Improve in Chess: Think Right and You Will Play Better Chess

Having the right mindset is a key to playing better chess. If your goal is to improve in chess, how you think in the context of a game plays a crucial role in the quality of moves you make, the strategies you use, and the tactics you put to play. The chess mindset leads to a more logical way of constructing moves and plans during a match. Breaking down your preparation for each move into several steps is one way to get into a better technical thinking process that results in better moves and a significant reduction of mistakes and blunders due to random picking of pieces and placements. Below is a 4-step technical thinking process that can definitely help you improve in chess:

  • Ask yourself, what your opponent’s plan may be. Out of all the moves on the board he could’ve played, why did he choose this move and position? Getting into the other player’s head is critical in analyzing the goals and motives behind their move. This way, you can be on the top of their possible plans and create good counter attacks or defensive moves so that your positions be threatened.
  • What forcing moves are available to your opponent? Always check for captures, checks, and other major threats. See what kinds of forcing moves are available for yourself. This is important so as not to miss any available tactical move. If none of the possible forcing moves appear to work out well, move on to your next best step.
  • What are your short and long-term goals? It is always important to have a plan in a game of chess. Do you want to develop pieces? Put your rooks on an open file? Control the center? Defend your king? Threaten your opponent’s pieces? Plans don’t have to be overly complex. In fact, sometimes the simplest strategic plans are the strongest.
  • Finally, which move should you play? Once you have analyzed everything, it’s time to decide on the best move to play in the position.

Online Chess: Help Improve Your Chess by Going Nowhere

At the height of technology’s power and prevalence, almost everything can now be done in front of a screen. Online chess for beginners is only one of the most exciting technological developments enabling willing learners to get chess lessons and be coached on chess from the comfort of their own home. The internet is such a powerful tool that is making many things more accessible and possible. Playing chess online is one facet of the technology that offers great advantages especially for those who want to improve their skills and gain much deeper understanding of the concepts and principles surrounding the popular game of wits, tactics, and strategies.

There are many advantages to learning chess through online chess for the beginners. Many online chess schools offer programs designed for all playing levels, providing novice players and even those on a more advanced level of skill the right tools and courses to help them keep on improving their game. The best thing about online chess learning is that it provides students the flexibility and freedom of initiating learning at a time and place that is most conducive to their learning style. In most cases, all you need is an online device to play chess online, receive lessons, study material, and practice games or solve puzzles designed to hone your technical thinking skills and processes.

Chess is quite an amusing game that allows for a nice brain exercise. Thanks to the internet, users can easily gain access to other players who are willing to play and practice the game in all styles, including games with modified rules and even modern boards. Online chess for beginners is ideal for those who wish to learn about chess tactics, strategies, and even its elementary concepts on their own terms and at the comfort of their own home.

Know Different Strategies of Playing Chess for the Beginners

Chess strategy is just as important as tactics in any game. If you’ve always wondered how to play chess for the beginners and initiate progress as you practice the game, understanding basic chess strategies is a good first step towards widening your understanding for it. First things first, you must understand how not to play chess—that is, grabbing material every time you have an opportunity to capture, without a thought as to what the consequences of the move might be. Do this and you’ll probably end up losing every game. Trying to dominate the board merely by capturing material simply isn’t how to play chess for the beginners. This strategy rarely, if ever, works. What you need to develop instead, is the strength of your forces, maximizing and building your positions first and planning for and even creating opportunities to win material through tactical combinations. When all your pieces have been put in place with much thought, they can work together harmoniously, effectively and organically improving your tactical chances to be in your favor.

Below are some basic strategies to help you gain a deeper understanding of how to play chess for beginners:

  • Know your advantages. Start by really learning the value of each piece. Chess pieces are the assigned points or values to help you determine which side has material advantage. Pawns are valued at 1 point, knights and bishops at 3 points, rooks at 5 points, and the queen at 9 points. The king, although essentially the most important piece, isn’t given value because it cannot be captured. It can only be check mated. This is good to know when analyzing which pieces to sacrifice/keep.
  • Learning good opening strategies is also critical to gaining advantage at the start of the game. Good opening strategies have three main goals, which are to develop pieces, take control of the center, and protect the king.

Know the Chess Set Up and Rules of the Chess

While chess can be an intimidating concept, chess setup and rules are actually quite simple and easy to understand, if you only take time to really learn the basics. The first thing you should understand is that chess is a game played between two opposing sides, the black and the white side, each taking alternate turns, moving a piece at a time in order to capture the enemy’s king. The player on the white side moves first. This is one of the first and most important chess setup and rules you should remember as you learn to play the game.

