Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Previously yr and a half, chess competitions have been held nearly completely on-line and the recognition of the sport has grown tremendously. With the return of over-the-board (OTB) occasions, many gamers are questioning how they need to put together to play with a bodily board.

On this article, I will use numbers to attempt to shed some gentle on that matter.

I have been researching chess enchancment knowledge for the previous 4 years and analyzed enchancment metrics on over 400 ChessGoals survey respondents. For this text, I appeared particularly at gamers who talked about the OTB score system as their fundamental metric for chess enchancment (66 gamers).

Listed here are my high suggestions for bettering your OTB Chess utilizing

#1 – Make a plan

Earlier than we even get to the info, a very powerful step for enchancment is planning to get there. Doing so removes any guesswork and lets you deal with the method of enchancment. There are numerous methods to plan, and you too can comply with’s examine plan listing.

Primarily based on what I discovered after analyzing the info on this article, I’ve additionally added a information on the finish of this text. Be happy to make use of it to provide the route you’ll want to enhance!

#2 – Commit time to chess

For sure that spending extra time on chess will assist your efficiency. This is a have a look at what number of annual score factors the gamers I studied acquired primarily based on the hours per week they spent.

hour/week 12-Month Score Profit
0-3 16
3-13 54
13-16 187
>16 116

Spending about two hours per day appears to be the sweetest spot in each this knowledge set and the complete knowledge set of gamers bettering on-line and OTB play.

I do know it’s not practical for many gamers to dedicate that a lot time to chess. So let’s check out how a lot time he spent finding out and taking part in to assist predict success.

#3 – Take time to play

Looking on the share of time spent taking part in versus finding out, the most effective performing gamers play 60% of the time and examine 40% of the time. I like to offer a common rule to chess college students to at all times spend at the least half of the chess time taking part in the sport.

This is the underside line: taking part in 80-90% of the time would not damage a lot, however finding out 80-90% of the time will definitely decelerate your progress.

When analyzing the info, I observed a gaggle of “ultra-gainers” who excelled in elevating their OTB scores over the previous 12-month interval. He scored a mean of 202 score factors in a yr! This is a pie chart of how they allotted their taking part in time:

Extremely-gainers spend proportionally twice as a lot time on chess day by day as do others. He spent barely much less time on Blitz and Bullet, which means that favoring long-term management could also be helpful.

#4 – “Chess is 99% technique”

We’ve all heard the well-known quote which says that chess is 99% technique. Actually, technique is extraordinarily essential for bettering chess, particularly when you will have simply began taking part in. As one’s score will increase, the steadiness between technique and technique/endgames/openings will steadily shift in direction of the latter.

I might suggest about 20% of complete chess time spent on technique for gamers seeking to enhance their OTB recreation. It must be an equal division between deep computation and instinct.

Fortunately, makes it straightforward! Puzzles are excellent for engaged on calculation abilities. It’s essential to remedy the puzzles slowly to unravel at the least 80%+ appropriately. The aim is to see all of the essential variations so that you’ve the endurance to depend the longer variations in OTB video games.

Puzzle Rush can be utilized to steadiness calculation coaching. Select both 3 minute, 5 minute, or widespread puzzle battles to enhance these instinct abilities. Puzzle Rush additionally serves as an excellent warm-up earlier than precise recreation play. In my very own expertise, sharp instinct puzzles will shortly clear any clouds and get the mind prepared to fireside on all cylinders.

Chess puzzles will help you with your strategy.
Fixing puzzles and taking part in Puzzle Rush will assist sharpen your tactical abilities.

#5 – Analyze, Analyze, Analyze!

The majority of the advance in chess comes from truly analyzing the video games. I’ve written an in depth weblog submit in regards to the artwork of recreation evaluation on my web site. To sum it up, the period of time you spend doing evaluation must be proportional to the time you spend taking part in the sport.’s Sport Report is an environment friendly software for analyzing your recreation. With out stumbling by means of variations on a bodily board, or needing a employed chess coach, you possibly can turn into a grasp at analyzing video games utilizing this software.

