Saturday, October 11, 2008

Study Chess from Mark

There is a myth about studying endgames for beginners in that you should study them the most out of any aspect of the game.

Understand that you need to study the endgame, but don't make it the highest priority. You need to become 'comfortable' at each stage of the game. Perfect endgame play does you no good if you get slaughtered in the opening consistently, or don't understand the basics of good defense in the middlegame and get mated or drop mucho material from poor tactical play..

I would recommend studying only those endgames that are the most frequent.

1) Rook Endings
2) Bishop vs. Knight
3) Pawn endings

I would not waste *significant* time on any other endings at first as a beginner because the frequency of them appearing in practical play is comparitively low. Get a basic book on endgame play that explains the basic positional aspects of each kind. Play the computer in a bunch of these endings. Using Chessbase, you can search for a practically unlimited amount of endgame positions you can play out for practice. Keep the endgame book open in front of you so you can reference the ideas of what you are trying to accomplish in each category of endgame.

For Openings, you need to make some decisions and stick to it for a few months to see how it works for you.

Determine what openings you like to play, taking into account the complexity of the opening. As a beginner, I would recommend something along the lines of the Caro-Kann (Karpov Pet) as black against 1.e4, and the Slav agains Q-pawn openings. Both these openings tend to avoid pawn structure weaknesses, are solid, and are not too explosive. But, this is just a preference.

Studying Openings:
Go over a ton of games quickly. You are just trying to get a feel for what types of positions in the middlegame you end up with and what types of endgames come about. Pay attention. If you find you do not like what you see at this stage, CHANGE YOUR OPENING.

Play. Record.

Once past this stage, examine well-annotated master games, preferably those that explain the strategic goals behind the opening.

Play. Record.

Do this for a few months. Once you feel you understand the ideas behind the opening, only then do *might* venture into the realm of Opening Manuals if you got cash to burn. The only one I would buy is Nunn's Chess Openings.

Whatever you pick, stick to it for at least 100 games.

MOST IMPORTANT: Analyze your game afterwords. and try to get a better player (Cat A at least) to go over the game with you at some point, or if not possible, use a chess computer. Fix your opening errors. If your opponent made an opening error, and you did not punish him for it, discover the correct play via computer or reference or better player. Even post to the site for advice.

Get Organized. Database your games.

Middlegame improvement requires you to pay attention to the types of positions you get in your games from your selection of openings. Does your opening tend to end up with an Isolated Center Pawn? Perhaps a minority attack is frequent? Locked Center? If so, read chapters out of strategy books that are specific to the subjects and go over your games intensly where these situations arise. You can improve quickly woith a great deal of understanding by using this method. You will also help your pattern recognition skills because you will be playing similar positions in the middlegame from the same opening.

Tactics! Tactics! Tactics!
You cannot study tactics and combinational play enough. It is the first and foremost cause of losses in lower rated players games.

Study. Play. Apply what you learn. analyze mistakes. Again...

Reassess your play every few months. If you are losing games with a particular opening choice, either hit the grindstone and figure out what is going wrong, or dump it and try something different.

From this, you can see that your opening choice determines largely the strategic elements that will reoccur in your games, as well as the types of endings you will get.

These books will drill into you useful habits of assessing a position. There are reasons these books are so popular - they WORK!

Hope this helps,

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Path to Improvement in Chess

This article was given to me by Shamsuddin Mat Isa in 2003.I have printed it and studied this article carefully.In that moment, like other tournament chess player,the question about how to improve chess always play in my mind.

From this article, I can summarize
1-Different level player require different training scheme. So, we must know which level we are belong and use a right approach for our level.
2-We must study the basic skill in chess first before study the advance material in chess
3-The mistake in studying chess
-the worst mistake we make in studying chess is that our methods of study are fragmented. We study a little of this and a little of that, and the end result is that we never master any of it.
-The second mistake we make is in studying the wrong things, or at least material that's inappropriate to our level.
-The third mistake that most amateur players make is devoting the majority of their study time to openings.

