Sunday, July 18, 2010

How to Practise Chess

Chess practise is very important for improvement of your game. But, it is not so easy to find a good forum for regular practise.

Below are a few possibilities.

1. Join a Chess Club
This would be the best option. Practise with other players; if chess clock is also available, it would be great. After the game, analyse the game for a few minutes with the opponent.

2. Play through Grandmaster games
Grandmaster games are the easiest way to practise chess. If the games have explanatory analysis, it would be very instructive. Each master has his typical style and games by the greatest players should be studied closely.

3. Online Playing
There are several websites where one can play with other users who would have logged in. Some of the better sites in my knowledge are below:

[a] ICC (Internet Chess Club) - one of the best sites for online chess. You have to download the client software called Dasher (latest version here) through which the user can login to the ICC server. However the free trial is only for 30 days after which, serious users can pay the subscription for continued usage.

[b] Chess Cube - an excellent user interface; which however take a while to load due to Flash being used in the site. Also users who do not have the Flash components may need to install these from the Adobe website. Registration is free but you need to confirm the email. You can continue playing for free, but subscription will give you lot more features.

[c] Chess Here - a good site which requires free registration. Online playing for free is restricted to limited number of games.

[d] Gameknot - a good site which offers both online as well as turn-based chess. Registration (free) is required to login.

4. Turn-based chess
A good option for players who are not able to devote long hours to real time practise is turn-based chess. Here you have a certain number of days for each move. You can start several concurrent games at the same time and make your move when you are logged in. Even if you logout, your moves are saved, which your opponent can respond to, when he logs in. Some of the better sites are:

[a] Chessworld - one of the best sites with rich functionalities. Registration is free, however there are lot of restrictions on free usage. Subscription will unlock the full features.

[b] RedHotPawn - another very good site with several innovative features like leagues and clans. It also has a Blitz microsite to play online chess. Registration is free, again, there are restrictions on free usage. Subscription will unlock the full features.

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