It’s not surprising that people find chess a difficult game to grasp. With 64 different pieces, eight rows, and a multitude of possible moves for each player, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the complexity. Candidate Master is a chess term that refers to someone who has attained the rank of FIDE Candidate Master. It is one step below the rank of International Master, and two steps below Grandmaster.
This blog post is a compilation of advices from professional chess players on how to beat players at this level.
Fun Master Mike (https://funmastermike.com/)
“Watch all the ChessKid videos and do all the lessons! If you do that, you’ll be able to achieve your fullest.”
Chess Buddies (https://www.chessbuddies.org/)
Chess is broken down into three main segments, the Opening, the Middle Game, and the End Game.
To achieve a level to beat anyone at chess is to achieve mastery in all three of the aforementioned categories. There is no shortcut to mastering these areas of the game besides proactive training. Excelling at the Opening entails developing a well balanced repertoire in which you can keep opponents on their feet and know your niche opening theory better than they can. Memorizing opening lines is good, but having a true understanding of why certain moves are played and their underlying concepts are more important.
The Middle Game is probably the most important area of improvement where intermediate players can take their play to the more advanced level. Studying classical games, practicing tactics and strategic concepts, and developing excellent visualization skills are paramount to this area. The End Game separates really advanced players from some of the best in the world. Again, the only way to improve is to study classical end games and study a lot of theory.
The way to beat anyone at this game is to develop strong intuition and recognition of patterns, which in turn develops from proactive training and dedication.
Most importantly, have fun learning and enjoy the process.
In my own experience, if someone really wants to win a very serious chess game then never resign, and never accept draws until there are only kings left on the chess board.
It takes a lot of strength to do that because sometimes it’s easier to let the time run, or to resign or make a quick draw and take a break from chess, but that’s why I loved the story of Bobby Fischer in 1971 and 1972.
He won almost every single chess game possible vs. even the strongest GMs in the world at that time.
Bobby Fischer is my inspiration in chess, he’s my coach!
I must beat a chess master today no matter what! I put on my blindfold and look her directly in the eye of her chess soul. She smirks and pushes her Q pawn forward. I stay strong and focused and respond with my King’s knight pawn to g5! I must surprise and crush her confidence no matter what in order to dominate the endgame!!!
Summit School of Chess (https://summitschoolofchess.com/)
A candidate master is most certainly a well-rounded player. This is someone who has a solid opening system and is well acquainted with the types of positions that arise.
How do you still beat a player who is this well-prepared? The most common way to beat these players is to transition into a winning endgame (e.g. good Knight versus bad Bishop). This is also because I’m a higher rated player and It’s a common misconception that it’s easier to draw against masters if you trade off all the power pieces. I exploit this misconception by often letting them trade off into an inferior and often losing endgame.
There are no specific tips for beating a candidate master. The techniques for playing good chess don’t change based on the level of the opponent. One requires: good opening preparation, strong tactical awareness, general positional understanding, the ability to assess a position impartially, and basic endgame skills.
A friend of mine who was a master David Vest told me the best way to play a stronger player is to make them have a bad day. What I think he meant was, play what you know, and make sure it is solid. The longer the game goes when it is about even, everyone becomes more likely to blunder. I teach my students to limit the number of openings they play, but to know them very well. Better to sacrifice a small advantage and know how the game is supposed to go.
An example to playing something like the london system for white, which is very good against a lot of systems black can play, and after playing it for a while you get to know different ideas, but there are all similar while keeping pressure on black, this limits study time to learn and allows the player more time to work on TACTICS!!! Which is how you eventually win in chess.
Chess with Corey (http://chesswithcorey.com/)
Well the only way to consistently beat a candidate master (expert) is to be master strength. And the only way to be a master is a lot of study and tourney experience. The most important habit is to always find out why you lost and remember what you should have done instead.
Yemi Fawole (http://yemifawole.com/
A player who wants to beat a candidate master at chess must work on certain aspects of chess like strategy and calculation. As you may know, strategy is needed to play the middle game pretty well.
A player who wants to be Candidate Master or anyone at the game needs to get rid of fear. Believe in yourself. Confidence plays a major role in performance.
Grand Master Mac (https://grandmastermac.com/
Beating any titled player at chess is very difficult but there are things that will make a difference. My first piece of advice is to learn the openings you play very well to make sure you get the best position you can out of the opening. Choose openings that suit the style and type of play that you enjoy playing and that you are best at. Make sure that you are tactically sharp by doing puzzles and exercises on a regular basis. Most games are decided by who is more tactically alert. Lastly, play through annotated games of your favorite chess players or players that can be good role models for your openings. This will give you more knowledge on how to continue into the middlegame and a sense of how to find the right move and plan when you need it.
Chess by Lauren (http://www.chessbylauren.com/)
Play opening lines that you are familiar with. You must calculate several moves ahead. Also, pay attention to the key squares in the game. It’s also important to study tactics. Also, believe that you can beat a candidate master!
Chess Maine (https://chessmaine.net/)
My first piece of advice for a lower rated player against a titled player is to take risks. Don’t play passively, as that will not go over well. Instead, play aggressively and for objectives. Try to control the board in some way. Equally to taking risks is to not play passively. Playing for 2 results usually leads to one result, a loss. The second piece of advice is to play similar to how you would against anyone else. Against a titled player is not the time to experiment. Play your best lines, and try to win with them. Trick lines are still fine if practiced. This is how you can potentially beat a titled player.
Chess Animals (https://chessanimals.com/)
Orlando Chess House (https://orlandochesshouse.com/)
The Gift of Chess (http://www.thegiftofchess.org/)
“If you want to beat an expert level player – you need to get your level of play higher than an expert level player.
As chess is a game of skill – if you were to get a rating of 2001 – odds are in your favor against a player rated 2000
In order to get your level higher | train – compete and repeat!”
Chess Center (http://www.chesscenter.net/)
My main 2 pieces of advice would be 1. To “take your time in evaluating your opponent’s move and your return response, most games are lost by rushing a move. 2. “Don’t be too eager to start exchanging material, take the time to set up a strong defense and control of the board. These pieces of advice may change of course depending on the situation. If the game has a short time control you may have to rush moves to avoid time trouble and exchanging down material quickly may help to get to an endgame with enough time to think through your finish.
Arbor Chess (https://www.arborchess.com/)
Just like you beat any player, regardless of level, you win by being careful!
Again, you can beat any player by being careful
You win by being careful!
So the three ways to win are: be careful, be careful, be careful
In the end, we have to trust that we are doing the best for ourselves and our game. Our advice is to look at chess as a journey of self-discovery instead of as an obstacle course. That way you can focus on the fun aspects of playing such as mastering new skills or making friends with other players in your league. And if all else fails, just enjoy yourself! The most important thing isn’t beating the candidate master but rather having fun while learning more about how you think and what you want from life.”
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We’ll do our best to answer them
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