4-Training tips from him
-get a good book of chess problems and spend some time every single day, no matter what, solving a few of them. ( Do chess puzzle)
-He recommend that you study Fischer's games, since they'll expose you to all the different styles of play and fill you with ideas.
-find a basic opening you like as white and a defense to 1.e4, 1.d4 and a setup against the flank openings. Play these lines over and over and stick with them for at least a year and don't jump around from one opening to another.choose a repertoire and STICK WITH IT!
-Devote at least 50% of your study to tactics!!!
-STUDY ONE BASIC BOOK ALL THE WAY THROUGH on tactics, then strategy, then the endgame, then openings, and finally, play through an entire collection of games to bring it all together for you. Then do it again, moving on to more advanced books, and repeat this process until you reach the Expert or Master level

The Full Article.
by Kelly Atkins with S. Evan Kreider

"What's the best way to improve at chess?" We've all asked ourselves that question a thousand times. If it were any other subject besides chess, we'd probably already know the answer: follow the path to wisdom in that field that has been blazed by others. For some reason though, the vast majority of us approach studying and improving in chess in the most haphazard and inefficient manner possible, trying everything except the tried and true methods that more experienced players advise, and the methods that are applied in almost every other field of knowledge.

With chess, most of us skip around. For example, we start studying a particular part of the game and then jump to something else. Or we read the first three chapters of a book, and then start a different book. We also study material that's far too advanced for us at that time. For example, we spend months studying an advanced opening monograph when we haven't mastered basic opening theory. Or we read My System when we haven't studied basic positional play first. Or we read The Art of the Attack when we haven't studied basic tactics first.

The end result is that our understanding of the game is completely fragmented. We know a thousand things, but we can't put them all together into a cohesive whole. Because of this, we never advance very far. No wonder most of us never rise above the Intermediate classes. We are a screwed up bunch of people! :-)

This is NOT how we learn most other things. In school, we have to read Fun With Dick And Jane before we tackle War And Peace. Before we learn to build an entire house, we have to learn to saw boards, drive nails, and so on. Before we get to play Carnegie Hall, we have to learn chords, scales and “Chopsticks” first. In fact, it's hard to imagine any skill or field of knowledge that we could master without learning the basics first and following some type of structured learning regimen.

If you go to the spring training camp of a Major League baseball team, you can learn a lot about how to master chess. These guys have been playing baseball almost every single day of their lives for 20 or 30 years. They're the best in the world, the GMs of their sport! You don't often see them playing actual baseball games during spring training, though. Instead, there they are, the masters of their sport, breaking the game down into its individual components and going through the same drills that the little leaguers are doing: They stand at the plate and face dozens of curve balls until they master hitting them. They shag fly balls for hours until they can do it perfectly. They field grounders by the hundreds until they can do so error-free. They practice base running, throwing, catching, etc., over and over until they can do it in their sleep. THEN they begin to put all those skills together and actually play entire games. Why should chess be any different?

Emanuel Lasker, World Champion for 27 years, firmly believed that anyone with normal intelligence and talent could reach master level in only a few years if they studied properly. If you've been playing and studying for more than 5 years and aren't a Master, then you're not studying properly. It took me a long time to learn this. I essentially wasted 15 years studying chess the wrong way, with very little to show for it, other than watching my rating gradually drop from 2000 to under 1600. I was convinced, for some inexplicable reason, that I knew more about how to improve than all the masters.

You live and learn, and some lessons you have to learn the hard way, apparently. The bottom line is that after trying it my way for 15 years and not only not improving, but going backwards, I've finally come to believe firmly that most of the advice I'd read from strong players on how to improve was correct all along. I hope the rest of you can learn from my mistakes!

As we’ve seen, the worst mistake we make in studying chess is that our methods of study are fragmented. We study a little of this and a little of that, and the end result is that we never master any of it. How many chess books do you have that you've read a few chapters of, then moved on to another book, without finishing the first? How many openings have you studied for a month or so, then gotten frustrated with them and moved on to another? Have you thoroughly learned any opening, or do you know the first few moves of 30 or 40 openings, but aren't really knowledgeable in any of them? For most of us, the answer is the latter.

The second mistake we make is in studying the wrong things, or at least material that's inappropriate to our level. You've got to have a good understanding of the basics before you move on to more advanced concepts. It's a poor use of study time to try to work your way through an advanced monograph on the Najdorf if you haven't learned the basic theory of opening play first, or to try to read the Dvoretsky / Yusupov books if you haven't learned basic tactics, strategy, and endings first. There's a reason you take General Chemistry 101 before you take Physical Chemistry 417! The same thing applies in chess. Learning the basics first gives you a framework around which you can integrate all your future chess knowledge.

