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Is learning chess like learning a language?

The parallels between the two have been done to death in articles, but if the process is the same thing you could take an article on learning language and apply it to learning chess.

Take this article that I got on my browser homepage:

Change speak, speak, speak to play, play, play
Change grammar to move sequences and vocabulary to learning plans and ideas
Change native speakers to players better than yourself

Now read the article in the context of improving at chess.

Note that in this week's theme tournament I felt I was playing better and being able to play more fluently under time pressure. My secret? I have been playing 3 x 15 0 games each day this week (one morning, one at lunch, one in the evening) which is the only difference.

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Stream From 1600 to 2400 on chess.com - Index/links to the youtube videos

Hi ChessMood-Family and newer PRO-Members.

I find this series very helpful to foster and to challenge my understanding of the ChessMood-openings. Having finished almost all courses and having prepared my pgn-files, I do now watch this series (there is also an older one starting at 800 level).

All parts of the series can be found in the Events-section (quite at the end). But I thought this index could make this ChessMood pearl a bit easier and more likely to  be used.

Enjoy! Nils


Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Webinar - Most instructive Moments - Part 1

Webinar - Most instructive Moments - Part 2

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Building a strong chess foundation

Continuing a discussion about endgame studying from another channel...

I appreciate some younger players have a lot of time on their hands to put into their chess study, but what's the best way of getting to be a stronger player. Of course I can only give advice up to about the 2000 level because I've not travelled beyond, though I have a lot of understanding of learning mechanisms. Would be interesting to hear from the 2300+ players.

A common analogy of learning a skill is building a house. Let's say you have almost unlimited time and resources.. Most builders would clear the land, put in foundations, and build the structure from the ground up, only then adding in features like windows, doors and interiors. Would it be a wise move to plant part of the foundation, but then work on a single wall, get it to near finished before working on another? Or move from one wall to another, never finishing getting the basic structure up?

What I'm getting at is how your chess skill builds itself physically inside your head. Young players (probably) have a big advantage here as not so much is mapped out (more free space), and can spend lots of time really developing the area devoted to chess (like building a purpose built housing estate that functions as a whole and is well connected), where as adults who have less time and are already well developed can not make so much new development and it is spread out (they have to build the houses around what is already set there as well as compete with others putting up their houses). The memories and skills located close to one another will stimulate and work with each other, where as ones spread throughout will not as much. That's my theory at least.

On a practical level though, let's say you could know 100 (for arguments sake) chess things that are automatic and available to you when you play (going back to the analogy let's say that's the house estate site where you are locating houses that can accommodate 100). You'll use these things with almost perfect intuition and insight. Other stuff won't be so automatic, you'll need to think, and the chance of missing stuff/blundering is much greater. Now which 100 would you select? Would it be some interesting but probably not so practical endgame study, you might see something similar 1 in 500 games or less, or the real fundamentals that come up more frequently?

In other words I believe that spending lots of time on things that come up time and time again, or those that are foundations for the more complex will lead to greater improvements and most likely increase the ultimate ceiling rating than less important things (even spotting blunders very quickly or just taking full account of what changed due to the opponent's move almost every time without fail is worth so many points).

It was said once (and I did a crude survey that roughly agreed) that most players don't improve significantly after playing (seriously) for about 8 years. Maybe this is part of the reason.

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