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youngglor 51 ( +1 | -1 )
When did you start playing chess? Hey,
I seriously started playing chess this summer. Im a 14 year old little boy who loves to play ;). But is my age going to affect me? Capablanca really discourages me...little 4 year old ... Anyways, i don't really want to be pro or anything but a good amature. One day id like to reach 1600+ rating.
I recently ordered the amatures mind...which i hope can help me a bit, and i reduced my number of games to give me time to analise my games...Are there any other ways to improve. Training of some sort?
Thanks for your opinions
jeffz_2002 151 ( +1 | -1 )
Hey there I started playing a year and a half ago, I'm 31. So don't YOU start talking about your age affecting you, or I'll just give up.

I tried Amateur's Mind when I first started, but it went a bit over my head -- mind you, I don't think I put the necessary time into the book to get anything out of it. Also, AM didn't really give me help in the basics, such as openings and endgames ... it's more a strategy/planning/long range/middlegame book. Which is a great thing, but unfortunately as a beginner I'd play a crappy opening and find myself in a losing position before the game had started.

Don't let me bias you, give Amateur's Mind a shot, but don't be discouraged if it doesn't help, or leaves you confused (it did me).

These would be my suggestions:
- get a basic book that covers all aspects of the game. I particularly liked Wolff's "Chess for Dummies 2nd ed", it's really good. Learn the principles of the game (basic openings, endgames, basic mates)
- study tactics! Very important at the beginner level, since most games at this level are determined not by subtle positional play but by tactics and outright blunders! (Note: I've made 2 such blunders recently!)
- play chess, and analyze your losses! Get a good player to go over your losses with you
- another book I liked was Chernev's "Logical Chess, Move by Move", where he explains all moves in many chess games. Good to solidify the learnings that a basic book will give you

Good luck!
anaxagoras 97 ( +1 | -1 )
I did learn how to play at age four, but played less than ten games a year until age twenty. So don't worry about your starting age. I believe that just about anyone can learn the game with proper application and effort, and I also believe that you don't have to play thousands of games in your childhood starting at age four in order to become a master. However, I do believe that it is only a few who have the innate talent necessary to become a master; age isn't as important as mere exposure to the game in order for their talent to bloom. For my part, I lack that innate talent and an am content to remain a patzer. Your improvement plan sounds reasonable to me, play lots of games (not just at GK) and have the discipline to take a long hard look at your mistakes. Of course you could hire a chess coach, but I think that's a waste of money unless you show early signs of being a virtuoso.
spurtus 99 ( +1 | -1 )
I started playing at about 8 years old, but not properly in any shape or form. I'm 32 now and now I play games every day thanks to the internet.

youngglor of age 14, do not be discouraged because of your age!... rather the opposite!, chess knows no age, it is a game for ALL, it is a game of various forms and not just skill ! It is a game of patterns... of shapes... and structures... and many more things that actually favour the younger mind!

Another bit of advice is not to set a goal of 1600 and get upset at any point if this supposed grading progression is has to for you to get better... but deep down you might be better to concentrate more on actually getting more wise at chess, the experience is really the difference between a lot of players!.. whatever age!... you might feel it yourself with near wins, marginal losses etc.

I hope you realise may have to lose games to get better.... unless of course your Kasparov.

learn and enjoy regardless of result.