The third mistake that most amateur players make is devoting the majority of their study time to openings. There's a term for players who do this: they're called "Perpetual Novices." They know tons of opening lines but don't have a clue WHY the lines are considered good, or how to conduct the middlegame or endgame, and they are tactically sloppy.

The plan which I'm suggesting may not be right for everyone, but it works for the majority of us. The basic outline of my plan is this: Master basic tactics, then basic endings, then study basic positional play and strategy, then learn basic opening principles, and finally bring it all together by playing over a collection of games with light notes or study a book like Chernev's Logical Chess Explained Move By Move. Then you'll be ready to learn a basic opening repertoire. Learn it and play it for at least a year, until you know it as well as anyone. Don't jump around and switch from opening to opening. Next, repeat the process, only with more advanced books, then repeat this process again using even more advanced books, and keep on until you reach the 2000 rating level. All the while, keep a book of tactical problems at hand and spend some time on them EVERY day. By the time you get to the 2000 level, you'll know what specific areas you need to work on from there on out.

Now let’s look at the plan in detail from the beginning:

What I'd recommend first is that you get a good book of chess problems and spend some time every single day, no matter what, solving a few of them. Polgar's 5334 Chess Problems or Combination Challenge by Hays & Hall are both great. This will build up your tactical skills, teach you how the pieces work together, and keep your vision of the board sharp. For most players, start with the Polgar book. Advanced players can skip straight to Combination Challenge, but only if ALL the material in the Polgar book is easy for you and has already been mastered.

In addition to that, study the following books in the order given below. There are plenty of other books that are good and maybe someone can recommend better ones, but this selection should work just fine for most of us.

Everyone's Second Chess Book (Heisman)

Winning Chess Tactics (Seirawan) or Play Chess Combinations & Sacrifices (Levy)

Pandolfini's Endgame Course (Pandolfini)

Winning Chess Openings (Seirawan)

Best Lessons of a Chess Coach (Weeramantry & Eusebi)

The Game of Chess (Tarrasch) or Lasker's Manual of Chess (Lasker)

New Ideas In Chess (Evans)

Logical Chess Move By Move (Chernev)

Don't worry if a lot of this material is already familiar to you. The repetition and review will do you good and will make sure you don't have any gaps in your fundamental knowledge. Now you'll be ready to move on to material that will take you to advanced intermediate.

Comprehensive Chess Course vol. II (Alburt & Pelts)

Chess Tactics For The Tournament Player (Alburt & Palatnik)

The King In Jeopardy (Alburt & Palatnik)

Chess Strategy For The Tournament Player (Alburt & Palatnik)

Just The Facts (Alburt & Krogius)

Chess Training Pocket Book (Alburt)

How To Reassess Your Chess (Silman)

The Amateur's Mind (Silman)

The World's Great Chess Games (Fine)

Teach Yourself Better Chess (Hartston)

You should have a good over-all understanding of the game by this point and be ready to climb to the Class A / Expert level. The following books should take you there.

The Chess Of Bobby Fischer (Burger)

The Art of Attack (Vukovic)

The Art of Sacrifice (Spielmann)

Modern Chess Strategy (Pachman)

The Art Of The Middle Game (Keres & Kotov)

The Art of Defense in Chess (Soltis)

Endgame Strategy (Shereshevsky)

The Most Instructive Games Of Chess Ever Played (Chernev)

I'm sure I've left out a lot of good books, but you have limited study time and can't read every good chess book ever written, so I've tried to give you the ones that I know are excellent and will take you to the 2000+ level in a reasonable amount of time.

After this, you'll be ready for My System, Think Like A Grandmaster, Alekhine's My Greatest Games of Chess, The Dvoretsky / Yusopov series, etc., but you'll know which ones you need by then. I'd also recommend that you play over as many games as you can of Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tal, Fischer, Karpov, and Kasparov, but I'd particularly recommend that you study Fischer's games, since they'll expose you to all the different styles of play and fill you with ideas.

This is also the time to start playing solitaire chess. Select a good collection of games, take the side of the winner, and try to determine what the next move is. Aside from studying tactics, this is the most important thing you can do to improve. Solitaire chess will do wonders for your play and really teach you how to analyze and how to create and follow a plan. Don't worry if you're horrible at it at first, you'll get better. Playing solitaire and studying master level games will "pull it all together" for you and greatly increase your understanding.