Moving on to the chess pieces, you will notice that each side is given a total of 16 chess materials of different types, each of which moves in a particular way. A piece isn’t allowed to land on a chess square that is occupied by a friendly or same colored piece. If your piece lands on one that is taken by an enemy piece, the material is captured and removed from the board. Pieces are not permitted to jump over another, except for the knight, which is also the only piece that can move in different directions and not just in a straight line.

The bishops can move for any number of diagonal squares, while the rooks can move horizontally or vertically. The queen, which is considered the most powerful piece, can move in a straight line either diagonally, vertically, or horizontally.  Pawns can only move one square at a time, except during its first move, in which case it can move two squares forward. It can never move backward and can only capture pieces by moving diagonally toward the next square forward.

Chess setup and rules at the start of the game requires each player having a light-colored square in their bottom right-hand corner. Starting from the bottom left and the bottom right squares, put your rooks, continuing inward with your knights and bishops on either side. The queen should always go on the square of its own color (white on light, black on dark) and the king should stand on the remaining square between the queen and the bishop. The second row in front of the larger pieces is reserved for all your pawns.

Understanding Chess Opening Moves to Have a Great Start

Chess opening strategy, in the simplest terms, defines your plan to develop your pieces and get them to occupy more active positions so that they can have more influence over the game. Because of this, your moves in the beginning of a match are utterly important in gaining advantage over your opponent early on in the game and taking control of the board, towards victory. Playing just any piece randomly and without any thought could end up disastrous and may give away key positions that could cost you the game. This is why it is critical that you learn and understand chess opening moves and strategies that can help you start your matches strong and give you an edge over your opponent’s positions. Here are some things you should remember when it comes to chess openings:

  • Your chess moves should have the intent of taking the center. The fight for the center of a chess board is critical and it should always be a major consideration in any chess opening strategy. Nearly all chess pieces are at their most powerful when positioned on any one of these four central squares. These squares put them in the best position to control the most squares on the board—and the more squares that your pieces control, the more powerful they are over your opponent’s pieces.
  • Just as important as controlling the center is knowing what opening lines you should use. Your first chess moves must be designed to free the pieces that are stuck behind your row of pawns. At the start of the game, only your nights can jump free to start their quest toward the central squares without moving any pawn piece.
  • Minimize pawn movements as much as you can. While moving pawns is inevitable as you activate other pieces, don’t go pawn-push happy just to create space. Instead, discover other ways to get into position while keeping pawn movements to a minimum.

Basic Rules and Strategies of Chess for the Beginners

The game of kings as it is popularly referred to, chess has an almost intimidating vibe. However, it is a game that’s quite easy to learn once you have the basics down. Chess strategies, beginner’s principles, and basic rules are only some of the first things you should learn and understand if you want to get serious about chess.

The most basic lesson you’ll probably be taught about chess is how the board works. A chessboard is divided into 64 squares across an 8×8 grid. Each space can be uniquely identified using a letter and number combination denoting its file and rank. The vertical columns are identified by the letters A through H, while the horizontal rows take the numbers 1 through 8. In essence, the corner pieces can be identified as A1, H1, A8, and H8. Before learning chess strategies, beginners must first learn how to setup a chess board.

Each player is given a total of 16 chess pieces, which must be properly arranged at their starting positions. All the pawns fill the second row or rank from each player’s side of the board. The rooks go in the corners, followed inwardly by the knights, the bishops, and then the king and the queen. Queens must always take the square of their own color—black on black and white on white.

Chess pieces differ in the way they move across the chess board. Only the knights can move through other pieces by “jumping over them.” Pieces cannot move onto a square occupied by one of their own pieces. However, they can take the place of an opposing piece, which then serves as a capture. Capturing your opponent’s pieces is one of the most critical chess strategies beginners should learn in order to defend your own pieces, control important squares, and gain advantage over your opponent by diminishing their force.

Points to Remember When Choosing a Chess Mentor for Your Chess Classes

Learning chess takes no more than understanding its basic rules and principles, learning its intricacies requires so much more than your dad telling you what each piece can do or how each piece is supposed to move around the chess board. When you want to get serious about a chess career, you need a chess mentor who can walk with you through your journey and teach you the ropes as you climb up your skill level. Perhaps you are finding no improvement despite hours spent in self-study or maybe you are in need of an experienced advisor who can help you understand more advanced concepts and develop a stronger repertoire of tactics and strategies. Here are some things you should remember when hiring a chess mentor:

  • Experience is important. This said, experience doesn’t automatically make a grand master a good teacher. A successful chess master career doesn’t necessarily mean success in teaching. Choose a chess mentor who has an experience and a good track record in coaching other players. This means they are effective in imparting knowledge to their mentees. Teaching skills also improve with experience as they get to meet and work with aspirants of different skill sets and skill levels.
  • Find a chess mentor who brings attention on your needs. A good coach knows how to assess your skills and prescribe programs or trainings you could take to address your weaknesses and further enhance your strong points.
  • Know your potential mentor’s expertise. Some coaches specialize in specific areas of the game. If you need to improve on a specific thing, such as openings or the middle game, you may also choose a mentor who has a good repertoire of strategies and tactics that you can learn to address your needs.
  • Is your potential coach an active chess player? Active chess players are also a great choice for a mentor as they are people who haven’t lost contact with their competitive side and is up-to-date with trends, novelties, tournaments, and other things of interest in the realm of chess.

