How to Begin Mastering Chess

Two Methods:Chess HelpMastering Chess

Chess is a highly competitive game played by millions of people around the world. The basics can be mastered in a matter of minutes. Advanced strategic concepts can take years to come to terms with and a lifetime to master.

Chess Help

Chess Rule Sheet

Chessboard Diagram

Mastering Chess

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    Learn the rules. This might seem obvious but many people will start playing the game before they fully understand all the rules. Be sure to come to terms with "en passant", "castling" and "checkmating".
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    Study basic checkmates. Don’t stop until checkmating positions have become second nature. Start with the easier checkmates first, and then progress in difficulty.
    • Positions where checkmate can be forced:
      • King and Rook vs King
      • King and Two Rooks vs King
      • King and Queen vs King
      • King and Two Bishops vs King (advanced)
      • King, Bishop, and Knight vs King (advanced)
    • The book "1001 brilliant ways to checkmate" by Fred Reinfeld helps to see checkmates and will help you to calculate basic variations. The book starts out easy with queen sacrifices and then has harder checkmates later.
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    Study basic combinations and tactics. Start by learning forks, skewers, pins, discovered attacks and double attacks. Learn how to set up these combinations by finding vulnerable pieces to attack or by taking away the defender.
    • The book "1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations" by Fred Reinfeld helps to train basic combinations and calculation.
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    Learn opening concepts/rules. Your opening moves set the stage for the rest of your game. Pay close attention to development, time, central control, space, pawn structure and king safety.
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    Allow your pieces to be used to their maximum potential. Be careful about entombing pieces that require open space. Developing these pieces allows them to succeed in any position.
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    Control the center. It is recommended that the pawns in front of your king and queen be moved two squares before any other pawns, provided your opponent does not do it first.
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    Attack with gain of time whenever possible.
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    Castle early: preferably on the King side.
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    Don’t move your queen out early, she is subject to attack.
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    Don’t move the six outside pawns, (three pawns on each side). This wastes time and loosens the castled king position. This also invites your opponent to attack.
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    Move knights before bishops because they control the center better and you might not yet know the best squares for the bishops.
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    ) Move your rooks to open files or towards the center because center files can usually be opened to provide them with space.
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    )Don’t move the queen pawn 1 square if it traps the king bishop. Move the bishop first.
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    Try to control the center.
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    Don’t attack before you complete your development.
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    In Queen Pawn openings, don’t trap your queen bishop pawn with the knight.
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    He who takes the knight pawn sleeps in the streets.
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    Don’t go pawn hunting in the opening unless it is a center pawn.
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    Castle because you will or because you must, not because you can.
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    Don’t attack too early because a premature attack will fail.
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    Don’t sacrifice a pawn without a clear and adequate reason.
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    Don’t move the same piece twice in the opening because it wastes time.
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    Study endgames. Endgames enable you to understand how the pieces work individually. They also improve your calculating abilities, as many times endgames can be won out of pure calculating power. Everything you pick up by studying endgames can be applied to middle-games and even openings; you could, for instance, judge if a certain exchange is good for you by analyzing what kind of endgame could arise from that position.
    • Basic endgame strategy is that you must ahead in material by at least a rook to mate. The exception to this rule is that two knights and a king cannot force mate on a lone king.
    • If you are ahead in material exchange pieces not pawns.
    • If you are behind in material, exchange pawns not pieces and go for the draw. If your opponent is left with a knight or bishop advantage and there are no pawns, he cannot force mate.
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    Practice. Play as much as possible, even if you have to play yourself. Be sure to apply what you have learned.
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    Record your games. This allows you to go back over your games to study your mistakes and missed opportunities. If possible, store an archive of your games in ".pgn" format with attached notes. Tournament games are especially good because you are likely to face skilled opponents who are willing to analyse the game together with you in the "post-mortem".
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    Study classic games. Many grandmasters and masters over the past couple hundred years have pumped decades of their lives into researching the game. You can learn a few things from their games. If possible go over the record making your own notes. Then compare that with what others have written.
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    Play Tournaments. The chess organizations that run chess tournaments (i.e. the World Chess Federation[1]) rate players based on their performance. This rating is a very clear indication of a players abilities in tournament settings. The rating system is broken into class ratings (J-A) and titles (expert, master, international master, grandmaster). Getting involved in tournament play is a necessary step if one wishes to compare his or her chess strengths with the chess community at large.

Tips

  • 1. Is this opening will lead to a faster development?
  • Opening: You need to study opening that will suit you and you will love to play it in your opponents. But for beginners you must follow the guidelines in studying openings.
  • 3. Am I comfortable in this opening?. Next is you must study the middle game stage and buying books will help you a lot. In endgame stage you need to know the basic position and guidelines. The rook ending, the worth of a piece, pawn endings etc. Lastly you must not only play chess but also love it and play with passion.
  • 2. Is the variation here is simple, or needs a lot of learning?

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Chess