I haven't forgotten openings! For now, just find a basic opening you like as white and a defense to 1.e4, 1.d4 and a setup against the flank openings. Play these lines over and over and stick with them for at least a year and don't jump around from one opening to another. DO NOT spend any more of your study time than absolutely necessary to learn the basics of these lines. The time you put into studying the books above will pay off a LOT better and faster than opening study will. After you've finished the second series of books above, read Gabor Kallai's Basic Chess Openings & More Basic Chess Openings to learn the fundamentals of all the openings and the typical middlegame plans of each.

The important thing is to choose a repertoire and STICK WITH IT! Expect to lose a lot at first, but eventually the wins will begin to pile up as you become more experienced with playing your openings. Later, you can begin to learn new openings and defenses and add them to your repertoire. The only way to ever become a good opening player is to find an opening and defensive system, learn them thoroughly, and then play them for at least a year. It doesn't even matter which ones you choose, as long as you're comfortable with them. William Lombardy once said "All openings are sound below master level." Very true!

Do you want to get good in a hurry? Devote at least 50% of your study to tactics!!! NOTHING will improve your play any faster! I've played roughly 10,000 games of chess in my life, and I can honestly say that of all those games, in only one of them did my opponent and I not make some type of tactical mistake. That's probably typical of all amateur games. If you're a tactical monster, you can rest assured that your opponent will give you an opportunity to take advantage of him tactically in at least 99.9% of your games. If you're not studying tactics religiously, you're throwing away wins! If you don't believe this, run any amateur game through your computer and take a look at all the tactical opportunities it finds that were missed in the game. Teichmann didn't lie when he said that chess was 99% tactics. Not only is this the most important part of chess, it's also the most fun and the easiest to learn and master. Keep a book of problems handy and spend some time EVERY day solving them. Openings, endings, strategy and solitaire chess should each account for about 12 to 15% of your study time. The rest should be devoted to tactics! The late Ken Smith of Chess Digest said: "Until you are at least a high class A player, your first name is Tactics, your middle name is Tactics, and your last name is Tactics."

The overall idea for the best way to improve is simple. First of all, stop bouncing around from one subject to another! This is hard to do (believe me, I know - I've wasted hundreds of hours this way and ended up learning practically nothing), but jumping around from subject to subject & book to book leaves you with a very fragmented understanding of the game. It's like knowing a thousand words but not being able to put them together to form complete sentences! STUDY ONE BASIC BOOK ALL THE WAY THROUGH on tactics, then strategy, then the endgame, then openings, and finally, play through an entire collection of games to bring it all together for you. Then do it again, moving on to more advanced books, and repeat this process until you reach the Expert or Master level. This will give you a solid, thorough understanding of the game and help you avoid having major gaps in your chess knowledge. Once you've mastered the basics and your understanding of the game grows, reinforce your knowledge and expand on it by studying master games and playing solitaire chess. Make sure to focus heavily on tactics and spend some time every day honing your tactical skill. Finally, don't forget to play slow games to gain experience putting your knowledge to work and reinforcing what you know!

Again, the plan which I'm suggesting may not be right for everyone, but it works for the majority of us. Learn from my mistakes! Try my plan for at least a year, even when you have your doubts. Push through the plateaus and the frustration which you are bound to hit, and see if your results don’t improve dramatically by next year. Best of luck!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chess Training Tips-Memorise a few GM Games

Chess Training Tips-Memorise a few GM Games
Memorize ideally 10 to 25 Master Games
I was talking to a former student about a month ago. He reminded me of a lecture I gave in Atlanta many years ago. I challenged the group there to memorize 25 GM games. Three out of this group did ... today all three are Masters.
A few years ago, I talked to one young man (from MS) who had been an Expert for two years. I challenged him to do this one thing. He did, and less than a year later he had his master's certificate. In fact - to be honest - I know of not one single person who has done this one thing ... and not broken into Master territory! While there is NO magic bullet , this one thing may come as close as any other I know of. Try it. Especially if you have been close to master level and nothing else has worked. (Maybe it works by making neurons connect in the brain?)
Post-script: In the very short amount of time that this has been posted, several things have happened. A fellow on chess-dot-net confirmed to me that several other Masters also advise you to try to memorize as many chess games as you can. And about 3 or 4 of my former students sent me e-mails. One is a Master today. And he remembers being stuck in a rut - he was an Expert for close to 3 years. I gave him 5 books to buy, put him on a chess training regime, and several other things as well. But the main thing he remembers was that I challenged him to memorize 50-to-100 GM games. He never got beyond 35, but almost immediately, he went over Master himself.
I would say, make a detailed list. What are your favorite games? Do you like long games or short ones? Who are your favorite players? Which openings are you trying to learn? Who are your favorite players? etc. After you have written all this down, the 25 games you pick should become easier. It helps to if you give each game a theme (See Chernev's book on The Most Instructive Games of Chess ever Played for a few examples.) Stuff like: Cool K-side attack or a nice central break-through
By now you should be getting the idea. It helps too if you try to give each move an idea. Just memorizing the moves without any attempt to understand the process defeats the entire purpose.

