Advice for Chess Improvement
Where to start? (for complete beginners through those rated under 1200 USCF or 1500 online)
- GM Ben Finegold, "Ben Explains Why Openings Don't Matter"
- "[How does one get better at chess?] I would not get into openings! The mastery of middlegame plans is a much better way to spend your study time. Of course, the B players [1600-1799 USCF rating] will say, 'I've got to study the openings so I can get safely out of this phase without losing the game right away.' I can understand this sentiment but it is incorrect! The middlegame teaches you the concept of the opening." (GM Yasser Seirawan)
Play and analyze your games
"By strictly observing Botvinnik’s rule regarding the thorough analysis of one’s own games, with the years I have come to realize that this provides the foundation for the continuous development of chess mastery" (GM Gary Kasparov)
Study master games
According to GM Magnus Carlsen (current world champion), "learn from the old masters". Classic games are more straightforward and furnish the essential tactical and positional ingredients for chess improvement. See "Classic Games to Know" for some quality games.