You Don't Have to Learn Chess the Hard Way

You Don't Have to Learn Chess the Hard Way

| 15 | For Beginners

You did your research. You checked out their references. You made your way to the Guide company. You paid $500 for a two-day round-trip journey by mule to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. You brought your camera. You packed a backpack with snacks and water. You dressed as they recommended. It is a beautiful day, and the forecast is ideal. Your guide helps you select an appropriate mule, gives quick riding lessons, gives you a map and a guidebook, and leads you to the beginning of the trail.

Then, he disappears. You are surprised, bewildered. You return to the Guide company only to discover that no one is there. You are determined to make the trip. You look at the map. You read everything you have with you. You pack extra supplies of food, water, etc.

You return to the trail and begin the descent. You struggle to understand the map. You are unsure at various spots which way to turn. But along the way, you begin to recognize some of the landmarks that are on the map and in the guidebook. You realize you are making progress. Finally, after five days, you make it to the bottom.

For many of you, that describes your introduction to the game of chess. You have learned the hard way. You had no one to guide you as you set forth on the quest to learn. Perhaps when you began you did not know the rules for castling or did not know about en passant. It is at those moments that a good player slows down to give a little coaching, to make sure the opponent who is new to chess can learn to enjoy this game of kings.

Let me make a few simple suggestions to those of you who are starting out on the quest to learn the game of chess:

  • study the rules of chess--it only takes a few minutes, but it can be well worth the investment of time; 
  • don't be afraid to ask questions, lots of them, in games, in blogs, and in articles;
  • observe the games of others--ask yourself why he/she did that move before moving forward in the game to discover the answer;
  • try to learn one thing from every game you play--if you do, your game will improve;
  • try to avoid making the same mistakes twice--again, if you do, your game will improve;
  • ask for some suggestions for your game--some will offer help for free, if you will just ask; and
  • seek coaching--this can help your game take a solid leap forward.

Remember, you don't have to learn chess the hard way. Seek some help. Don't be embarrassed to ask. You will enjoy the game of chess even more if you get help. Which of these seven suggestions could help your game take the next step forward this year? Press the comments button below and by your sharing encourage someone else to take that step!

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