Chess Training Tips-Master the Opening

Chess Training Tips-Master the Opening
For any student trying to learn an opening, the following advice is a very good way to do it. What I suggest you do is: you should pick say 20 GM decisive games of your favorite variation. Play over all 20 in a row, but alternate it with a game White won, then a game Black won.
This is one of my very own secret teaching techniques that I have not shared with very many people over the years
But it is an excellent technique, and will help you to master an opening better than any other method I have come across.
Try to pick out just ONE thing each game taught you or the one aspect that stands out for you for each game. It does not have to be an earth-shattering revelation, but just something that is significant to you.
You could get these games from virtually any on-line database, ChessBase is
probably your best source for on-line games. They have one of the better collections, in terms of the number of games and weeding out errors. They also have the fewest doubles

Chess Training Tips-Master the EndGame

Chess Training Tips-Master the EndGame
How long are you going to be only half-way competent at the endings? How long are you going to let those full and precious half-points slip away?
Come on, you know what I am talking about. All those blown King and Pawn end-games. Those games with the Rook-and-Pawn endings that just got completely away from you. If only you had known the technique in that B+P ending!
Do I really need to go on?
You have been playing in tournaments for a while now. You get good positions. Your tactics are pretty good. But things always seem to sort of slip through your fingers in the endgame. The solution? Buy a bunch of books on the ending and then study the mess out of them.
Some recommendations
• The BEST book, dollar for dollar is Reinfeld's, "The Complete Chess-Player."
• And of course, since you have visited my "Best Books" Page, you know that Silman's book, "How To Re-Assess Your Chess," is the finest instructional book ever written. So you already have that book and are in the process of learning it too.
• After you have studied the endings in that book, you should go out and study Yasser Seirawan's, "Winning Chess Endings."
• A book you could also get is Bruce Pandolfini's, "Pandolfini's Endgame Course."
• And when you get done with those, you could try to work your way through R. Fine's, "Basic Chess Endings." (A REALLY THICK book!!)
• And then you could maybe graduate to the ECO series on the Endgames.
All this would only take you a minimum of five years, (to really do it right) so you had better get started now.

Chess Training Tips-Learn New Lines

Chess Training Tips-Learn New Lines
Avoid getting stuck in a rut and becoming predictable; learn new lines.
Learn a new opening! Stuck in a rut? Do the "Good Ole Boys" at the local tournaments
have your number? Maybe then the best thing you can do is learn a new opening!
I have met dozens of players over the years who felt that a particular opening just was not getting the job done anymore. Either everyone had worked out a line against this opening, or best play seemed to be getting them only plausible positions. The answer may be to take on an entirely new opening line.
And you should learn the opening the right way. First get a good trap book and memorize AT LEAST a dozen traps in the line you are learning. Write down what makes these traps work and what are some of the common motifs in this opening.
Then buy a good book on the opening. Work your way through EVERY chapter!
Some of the best books I have seen for this type of study were called "Learning Opening X," or "How to Play Opening X." These were basically very simple books, with just one or two variations in each line. This process could take weeks or even months.
Then you should get your general reference book down and work you way through at least the main columns.
After this you should start playing 2-3 training games a day at say 10 minutes per side in your opening. (With computers and the Internet, no one should ever say they can't get a game.) For this exercise its best if you set your computer on a level that is very compatible with your own. (Plus or minus 1-200 rating points.) The idea is NOT to get your brains beat out and shatter your confidence, but rather just get a good "feel" for the way this opening generally develops.
A week before the tournament, play through your "How To" book one more time. Now you are ready to try a brand new opening.
A word of advice: there are two distinctly different approaches here.
One, you can add a line that is very similar to your own. I.e. if you are already playing a double-QP opening, (say the Cambridge Springs' Defense vs. 1. d4); you could try to learn another closely related line. (Say the Tchigorin Variation. Or the Lasker's Defense.)
Or the second approach is to learn something totally new. Like say going from the "T.M.B." (The Tartakower-Makogonov-Bondarevesky Variation), to the Modern Benoni. (This example would be especially difficult, as you are going from a symmetrical, classical, double-QP Opening, to an asymmetrical, Hyper-Modern type opening.)
A word of warning: Most players initially lose a lot of games when they first tackle a new opening. This is natural and is a transition period. If you give up before you get really comfortable with the opening, you will NEVER truly master an opening! My own yardstick is that it takes about TWO YEARS of tournament play, before you get really good with a line. Chin up! Don't quit!!

