What can adult chess players do to improve their game?

Many players are asking me the same question, is it possible to chess openings for adult chess improvers in their 30s, 40s or 50s? Is it conceivable to start playing chess at the age of 30 or 40 and rise to the level of a FIDE master?

Continue reading for a variety of chess-improvement recommendations.


  • Adult Self-improvement

It is common knowledge that children improve faster than adults in chess. To make matters worse, it sometimes appears that grownups do not improve at all, no matter how hard they try.

This, I believe, has occurred to everyone. Even the top players in the world make the most progress throughout their adolescent years. Everyone eventually reaches a stalemate.

This happened to me as well. I was trapped at the same level for far too long. Years passed, and I gained a greater understanding of chess, expanding my knowledge of openings, middlegames, and endgames, but my talent and outcomes remained mostly unchanged. This was, without a doubt, aggravating.

  • A Surprising Observation

I had a really shocking realization after a lot of introspection. I won’t go into detail about the daily work I put in to improve my math skills. It goes without saying that work is required. The value of comfort was one of the lessons I learned. I know we’re usually told to “go out of our comfort zones,” but this is a unique situation.

Many people impact us on our journey, whether they are our idols, past and present great champions, friends, a certain playing style, or perhaps a book. While all of these influences enhance our enjoyment of the game and our comprehension of it, they may also cause us to lose touch with our own interests and preferences.

This is how it went down for me. I was playing in a specific style, and I was obtaining positions that weren’t quite to my liking, and the problem was that I didn’t realize it. I always had a lingering feeling that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. The above-mentioned deep introspection revealed the truth: I wasn’t happy with the positions I was getting and the way I was playing on the board.

  • True Nature and Mistaken Decisions

This was a real eye-opener for me. The nagging notion that I should be playing a certain way, or that chess should be played a certain way, vanished. I was free to play in whatever way I wanted. I was free to change my repertoire and play music that reflected my actual self.

The Grunfeld Defense is an example of a “misguided” decision. I still adore the opening, and I’m confident that if I started playing it again, I’d be much better than before, but my realization lead me to a deeper knowledge of where I feel most at ease — I prefer a stable center to the fluid one found in the Grunfeld. As a result, despite my superb preparation, my performance in the Grunfeld was average. My fortunes improved once I switched to the Slav Defense and the Queen’s Gambit Declined.

The term “comfort” refers to more than just the apertures. It also has to do with the way you play. Don’t feel obligated to play like Tal just because he’s your idol if your genuine nature is toward calmer play. You may enjoy playing in that manner, but it will never work, and you will suffer as a result. Find your own path and do what works best for you.

  • The Optimistic Meaning

I began to love chess more after identifying my “comfort zone” (here with a positive connotation!). I was doing something I enjoy in a way that I enjoy doing it. One of the most important criteria for improvement is to like chess.

When you sit at the board and want to be there, when you’re looking forward to the game and the way you’ll express yourself in it, it’s very probable that you’ll play chess that is, if not the best, then pretty close to it. Only in this state of mind can you put all of the work you’ve put into your openings, calculations, and endgames into action.

Finally, you will be able to improve. You’ll experiment with the inner calm that comes with discovering your genuine self, and everything you’ve learnt will start to surface in that condition. Chess will be a joy to play once more.