my regards,

premium_steve 111 ( +1 | -1 )
i learned to play when i was in fourth or fifth grade (9 or 10 years ago). my older brother, who learned from my uncle when he was in hospital at a younger age, taught me how to play. i started playing a bit more often in tenth grade. at that time i found a small chess club in the town i had just moved to. it was a very exciting time, since i had never had anything like that where i grew up. the players there were worse than i am now, but it was very helpful anyway. my brother and i played there for a little while learned some openings and learned more about the game in general..... and then played against each other at home very often.
now i play in tournaments where even stronger players participate fairly actively, and i'd like to eventually play a bit more seriously than i do now, and jump up to a higher level - to see the board better and play consistantly well. i just hope other things don't get in the way. (i don't think i'll let them, actually! i haven't to this point. it seems like i'm focusing on a lot of things but not really foucusing no anything..... lol.)
superblunder 217 ( +1 | -1 )
interesting. As a baby my dad (666doom) liked to play chess, and by watching him I learned to set up a chess board and pieces at age 2. By age 3 I was learning how the pieces moved....I didn't play much at all though in my childhood, only a little bit for fun. By age 6 or 7 I was beating adult beginner's, but still not playing much. At age 12 I finally met my match against an adult club player, who crushed me...he knew opening tricks, tactical combinations...he read chess books, I didn't even know there were such a thing as chess books. So I realized that chess was much bigger than I imagined. I picked up my first chess book around this time...a great book for beginner's: Attacking Chess by Josh Waitzkin, covering all the basics of tactical attack and defense. Then after studying a little and playing a little here and there I was able to beat everyone in my hometown area... so I gave it up thinking there was nothing more to chess, that I was already an expert!!! It wasn't until I was 23 that I started playing on the internet and realized how much deeper and stronger chess could be...I got whipped. My initial rating was around 1500 and that was without knowing ANY openings and hardly studying a chess book or practicing against anyone of club strength or higher, so I think I have at least some natural talent. I soon realized I needed to study openings, then I realized I needed to study tactics, then strategy, then combinations, then I realized the endgame is very important.....two years later and I now own about 30 chess books and have deeply studied about a 1/4 of those...and my elo rating on most chess sites is between 1750 and 1850....that is about 300 points added in two years of intense study and pratice on top of a 'natural talent' of 1500.

I only wish I started studying this seriously when I was 14 like you youngglor ! I recommend intense study and practice and by the time you are 25 like me you will most likely be a master (2200 elo rating).
adrianallen 55 ( +1 | -1 )
I started playing at the age of 6.

I had a BCF rating of 160 (about 1880) when I was 15 years old. I studied openings (Ruy Lopez, Grobs Attack, Petroff's, Sicilian and QGD).

When I was 15-16 I could anaylze games in great depth and could see long combinations. I played tournaments every weekend, I never notated my games until afterwards - it is quite handy not have to write the moves down during the game.

I stopped playing tournaments at 16, I only played against friends and family. I was undefeated for about 11 years, but playing weaker opponents has damage my chess quite a lot.
youngglor 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks for your replys. I actually got playing stupidly at grade 5 or such but only like 10 games a year like anaxagoras. Anyways, my amateurs mind shipment got in and im learning the hard stuff now...all the theorys...gosh i never knew someone could spend all this time on chess. Im currently trying to understand master games and im getting a hang of it! Anyways...thanks for your help guys.

chess_champion 58 ( +1 | -1 )
me... learned the basic rules of chess at about 9 years of age (my rating was about 800 if i were to guess); played it as a hobby more often at about 11-12 years of age (my rating was about 1000 if i were to guess); started more seriously playing it at about 14 years of age (my rating was about 1200 if i were to guess); currently i continue to play, study, and enjoy the game (my rating is about 1400); in the future i hope to continue playing and occasionally participate in otb tournaments (hope to achieve 1600 rating before 18 years of age and 1800 rating before 20 years of age).
brobishkin 37 ( +1 | -1 )
My start... A family friend named Don Moots (International Master) started teaching me about the utter most depths of the game when he noticed my perception of the game was very keen on the board... The year was 1970 and I was eight... Though my life has had the regular twist and turns one experiences with the growth process... Chess has ever been the fav game of my life...
bigkev 84 ( +1 | -1 )
My start was at age 10 when a very enlightened teacher taught the whole class the game. She believed chess helped with mathematical concepts. I loved the game immediately and when I went to secondary school that had a strong chess team I learnt even more. I probably peaked at about age 18 when I could play 4 boards simultaneous against other players in the club with the same time on my clock and win all the games. I had studied classical and modern theory. Then I discovered nightclubs and pubs and didn't touch a piece again until recently at age 34. Now my chess is slowly improving again.

I don't think the starting age has anything to do with it but constant practice and learning will always stand you in good stead. In other words a prolonged break will do more harm than good.
aqeel 9 ( +1 | -1 )
I started playing last year! When I mistakenly downloaded a chess program! ;)
Since then ; never saw back!