Chess Training Tips-Attack your weaknesses

Chess Training Tips-Attack your weaknesses
Find your weaknesses and repair them before your opponents find them first
Have you been tracking your results and charting your progress, as I mentioned before? Well, by now you should be able to determine your weaknesses. Especially if you have been following this program for more than a year, and playing regular tournament chess.
Do you lose a greater number of games with Black than White, especially in one variation? Are you losing a lot of close endings? Getting blown out in tactical battles? Well, by now you should have some idea where your weaknesses lie.
Now, adapt your training program
This can be tough. Maybe you have to give up a sharp variation you really like. Maybe you will have to study endgames really hard for a while. Find your weaknesses and repair them before your opponents notice them.

Chess Training Tips-positional Study

Chess Training Tips-Positional Study
Take one position and subject it to hours of serious analysis
At least once a month, either by yourself or with some friends, take one position and subject it to hours of serious analysis. It can be a position you have chosen out of a magazine, or even the end of a book line. (From an opening book like MCO.) You may want to write down some of the lines.
Play both sides of this position against a friend over and over again.
You should also check them (the lines you have devised), on the computer. Many GM's in their youth did this trick quite a bit. Its a very worthwhile technique that can almost instantly broaden your understanding of a position; and chess in general. Your chess will definitely improve. Ask GM John Federowicz; he used to do this quite a bit as a youth as did many other players.

Chess Training Tips-Find a Role-Model

Chess Training Tips-Find a Role-Model
Pick a player you admire and would like to play like, and study his games
I personally know of Several Masters, (actually many) who did this one thing.
Model yourself after that player. Play what he plays. Learn his or her openings. Go over their games again and again until you have all but memorized the best games.
This is a proven training technique that has worked for many players.

Chess Training Tips-Get some chess software for your PC

Chess Training Tips-Get some chess software for your PC
Get some chess software for your PC or buy a small chess-playing computer
I have already talked about playing regularly against strong opposition
This is very important, and is a point that is overlooked by dozens of chess coaches today. Go to, and get Chess Advantage The program, Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess is the finest chess-teaching vehicle anywhere, and I will personally guarantee it will raise your rating ... especially if you are 1400 or below. You can also get this program from The U.S. Chess Federation, or from GreenBay CD's. You also get Chess- Master 4000, Combat Chess and GM Chess Ultra when you get this 2 CD-ROM set. Then go to, and get Fritz6 and/or ChessBase 8.0
If you really want to get better, do what I do - thoroughly annotate your games; especially your tournament games. While you are entering your games into the computer in ChessBase, run Fritz as an analysis engine. See how many tactics you missed. This tip alone is guaranteed to raise your rating by at least 100 points no matter what your rating is today.
Many players have access or already have a very powerful chess computer. But few (or none) use this tremendous resource intelligently. Most will dumb-down or handicap the computer and then show their friends a game they won. This is ludicrous and a huge waste of time.
I recommend that you use the computer to do the following:
21. Play regular training games against the computer at FULL strength
22. Use the computer to analyze these games AND to analyze your tournament games. You will be surprised at the literally DOZENS of times you missed a tactic
23. I have not met a lower-rated player yet who does not have a "Problem Line" - a line that is book, but they don't understand it or they lose consistently with it - yet I have met or heard of few players that will analyze this game on their computer. And when we do it together, inevitably they will find improvements or ideas they had not considered before
This self-discovery method is one of the greatest teaching tools I know.