4 Ways To Revamp Your Chess

IM Kostya Kavutskiy offers 4 different training plans to kick your chess into full gear going into 2021. Questions? Post them in the comments!

(0:00) – Intro
(1:10) – Overview
(1:47) – 1. Calculation
(4:07) – 2. Positional Understanding
(6:52) – 3. Endgames
(10:59) – 4. Openings

My full list of recommendations (no paywall) :

1) Calculation

– Chess.com Puzzle Rush/Survival Mode
– ChessKing Apps (iOS/Android) : CT-Art 4.0 / CT-Art (1400-1600)/Tactics for Beginners
– Chessable Tactics Courses/Visualize Course
– ChessTempo

Polgar – Learn Chess the Right Way series,
Seirawan – Winning Chess Tactics,
Alburt & Palatnik – Tactics for the Tournament Player,
Vukovic – Art of Attack,
Blokh – Combinative Motifs,
Manual of Chess Combinations,
The Woodpecker Method,
Edouard – Chess Calculation Training,
Volokitin & Grabinsky – Perfect Your Chess,
Aagaard – Grandmaster Preparation Series,

2) Positional Understanding

Books (drill by examples):
Silman – Reassess Your Chess,
Gelfer – Positional Chess Handbook,
Hellsten – Mastering Chess Strategy,

Game Collections:
Alekhine, My Best Games,
Capablanca, Endgames,
Rubinstein, Life and Games,
Bronstein, Zurich 1953,
Botvinnik, One Hundred Selected Games,
Tal, Life and Games,
Fischer, Sixty Memorable Games,
Karpov, Karpov’s Strategic Wins,

3) Endgames

Practical Endgame Play –
Shereshevsky – Endgame Strategy,
Hellsten – Mastering Endgame Strategy,

Theoretical Endgames:
Silman’s Complete Endgame Course,
De la Villa – 100 Endgames You Must Know,
Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual,

4) Openings

Chessable, Chessbase, Chess24 all have great opening courses, depending on the topic. But whatever you do, try to play training games and analyze them carefully!

Free tool to save your opening prep: lichess.org/study

Good luck!

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  1. Thank you…
    Very useful and practical way for me to set my next 3 month goal.

  2. I really like how you structure your videos, including the timestamps and links, and how you teach/present in your most best and honest way (thats how I perceived it 🙂 ). Just a couple of question though, is it ok to maybe study endgame (one book) and opening (one book) at the same time? I know you said focus on one thing but I think it's ok coz back in school days we learned many subjects at the same time. Have you heard about Hiarcs? You think it's a good alternative to Chessbase?

  3. Thanks Kostya! Now can you show me how to revamp my marriage?

  4. Hi Kostya. I am told by stronger players (I'm FIDE 1500) that I'm tactically much better than my peers. So I was thinking maybe it's a good idea to become a "tactical player". But how to become one? I know this terminology exists, but what does it even mean?

  5. Thanks for this great video!

    I'm currently rated around 1400 USCF (but am probably closer to 1600 in strength).

    I've worked my way up to Woodpecker Mediums and have done about 2 or 3 sets at that level (80% approx accuracy)

    If i had to guess it probably takes me around 5-10 min to solve these problems. Does this sound like an appropriate level of puzzle for me to be working on ? Or would I be better served by some of the books in the 1400-1800 range?

  6. Lol, I'm drilling rook endgames puzzles on lichess now😂 and I read Dvoretskiy)

  7. I have so many chess books. I buy them, go through a few games but get distracted and rarely return. I have now made it a point to make studies on lichess where I put all the games along with annotations…sometimes it’s simply what the author has annotated, sometimes my thoughts are included…but in either case I am more engaged and can actually track my progress through a book. It also helps with endgame books, because I can go right into playing against the computer to drill.

    Love the video,ordering a book tonight!

  9. Best instructions how to revamp your chess. Great and wonderful useful video.

  10. Apreciado Maestro: Disculpa mi pedido, pero no está habilitada la traducción automática y sólo puedo verlo en español. Desde ya, muchas gracias.

  11. came a year too late, hope the advice still holds 🙂

  12. Thank you great stuff!!
    Follow up 5-1-23 – i bought this app and am 300 puzzles into it and i can already see improvement in the way i approach the game, but it is hard, really makes you think things through, and presents new approaches, that i had not seen before.
    So again, thank you!!

  13. I've looked through quite a few of the books recommended on calculation and it looks like they are just a lot of puzzles. Is there a book that is focused on teaching you actual calculation techniques or a method to calculation?

  14. I'm in 1900 puzzles but for some reason those weird 1400- 1500 puzzles

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