Along with analyzing your personal video games, is one other helpful useful resource for analyzing grasp video games with classes. It’s splendid to spend about 15% of your time with recreation evaluation.

Improving OTV Ratings with
Karpov-Anziker, 1974.

A straightforward option to steadiness recreation evaluation with gameplay is to spend about 20-30% of the time spent on the sport analyzing it later. A median of 60 minutes of classical play deserves about 12-18 minutes of study, whereas a 6-minute recreation requires solely a fast evaluate.

#6 – Rotate your chess examine

For many gamers seeking to enhance in OTB chess, I like to recommend at some point per week to rotate between openings, ways, and endgames. This may be elevated to 2 days per week as your score reaches 1700+. To compensate for the additional time on examine, you possibly can reduce on technique coaching a bit.

Lots of gamers ask me why I like to recommend so little time in these areas of the sport. The explanation behind my recommendation is that a part of your recreation evaluation will make it easier to study these points of chess. You also needs to have time to use what you will have discovered. Toggling consistently between studying and making use of is the easiest way to enhance your chess skills.

Improve OTB Rating with
Analyzing your recreation will train you a large number about openings, technique, and endgames.

For all three areas, many gamers use the teachings on and work by means of them in sequence. Every lesson consists of studying modules adopted by a check state of affairs, which helps you apply what you will have discovered. Thanks,!

Let’s begin with the opening. Everybody loves engaged on openings—and who can blame them? Each recreation has a preliminary stage, and it is enjoyable to begin with a bonus. Opening and guide strikes will can help you work by means of master-level video games and see which traces you take pleasure in taking part in. If movies are your most popular methodology of studying, newbie movies are a very good complement to the teachings. And, after all, you possibly can at all times examine Opening Explorer to be taught extra a few particular opening.

Just like the opening, the technique may be discovered with technique movies. IM Kostya Kavutskiy has a current sequence on candidate strikes that I extremely suggest. Lesson Instruments additionally has some actually good programs.

Kostya Kavutsky video on imbalance
Kavutsky’s video on imbalance is one in every of many nice video assets educating chess technique.

Final, however not least, is the endgame! There are endgame movies and articles, however the easiest way to be taught endgames is by utilizing’s endgames web page. This function lets you work by means of studying and making use of endgame data with a number of customary positions. As your endgame data will increase, you possibly can observe these endgame positions. Be taught and apply, that is the key!


I’ve helped a whole bunch of gamers enhance at chess with examine plans. In my expertise, these are the three largest errors I see individuals make that maintain them from bettering, so as:

  1. Not having a plan It is onerous to remain centered and motivated with no plan.
  2. Research loads. It sounds superb, however plenty of gamers spend a lot time finding out that they do not observe taking part in the sport. When recreation time comes, the data discovered just isn’t prepared for use on the board.
  3. An excessive amount of emphasis on opening. Learning openings is useful, however not on the expense of taking part in video games, finding out puzzles, and analyzing video games. Consider finding out the opening as a dessert to eat after the primary course of tasty actions is full.

Now, for these of you who wish to keep away from these errors and enhance your efficiency, whether or not on-line or offline, I’ve a deal with! Under is a pattern weekly exercise plan to get you headed in the best route. You’ll be able to examine off every exercise as you go, or regulate the plan to fit your targets:

  • one classical recreation or three quick video games
  • One hour per week of day by day chess or classical video games
  • Hike with two hours of blitz chess
  • Analyze all video games for takeaways
  • 10 minute puzzle race day by day
  • 45 minute calculation puzzle per week
  • Rotate endgame/opening/technique 45 minutes every week

Have you ever improved your score prior to now few months? If sure, what labored greatest for you? Tell us within the feedback under!

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