Ask Alisa: Chess Tips and Advice from FM Alisa Melekhina
FM Alisa Melekhina is here to provide you with the best chess tips!
Whether is it theoretical chess advice, selecting a repertoire for your style, tips for improvement, balancing work-life and chess, thoughts on major tournaments, chess in the mainstream, chess in corporate culture, women in chess… Alisa is here to give you the chess tips and advice that can improve your game.
This time, Alisa answers questions on how you can improve at chess, and how to make the most of your study time and create a routine. Can Blitz chess help you get better? You’ll also get Alisa’s books recommendations.
How we study chess has changed over the years. In the past, the way to improve was to work with a Grandmaster coach, almost like a full-time job. Nowadays, there are almost too many resources out there on how to improve at chess that it can be overwhelming, especially if your time is limited. How do you process all that information, and how to go about choosing the right content to study? Alisa gives her top tips.
One of the best things you can do for your chess, says Alisa, is to do tactics every single day. Even if you only have 5 minutes a day, you should spend them doing tactics. They are one of the best ways to improve at chess, and they also keep your mind sharp.
FM Alisa Melekhina is a long-time competitor in US open tournaments and women’s national and world team invitational events. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law school in May 2014 and is currently practicing as a corporate attorney in NYC.
She is a co-founder of the New York City Corporate Chess League and is the author of Reality Check: What the Ancient Game of Chess Can Teach You About Success in Modern Competitive Settings.
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Alisa’s Chess Book Recommendations
If you’re a player rated between 1200 and 1800, you can’t go wrong with any of Lev Alburt’s books! These are the books that really helped Alisa to master the fundamentals of chess.
In particular, she recommends the Chess Training Pocket Book, as well as Chess Tactics for the Tournament Player and Chess Strategy for the Tournament Player.
For endgame training, Andrew Soltis’ book, Grandmaster Secrets – Ending gets Alisa’s seal of approval.
It’s written using a Socratic teacher-student approach, meaning there are questions for you to answer as you go along.
Having to actively answer these questions is a great way to learn, and this book will cement the endgame principles in your mind that you need to be a successful player, from your rook endings, king and pawn endings, queen endings, and more.
At the moment, Alisa is reading Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide by Mauricio Flores Rios.
It is a more advanced book, for near Master level for players who want to go to the next level.
It is crucial to understand structures in chess if you want to progress. We can’t rely on always hitting the same pawn structure every single game as our opponent might be prepared and push the game into a structure that suits them instead. It’s important we know what to do, no matter the structure.
The Melekhina Method
In Alisa Melekhina’s Master Method, Alisa explains some of these pawn structures and what you need to do in each of them.
Over the course of 15 hours, she equips the audience with the fundamentals of chess understanding, and, more importantly, a clear method for self-improvement.
Alisa provides a not-to-be-missed survey of various chess styles, from attacking to positional to universal, helping players to choose the style best suited for their individual play.
The Melekhina Method will help you cultivate your style of play based on fundamentals, rather than focusing on an opening repertoire that may be a bad fit. Along the way, you’ll be encouraged to introspect on your chess preferences in shaping your practical play for ultimate success. Click here to get your copy with 35% off!
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