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How To Get Better At Chess

How To Get Better At Chess

No matter where you are in chess, you can always get better. And with the right habits and attitude, getting better at chess can be both fun and simple. To get better at chess, you will need to learn the rules, play a lot of games, review your play, practice puzzles, study the endgame, not waste time on openings, and double-check your moves.

1. Make sure you know the rules.
It doesn’t matter if you aren’t exactly sure of the rules, or if you think you already know the rules of the game. Unless you are already a serious chess player, it’s a good idea to review the basic piece movements and special rules of chess. You can find the rules and basic strategies here.

2. Play lots and lots of chess games.

You can’t get better at anything without a lot of repetition, and chess is no different. Take every opportunity you can to play a chess game - whether on the go, on your computer, or at home.

3. Review and learn from your games.

Playing without reviewing is usually pointless. Each game contains many mistakes and opportunities. In order to improve, you need to learn from both. Automated Computer Analysis can help you understand each game you play.

4. Do practice chess puzzles.
Chess tactics are little bite-sized chess problems waiting to be solved. They represent real game situations where you have a chance to win. It’s like playing chess, but skipping ahead to the good part where you are already winning! Try some free puzzles.

5. Study basic endgames.

Surprisingly, most chess games don’t end quickly, but only after many, many moves and after most of the pieces have been traded away. This will often leave just kings and a few pieces and/or pawns. This is the “endgame”, where usually the goal is to promote one of your pawns to a queen. Learning to navigate the endgame will help you win many games. You can practice some of the most common endgame drills here.

6. Don’t waste time memorizing openings.

Many chess players make the mistake of spending time tediously memorizing sequences of chess moves (the “opening”). The problem is that most players don’t know very many openings, or even if they do, the chances they play your specific lines are very small. Just learn good opening principles from the start and don’t stress about memorizing.

7. Always double-check your moves.

One of the most important parts of playing better chess is avoiding making bad moves. Most games are lost by blunders. So before you move one of your pieces, always do a double-check to make sure that your king will be safe and that you are not giving away any pieces for free.

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