A week ago, I decided to take my interest in chess further by taking it up as a hobby and dedicating some time to it every day in order to improve.
After searching around for ideas on where to start, I stumbled across Chessable, where I was intrigued by the different methods it uses to enhance learning.
I wanted to use this blog as a diary, recording my weekly progress with Chessable, and on how effective it is in developing a player from the basics. I’ll start with a little background information: I’m 19 years old, only played chess for fun with family, and aspiring to become decent at chess (1500+ rating).
“To improve at chess you should in the first instance study the endgame.”Jose Capablanca
To start out my journey, I opted to study the endgame first. This is so I can work with fewer pieces on the board, as it teaches me to think about how different pieces can work together to achieve a goal.
For example, this week I’ve learnt how to support past pawns using the king as a defender to block the opponents’ king from attacking. While this is basic knowledge to most players, I’ve never thought about the potential of the king as usually, I would just try to protect the king from any kind of attack.
I purchased two endgame books from the site. The first is the well-known book called “100 Endgames you must know” by Jesus De La Villa, as it is well recommended by a lot of people and suited towards basic endgames.
The second is “Mastering Pawn Endgames: Volume 1” by IM Ahmad Alkhatib, as pawn endgames are the most fundamental and this book goes into more detail than Villa’s book.
Both of these books will give me a solid foundation on the basic endgame principles where I can build up my knowledge for more advanced endings.
So far, I’ve been enjoying these books, they explain the key concepts in each ending while keeping it simple enough that I understand it. By keeping it simple, it can be easily digested and not overwhelming which is especially useful as I am a beginner.
At this point, I’ve studied 148 variations, which I’m not sure if it is impressive or not however it’s good to see how many lines I’ve worked my way through, and can actively recall.
Using Chessable has made it more enjoyable to study chess as its gamification elements provide positive reinforcement which makes it both fun and easy to learn.
Rather than practising on a physical board or reading through a book, Chessable can be used on any device such as a phone which makes it easy to practice anywhere, even if it is for 10 minutes at a time. This is extremely useful for me as I am able to do reviews wherever I want, such as the comfort of my bed or even in my lunch break at work.
Overall, I am pleased with my progress so far using this site. It is fun to learn and expand my knowledge little by little and I am excited to see how far I can progress in a years time.
- Stefan’s blog #1: A week in Chessable – what I’ve learned - 11th February 2019