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In the spotlight...

Don't Play Like Me

Dave Couture (2015)

As the “Don’t Play Like Me” title implies, the selected tactics are all positions where I fell victim to one of my opponent’s tactics, so they are all from real over-the-board games and are of the type that you can expect to see in your own games.

I recommend solving at least 20 tactics problems a day - every day - for a couple of months.  Your improvement should then just start to happen without your making any special effort during your games.  This is important.  It has been my experience, that after I had been doing tactics problems for a while, I felt pressure when playing a game that I had to find tactics.  I had to show that my work had been worthwhile!  This feeling became counter-productive.  When I stopped pressuring myself and just played, I started winning more games, including games against stronger players and my rating started going up seemingly effortlessly.  The key is: the effort takes place away from the board, doing tactics problems every day.  I strongly recommend that you spend no more than 2 minutes on each puzzle.  If you haven’t found the answer in that time, then you don’t recognize the pattern involved and it’s more important to do many problems so that you start to recognize many different tactical patterns.

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