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.