Well, it's a new year, which means it's time for resolutions and self-improvement. And we often make ridiculous goals, knowing we're not going to keep them past February, anyway. Let's make some resolutions for 2018 that we're going to keep for the whole year! Here are some suggestions:
1) Improve Your Game.
There are, really, many ways to do this. Read a good chess book, use software or DVDs to get lessons from grandmasters and coaches who have not only more experience, but good ways of expressing how they personally have found improvement in their suggested techniques. But most importantly, PLAY! You can't improve if you don't play, especially an opponent that is better than you. Yes, it means losing or taking draws, but the lessons you can learn from an amazing move played on you are priceless and long-lasting.
2) Start a Chess Club.
This can be done in several ways; if your child is learning how to play and you want to foster a good environment for continuing that, start a club at their school (or have them join an existing club). Getting involved is always a good first step to improving. If you're more concerned about your own skills, find a club local to you, or even start one in your workplace! You'd be surprised how many people would be interested in the opportunity to play chess socially. If you can find ONE other person, the two of you can use word of mouth to get others to join.
3) Get That Chess Set You've Always Wanted.
Yes, this isn't technically about self-improvement, but picture this: you've been using the same set for a long time, and one of the rooks has been chewed on by your dog before you rescued it, and the board is fraying (or worse), and sure, the set is still functional, but plastic chess sets are really not that expensive. Find something you can afford and update it - it gives you a clean slate and generally lets you have a good attitude about your play. Shop chess sets here.
We mentioned this one briefly, but we need to mention it again. Go online with chess.com, grab a buddy or family member, join or start a club - finding someone to play with is surprisingly easy these days. Almost everyone I speak to, when they hear where I work, confesses to either being an avid chess player, or wishing they were.
Make 2018 great and improve your chess skills!