Chess is truly a beautiful game and it’s little wonder that its popularity has endured over the ages. Immensely complex, the game always tantalizes players by waiting patiently and offering incredible amounts of depth. There’s always something to learn and the more you know, the more inspiring and beautiful the game becomes.
This depth can be fairly intimidating to new players, though. It’s one of the reasons that people avoid the game and because it’s hard to find a starting spot, many people fail to explore the rewards and riches of chess.
To help you get off to the best start here’s three tips that can help you to achieve early success and appreciation for the game.
Learn the fundamental openings
Many people focus on learning how to move pieces – which is great – but they rarely know where to go next. The next port of call should be exploring “openings” – the initial moves of a chess game. There are dozens of different openings and each one has countless variants.
This scale can be intimidating but most players will find that there is a set repertoire of the best chess opening moves that are commonly used. There are lots of guides to these common moves available online and if you can learn just a couple, you’ll find that your performance and appreciation for the game expands tremendously.
This quick exploration of chess theory also helps you to begin marking off territory on your mental map. From here you’ll see the various areas stretching out before you, beckoning for you to learn more.
Know when to lose pieces
One of the hardest elements of chess for beginners is understanding the concept of when to sacrifice and lose pieces. The game is often a steady war of attrition and pieces have to be lost strategically – this can seem like a difficult concept when so many modern games place a strong focus on immaculate performance.
You should learn about the point values of the various pieces, and when it makes strategic sense to lose certain pieces according to the context of the game. You should also begin to explore exchanges – those moments where players perform a fair exchange of pieces for strategic reasons.
Having a good understanding of exchanges and the logic behind them gives new players a fresh perspective on the game and helps them to begin developing their own strategies.
Take your time
Perhaps the most important tip for beginners is to take their time. Some beginners will purchase a great introductory book to the world of chess but attempt to run through it. Likewise, they may download a popular chess app and blitz through the range of lessons expecting to come out the other side with a strong level of understanding.
Chess is an immensely complex game and its beauty lies within that complexity. Some new players find this difficult but the more patient they are, the more they will understand that it’s actually the complexity and slow progress that they love.