In order to get better at chess, you need a combination of education and practice. It may only be a hobby, but you either find the determination to commit to a constant learning or play when regress.
I was taught the basics by my uncle. He was a fun man and tried to made sure we have something interesting to do while our families met for the holidays.
Learning the basics and losing a couple of times for me was enough to wake up a desire to get better.
I started learning about the history of the game, about Gary Kasparov and Jose Raul Capablanca. They became my idols and, even though I didn’t understand their way of thinking, I started studying their games.
This is a great advice for anything you do: write, play poker, cook. Read this post, find one person to follow and study how they approach their craft. There is no need to scatter your brain over everyone in the business. Laser focus on one will be enough. Especially, if you have an opportunity to later meet them in real life.
Funny thing with chess is that you need a partner. Which is not something that is easy for everyone. But I remember that even on my lower-end phone I was able to launch a Chess app and play against millions of people around the world.
There is nothing like getting your butt kicked numerous times that will either make or break you. Luckily, it was a smart app and after losing a couple of times I got paired with people around my level. And that was key. Playing with people just above your level, so you know you CAN win but it’s still a challenge.
Practicing wasn’t enough. I started reading about Bobby Fisher, Tim Ferriss talked about the subject numerous times.
The game changed. And, to be honest, I never cared much for the world championships. But my focus switched from playing chess as an amateur to looking at ways chess could’ve helped me in my life.
Believe it or not, the game has amazing parallels with any person’s life.
As I mentioned, I never became a professional. But chess gave me focus and determination. I learned the game, got better, which helped me in a million other ways.