Know All About Chess Learning Software

With the introduction of computers and more advanced technology, artificial intelligence, and the internet, chess and chess learning are now different than they were two decades ago. With these technological advancements there comes more advanced chess training tools that many people now use to aid their skills improvement. Chess learning software programs abound online and through chess training centers. In fact, there are all kinds of applications that are designed to help users improve their chess game in very specific areas of play. Whether it is your opening game that you need to work on or your end game strategies that needs improvement, there is surely a chess learning software you can pick-up to help you become a better chess player. Below are some of the most common types of chess training software you will come across today:

  • Chess opening training programs – There are chess software programs that are specifically designed to fast track your opening strategies learning. These programs offer specialized knowledge as well as exercises based on popular opening books and similar references, many of which come highly recommended by grandmasters themselves. These interactive applications offer a leading edge in chess opening training through a comprehensive chess learning software.
  • Chess middlegame training programs – Other chess software programs specialize in chess strategies and tactics mostly used during the middle part of a chess game. These programs typically cover subjects like understanding strong positional ideas, attacking the king, and preparing for the end game.
  • Chess endgame training programs – Chess endgames decide your victory or loss and enhancing your skills for a stronger endgame is critical to your chess career. There are chess learning software programs that are deigned to help you learn about important endgame strategies like rook endings, pawn endgames, and other such types of strategies that help advancing your skills in winning games.

Chess Opening Moves – Gaining the Advantages

Chess opening moves pretty much set the tone for how your game will unfold, which is why developing strong opening strategies is critical if you want to dominate the game of chess. The way you decide to place your chess pieces during the start of a game is important because any mistake you make during this time will be reflected in the way that the rest of the game is played. Poor decisions right at the beginning of your chess match can cost you not only the middle game but the entire game altogether. Just the same, a strong opening tactic will give you a leg up and ensure your victory.

With chess being over a thousand years in existence, many opening tactics have not only been extensively studied, but also named and played and developed by grand masters the world over. This said, simply memorizing chess opening moves will not really guarantee your victory. The key is understanding the principles behind each move and the way that they should affect your decisions throughout the rest of the game. Learning how these opening moves work to your advantage will help you use them well as you go through your matches. This will also help you improvise your own sets of tactics as you navigate your way around different challenges your opponents might bring.

Knowing the right kind of chess opening moves to play also has a lot to do with learning the kind of player you are and the kinds of strategies and tactics you like implementing as you go along your matches. Defensive players may have different preferences for strategic openings than offensive players and vice versa. Different chess openings are tailored for different kinds of game styles and learning where you stand when it comes to tactics and strategies will help you determine which kinds of moves will be most effective for you to use.

Points That Should Be Remembered While Choosing a Chess Mentor for Your Chess Classes

Learning chess can be challenging without guidance from a knowledgeable person who knows the game. For this reason, it makes sense to find a seasoned chess mentor if you want to master it and become a better player. Also known as the ‘chess coach’, this person is responsible for teaching you the game in a better light. With their guidance, you should be able to analyze your moves, learn chess openings, and implement strategies like the ones used by professional players. Mentors will give you answers, problems, and feedback on every move, too, so that you may improve your skills as you go along. Selecting a mentor may be challenging, but you can consider remembering and following these points to make the process simpler and yield good results:

  • Look up mentors online – Visit chess forums and online training websites where chess players converge to study and play chess. Ask for tips and recommendations. A good chess mentor must be able to teach you in your preferred language so you can learn in the best possible way.
  • Get to know the mentor – Learn about the chess coach’s background and experience in both the game and mentoring. Consider someone who has been playing chess for decades. Some of the best instructors are international masters themselves who have helped fellow champions, too.
  • Find a mentor that specializes in your skill level – Coaches may be specialized in certain skill levels, as they have the knowledge and experience in working with certain types of learners. So if you are a beginner, consider a chess mentor who has a good track record of working with beginners like yourself. The same goes if you are an intermediate or an advanced learner, but with focus on a challenging coach who can train you further and challenge you with harder games.
  • Learn about the learning environment – Where will the classes be held? Consider a chess mentor who can hold classes online, so you do not have to worry about meeting in person, especially both of you live far apart.