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Tips for Beginners to Learn Chess

Chess is a board game played between two players. It is a competitive game that was invented in India by the 7th century AD. Then, it took its wings to Persia. Today, chess is one of the world’s most popular games played across the globe by sharpened minds. It is a game based on strategy and the way you understand it. 

Learn chess strategy

If you understand the use and move of every prospect, you are all set to learn chess strategy and master the game. 

Understanding pieces

Rules will be straightforward if you understand all the chess piece names and their moves. 

A standard chess set has 16 pieces per side, a total of 32. They are called material or chessmen. You should know how each piece is placed and across how many squares. Some pieces also have special moves permitted. 

1. The Pawn

There are eight pawns, with each player placed in a pawn structure before the prominent chessmen. They are considered of the lowest value on the chessboard. The first move allows the pawn to move forward one or two squares, followed by only one space in the subsequent turns. They can capture other player's pieces by moving forward and diagonally. 

2. The Bishop

The two given bishops: one each on the white and black square, can move any number of spaces diagonally in any direction directly going from its location. It means they always remain in the same color from which they started. 

3. The Knight

There are two knights placed on the board for both sides. They have unusual moves permitted in the game. As they can jump over other pieces, they can start the game even before the pawn moves. Its movement should be in L shape: two spaces in either right or left and then one space perpendicular. 

4. The Rook

The two rooks In the game have more value than the bishop and knight. They can move any number of unoccupied spaces horizontally or vertically per move. Capturing the opposite piece is easy, just by directly occupying its space.

5. The Queen

The queen is the most valuable piece allowing countless chess strategies to take place. It can move through unlimited unoccupied squares in any direction. It possesses the combination of the moves of the rook and bishop. You may lose any piece, except king to acquire the queen.

6. The King

The king is the core of the game. The moment you lose it, the game is over. The chess strategy mainly revolves around protecting the king from the opponent's threats.

The king can move one square per move in any direction. Remember, it can never checkmate the other king; it can never be adjacent to it. 

While the end state, there comes multiple checkmates. When a player fails to defend the king with no way out, it is captured by the opposite player to end the game. Thus, whoever falls the king loses the game. 

Understand all chess pieces' point value to put them at stake accordingly:

Pawn: 1 point
Bishop: 3 points
Knight: 3 points
Rook: 5 points
Queen: 9 Points

Opening principles

Control the center of the board throughout the game

Controlling the center is the foremost tip for beginners. The center is the prominent part of the board, as when your pieces are located correctly in the center, they have access to the whole board. 

Develop your pieces as quickly as possible

As the pieces are like your army in the game, it is essential to move them in the right direction as quickly as possible. Then only will they help you dominate the board, attack the opponents, and help you win eventually. Not developing your pieces in the opening stage will allow your opponent to take up space on the board to swap you off.

Don’t move the same piece several times

The concept of developing all your pieces also aligns with not moving a single piece multiple times, especially in the opening. Don't move twice any piece before the tenth move. Otherwise, the opponent would arm the board space to encircle your pieces all around before even you start the game. 

Early castle

One of the secret tactics is creating weakness around your opponent’s king but keeping yours protected and safe at all costs. Castle your king by moving away from the center as the center has more chances of attack. 

Have patience in moving your queen

The mistake that beginners make is moving their queens in the beginning stage to create a threat in the f7 or f2. On the contrary, these threats are of no use, and the player loses some of his tempos while bringing back the queen to a safer place. 

This rule might not be applicable every time and it can be omitted in the situation when your opponent made a grave mistake, and you can immediately punish him with your queen. 

Start connecting your rooks and placing them on the columns that will be open

The rooks can only move vertically and horizontally, which is why they are the most difficult of all the pieces to strategize. So, it is not possible to move these pieces when there are no open columns. Always try to anticipate while playing which columns are more likely to be available so that you can take up the advantage to place one of your rooks before the other player does.

Move your pawns smartly as they cannot go back

When it comes to mobility, pawns are the pieces with limitations. Remember, the pawns can only move forward and in no other direction. So, it is vital to decide the nature of the position and area.

Pawns in opening

In the beginning, all of your pieces require pawns to move before they enter the game. They are the ones deciding the structure and nature of the positions. So, you must be ready with your strategy and implement it.

Exception: Only the knights can move before them. 

How do they move

Except for the first move, the chess pawns move one square forward on each turn. On the first move, if there isn’t any piece blocking the way, they can move two squares. Also, make steps strategically as they can’t move backward.

Try to exchange the lowered-value piece (if any) quickly

A rule in chess says when your pawn reaches the last horizontal line of the opponent, you get a chance to secure an extra piece that is supposed to be at the reached place in the beginning.

Be able to identify the future and scope of your pieces. The aspect makes a big difference between the masters and the novice players. A bishop is usually considered to be a low-value piece when a pawn blocks it because they are located on the square of the bishop’s same color. So, it will be a wise decision to replace it with another piece of the same value when possible. 

When the position is wide open, bishops tend to be better pieces than the knights in closed positions. The reason is they are the only ones that can jump over the others.

Remember some given steps to keep in mind and start your path to mastery -

  1. Memorize opening principles
  2. Apply the principles while practicing for smooth flow
  3. Set your prepared openings for every time
  4. Observe other experts while they play
  5. Keep track of the opponent's each moves as it has a hidden purpose
  6. Practice online chess game

Why is it important for beginners to learn chess?

Many players experience frustration and lack of knowledge in their first game. They even get mated very quickly. And eventually, they lose control of their position without even knowing what happened. 

When you learn chess strategy to solve the challenges in the game, it smoothens the mind machine. Chess is the game that can help you to think ahead and take decisions wisely without rushing them. It has many cognitive advantages, including the ability to improve your intelligence and memory. 

Chess has also been shown to raise a student’s IQ. It lets you focus more on your decisions and the moves you make, and hence the intense focus you get will help you in day-to-day activities. 

It also develops creativity. As the game has no hard and fast rule, it allows the players to create new ways and strategies to win. 

Chess is a tranquil and peaceful game; it enables you to stay calm and relaxed even in extreme situations. You can learn chess strategy to keep yourself thoughtful even under pressure, as the game has scenarios when the time runs fast and you still have many decisions to make. A learned mind won’t let the pressure frustrate you.

Things to avoid in chess

  • While playing, focus on the game only. Don’t think about anything else while playing. 
  • Don’t just rely on your intuitions, be more focused on the strategies and practical logic.
  • Don’t use chess to gamble; it can be a severe loss or turning point. 
  • Even if you feel that you are losing, don’t give up and continue anyhow.
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