The Pareto Principle of Chess Training

The Pareto Principle suggests that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In the context of chess training, this means that a small number of key training activities can have a great impact on your improvement.

Now we’ll answer the question:

Which chess training activities should you prioritize?

High-Impact Chess Training Activities That Correspond to the Pareto Principle

If you want to apply the Pareto Principle to your chess training, then you should focus on training the skills that are most relevant to the game:

#1 Practice Your Calculation Method

Calculation is the foundation of logical thinking and decision-making in chess. Without a method for calculating the variations, your thinking can be haphazard, unfocused and prone to oversights.

By practicing your calculation method regularly, you can improve the speed and accuracy of your calculations, which can help you make better decisions in time-limited situations.

The TRC Chess Calculation Method is a 3-stage calculation method that is well-structured but also flexible enough to easily adjust to the specific situation on the board.

#2 Study Tactical Patterns

There are many tactical motifs and patterns in chess, such as pins, forks, skewers, and discovered attacks, to name a few. By becoming familiar with these patterns, you can improve your ability to identify potential threats and opportunities on the board.

Furthermore, tactical patterns are often key to winning games, especially at the beginner and intermediate levels. Therefore, by studying and practicing tactical patterns, you can significantly improve your chances of success.

#3 Study Established Chess Principles

Chess principles are well-known ideas and strategies that have been developed over time by top-level players. By studying and applying these principles, you can benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of generations of chess players, rather than having to reinvent the wheel or figure everything out on your own.

If you deviate from the principles, you should have a good reason for doing so, and you should be sure that your calculations and analysis support your decision. If you are unsure what to do in a particular situation, it is often better to err on the side of caution and play a move that is consistent with the principles, rather than taking a risky or speculative approach.

#4 Study Well-Known Chess Strategies

While your knowledge of chess principles is really important, it can be tricky to know how to actually use them when you’re playing a game. This is where studying well-known chess strategies comes in handy! These strategies are plans or methods, created by chess masters, that show how to apply chess principles in different situations. They give you practical steps to use those principles in a game.

By learning these strategies, you can learn from the experience of some of the best players in history, which can help you become a stronger player yourself.

#5 Study the Most Important Endgame Positions

Continuing with the Pareto approach, by identifying and studying the most important endgame positions, you can focus your efforts on the areas of study that are most likely to have the biggest impact on your performance.

If you can learn the techniques and strategies that apply to specific endgame situations, you can dramatically improve your endgame play.

#6 Practice to Analyze Chess Positions

An excellent way to improve your positional understanding is to practice analyzing chess positions, in other words, trying to assess the strengths and weaknesses of either side. During an actual game you will usually spend a lot of time trying to understand the nuances of the position and you can simulate this situation by practicing to analyze chess positions.

Practicing to analyze chess positions is also a great way to further develop your intuition and calculation skills.

#7 Sharpen Your Visualization Skills

Visualization is the ability to see in your mind the positions reached when certain moves are made – without making them on the board – and seeing them so clearly, you can accurately consider the implications of each new position.

Chess is a thinking game and visualization is central to the whole thinking process! Therefore, when you sharpen your visualization skills, everything becomes clearer. In other words, you will find that your proficiency in other areas will naturally benefit from well-developed visualization skills.

If you want an effective way to improve your visualization skills then VISUALWIZE is exactly what you were looking for:

VISUALWIZE – Train Your Brain to See 8 Moves Ahead

#8 Play Often and Review Your Games

Studying chess is crucial for your improvement but you have to balance it with actual play. Your knowledge must be applied in order for you to develop useful skills.

It is also essential to review your games afterward. Analyzing your own games gives you a unique opportunity to observe your own thought process and pinpoint areas where you went wrong or need to improve. You could even learn something from your opponent’s moves.


The Pareto approach to chess training offers several benefits that can greatly improve your performance. By identifying and studying the most important aspects of chess, you can focus your efforts on the areas of study that are most likely to have the biggest impact on your performance. This can save you a lot of time and effort while also improving your results.