I go to my school’s chess club every Tuesday, and I’m usually the best player there by far. I like to play against my computing teacher, who runs the club, whenever I get the chance. Last week, I lost one game and won another game only because my opponent made a massive blunder, even though I was really tired and didn’t play well.
I’m hoping to get some advice on what I should study in the next few days to improve my game and increase my chances of winning more. Here’s what I’m already good at:
- Openings: I’m pretty confident in my openings, especially when I’m playing as black. I’ve taken a lot of courses and read a bunch of books to get better at them.
- Attacking: I love playing aggressively and going on the attack, especially when both sides castle on opposite sides of the board. Sometimes it works out really well for me, and other times I end up losing because I didn’t evaluate the position correctly. But either way, it makes chess more fun for me and I learn a lot from it.
- Endgames: I’m pretty good at endgames and know how to make a plan to get there. I’ve also studied theoretical endgames and know the basics of king and pawn endgames.
- Piece co-ordination: I’m pretty good at moving my pieces around and using them to create good attacks or defend against my opponent’s attacks.
- Pawn play: I’m comfortable playing with and against different pawn structures, including isolated queen pawns and doubled pawns. I don’t have a ton of experience with minority attacks, but I understand the basic concepts.
- Evaluating positions: I can usually tell whether a position is equal, unclear, winning, or losing.
- Trading pieces: I know which trades are good and which ones are bad in different positions, and I try to trade off my bad pieces for my opponent’s good ones.
- No bad habits: I don’t make one-move threats that can be easily countered.
But there are still some areas where I need to improve:
- Making a plan in the middle game: I’m still working on this, but I’m trying to get better at it.
- Defending: I know the basics of how to defend, but I don’t always end up in positions where I need to defend, which can be a problem.
- Closed positions: I usually play 1.d4 as white, which leads to closed positions. But I haven’t really studied how to play in these kinds of positions.
- Sacrifices: I don’t really know how to deal with them or how to make them in a game. But it could be useful for my attacks.
- Weaknesses: I don’t know how to find weaknesses and exploit them, unless they’re really obvious (like an open king).
So what do you guys think I should focus on in the next few days before my games? By the way, one thing I’ve noticed is that my computing teacher doesn’t know much about openings and often makes mistakes in the opening, but I’m not sure how to take advantage of that. Thanks for your help!