and as most new players have been overwhelmed by the impressive amounts of information that can be found over any aspect of the game but I could find very little on how to train when you are not at the board; everyone says that the first thing to learn are opening principle and tactics, and I see why this is good advice since in almost all my game the winner was the one that didn’t fall in an opening trap and that blundered less pieces. But how in practice can you drill openings? And about tactics, which is the area I concentrated the most effort, at first I tried the exercise feature in lichess and other websites such as chesstempo, but that “see solution” button was just too tempting and I switched to books for “serious” training while I use apps just for fun during commuting. Also books allow to go through the same set of exercise and I wonder if it is useful to repeat the ones that you missed or you should always find new ones. I will try to make some endgame training, the only way I can think to do this is by setting up some position and play it against the computer.
The promised tl;dr: can you share with the community what your training routine is or any training related advice for a beginner.

I would start out reading some classics: Nimzowitsch's My System, New York 1924, Zürich 1953, Euwe's Master vs Amateur, to name a few

"everyone says that the first thing to learn are opening principle and tactics"
Actually, the more common advice is to start from the endgame, beginning from K+Q vs. K and K+R vs. K, then K+P vs. K, then moving on to K+xP vs. K+yP and endgames involving pieces.

"but that “see solution” button was just too tempting"
Just try to set yourself goals to raise your puzzle rating, and remember that clicking that button counts as "puzzle failed".
Try to be very patient and precise when doing puzzles, analyse your opponent's possible replies in depth and potential counterplay without moving the pieces.
If there seems to be multiple equivalently good moves, that is usually not the case, keep thinking until you see why one is better.
Puzzles are key, they can help you improve no matter at what level you are at.

I don't bother with learning ANY usual openings. I feel it relies to much on remembering the order instead of knowing what moves are good AND why. I try to create my own openings or play against the computer even at a high level do I can see what I'm good at. I learn from the computers tactics sometimes. I use my knights for defense, my bishops for support and attack, my queen for attack and opening up the board, one of my rooks for attack and one for defense. I use pawns for support, defense, attack, and queen protection/king protection. I like to ignore attacks for a while and attack on my own, avoiding my opponents attacks. This usually makes my attack more effective because my opponent's pieces are all out of the way.

At this point you definitely should not be learning any openings, at all. Just learn the about the opening principles which you can find resources on everywhere - move a center pawn (both if possible) two squares, develop each piece moving it only one time, castle as quickly as possible, etc.

And yeah, tactics are where the sweet stuff is at. I'd recommend Reinfeld's 1001 Brilliant Chess Sacrifices and Combinations. But on the other self discipline is one of the most important factors in improving at chess. If you can't avoid clicking for the solution on online problems, you're certainly not going to be spend the tens of hours it would to take to work through that book.

Thank to those who gave serious advice.

@FredtheCrusher Thank you for the suggestions, I am sure those are great books and I will check them out if I find the occasion, but it is not exactly what I was looking for with this post; what I am trying to understand are things like how to go through a exercise book and how to plan a training routine.

@Allonautilus You are right about the endgames, I didn't mention that but I have got silman's book and I am going through it; I have not find (yet) an app or website that let you train specifically on endgames so I prefer to set up a position from the book on the computer and play it against the engine; granted, I have no rating but the progress is obvious to me.

@OhNoMyPants I am afraid I gave you the wrong impression, I have been a student and I know what self discipline is and how important it is, but I just find easier to concentrate on a book than on an app; just like when you are working or studying it is easier to not be distracted if your cell is on silent mode and you don't have facebook open in another tab. Everyone is different, but, for me, using pen and paper to study chess is a clear sign that I am taking it seriously.
With that cleared out, my problem is not to find a book to exercise on, but on how to use it; in your opinion is it useful to mark the ones you miss to retry them after a few days or you should just go through the book cover to cover?

In my opinion repetition is key. Do all the problems and then do them all again, and again, and again. And in tactics one thing that's very important is to fully work out a tactic and find all the optimal defensive tries against it.

Study well ONLY your openings. Tactics are a good idea but after 20-25 minutes(at least me)i must stop because of headache(generally plan i follow is calculate in order checks,captures,attacking moves and only at the end positional moves but often it is not in tactics trainings). Do not play only online,it would be helpful if sometimes you play also in real world(do not tell me why but usually it is a good advice).One of my rules is play only to standard variation of chess nad only with time at least 5 mins or 3 mins+2 sec per move(never less). Analyze your games honestly yes it is helpful but not all else you lose more time to analyze than play vs opponents. Train with engines(example:opening preparation,engine Stockfish 9 for example is nice,one of best engines;i use still fritz8 ihih). Sometimes you can also have fun and stop study chess and simply watching chess tv or top gm games(for example in this moment i am focused on final round of women world chess championship:maybe i no learn but better than do nothing and a bit i have fun,also for comments that other people write!).Another fun is play with a bot here called Votechess,it is wonderful because in same team there are weaker and stronger mates that try to formulate best possible plan. Why so much time to speak about fun?Because if you have fun then you get improve and you go on to play chess. If you win at chess you are happy.If you lose at chess you learn something and you are happy the same.In chess deeper you analyze and stronger you become,more you find out. All the best with your chess progress and fun!

Do not study openings, it is a loss of time and effort and will only help you beat weak players, that you should beat anyway.
Tactics are good, but you need discipline not to look at the solution. Endgames are good. Also great is to play to annotated grandmaster games. Pick a high level tournament, pick your favourite player and play through all of his games. Best is to cover up the moves. You can even use a chess clock and set it to your usual time control you want to train for. Now look at the position and take the side of your favourite player. Think what you would play, write your move down on paper then look at the grandmaster move. Read the comment if available. Play the grandmaster move and the grandmaster reply. Then think again, write your move, then play the grandmaster move and reply.

Study only openings. Concentrate on 30 moves deep in the Roy Lopez. Stay away from Tactics at all cost. Spend 2 years on the subtle difference between 29.Bh3 and 29.Ne4 in the Sicilian Dragon. Lastly try to play bullet instead of longer games where you have to “think”. You might try learning from low rated players. They are so inventive!

This topic has been archived and can no longer be replied to.