In life, there are rarely short-cuts, quick-fixes, or easy streets to success. Chess operates the same way.
Proficiency comes from intentional effort, informed repetition, and productive habits. When applied to improvement in chess, this one life-hack could be the difference of hundreds of points in your ELO, especially if you are just starting out.
Chess sites like chess.com, lichess, and others offer daily chess puzzles to help hone piece combination familiarity, pattern recognition, and tactics.
Often, beginners will hop right into games, or trying to memorize an opening, which can be counter-productive to improvement. Jumping right into games can build bad habits. Sticking to only one opening or play track can lead to becoming a one-dimensional player who fails when forced outside of the current knowledge base.
One of the best way to build the “chess muscle” is repetitions of pattern recognition through daily puzzles. These train the mind to think quickly, adapt to changing piece formations, and search for the most efficient and effective move tree.
Forming new habits can be difficult in any walk of life, but mobile chess applications can help. Doing daily chess puzzles while commuting to work, waiting for a food order, or even during toilet-time will pay dividends when you sit down for dedicated chess practice or play games.
Try subbing out your social media, news consumption, or other downtimes with chess puzzles, and track how your ELO changes over time.
We hope this little life hack helps, and if you think it’ll help another student, coworker, or friend improve, send it their way!