How to Become a Titled Player (part-2)

Here you’ll learn some techniques that will make your transition to an international chess title (FM / IM / GM) quicker and easier.
Note: you may study the 1st part of this lesson here: LINK

Observe games by your “CHESS HERO”.
Imitation is a most natural and effective learning method. That’s why it’s so useful for you to choose “your chess hero” and to observe his/her games. Now, here are some important observations that you should take into account.
  • If you study different chess books, videos, etc. you see the games of many different players. All of those different styles and ideas can mix up things completely for you. Select a single chess hero and focus on his games. After some learning you’ll notice the typical plans and ideas used by this player. Doing this will help you to more easily adopt their method of play.
  • Choose an ATTACKING player. Since attack is the main way for a win, one must master this skill before anything else. Although KarpovPetrosian, etc. are great players, they are not suitable for the role of your chess hero (they may be suitable AFTER you become a titled player).
Chess history knows a lot of great attackers: MorphyTalShirovKasparov,SpasskyTolushAlekhine, etc. – you can easily choose the one you like better.

Play a series of tournaments. At least, play training games before a tournament.
It’s a different thing to study chess than it is to play chess. In fact, these things require a somewhat different mindset.
Those players who don’t understand this make 1 typical mistake. Before a tournament they study chess intensively: reading books, studying openings, etc. After that, they go to a tournament and play badly. Following that they become frustrated and can’t understand what has happened.
However, there is a simple explanation (known by most professional players). You need “to switch your brain” from training mode to practice modeWhile preparing for a tournament you need to play chess. At this point, it’s too late to read books – you can’t change your overall chess strength in a few weeks anyway.
Playing 2-3 tournaments in a row can be a solution as well. During the first tourney you’ll warm up (:)) while in the next tournaments you’ll show your best performance.

Study chess PROPERLY
Together with “ADVICE #1” these are the most important factors.
It’s a pity to see how many people spend/waste time on Internet blitz and tactical puzzles, and after that wonder why they are not progressing.
Luckily for chess players they have A Universal Lame Excuse (:)): “I don’t have chess talent”. It’s so convenient to say it. Now it’s not your fault anymore, you’ve somehow shifted responsibility to God. People like this psychological trick so much, that I propose to establish an abbreviation ULE: Universal Lame Excuse. Now if somebody starts explaining you that “he thinks that maybe he does not have enough talent for…” – you can just reply: “I know, it’s ULE.” :)
Note: While I can’t explain everything about chess training in this short article, you can always find a lot of related free lessons on this website, or you can simply study my chess courses: LINK
To conclude here, let’s train your calculation skills.
Topalov – Amonatov
White’s turn
This is a very practical position. A lot of endgames end up with positions where you need to calculate who’ll promote a pawn earlier.
Your task here is to calculate the move 38. Ba5 and to determine the final result of the game.
After that please download the whole game here: LINK