All beginners need to know

Aug 25, 2008, 6:46 PM |

These are principles (not rules) in chess that most players learn either from books or each other and they will serve you well! These ideas are the bare minimum. You still may not win, but it won't because of these ideas. As you get better and more comfortable with your play you well know when to easy off these opening principles. Good luck.


1. Control the center of the board ie.d4,d5,e4.e5,  (pawns or pieces, you decide) I would go with pawns first. By releasing your center pawns (d and/or e pawns) you allow for the development of your Bishops, which leads to number two.


2. Develop minor pieces first. (knights and bishops) perferably on the king side so that you may castle the king to safety.Leading to next.Oh, and don't move your pieces twice in the beginning.


3. Castle your king to safety. Do not even think about attacking before you do this or you may get burned. You have been warned!


4. Connect Your rooks (no pieces between the rooks) before you attack (move the queen off the back rank). You do this so that they can  help each other defend the back rank.


O.k that is the minimum. More basic stuff I learned the hard way and/or thru study.


Always leave a minor piece near the King for defense. Knights are easiest since they are already close due to castling.


Create a luft (flight square) for the King by moving a pawn in front of the king one square up to avoid a back rank mate.



Study End game first...Can be boring. But if you can't handle using 2 pieces in the end game then how are you going to use 16 pieces at the beginning.

Study Tactics! You learn attack patterns that way.

Study tactics a lot! 

Study you own games learn from your mistakes/flaws. Play both sides of the same game.

Study Grandmaster games there are lots to be found on the net. At first you won't understand why some moves are made but it comes with the more you play through the games. A good way is to choose a Grandmaster. Pick one you like and study their game.

Did I mention Study Tactics.

Study an opening system you like. Don't try to reinvent the wheel just follow the suggestion from what ever book you found it to understand its underlying theme.

Writers for beginners Bruce Pandolfini, C.J.S. Purdy,Jeremy Silman are good solid writers.

Playing hints:


When playing against higher rated players and ask questions. If they are in the mood they may answer you. If they don't don't worry about it maybe they don't speak English.

You are going to lose at first that is nature of learning this game, so don't let it get you down.If you are winning all your games find higher rated players. You should win only 1 in 4 games(25%) on average.

Live games of 15 minutes per side or faster are fun and you can get lots of needed practice. But turn based of 1 day or more per turn is where you learn to think don't play to many games at once.

Don't play when you are tired or sick you can't concentrate as well.

I hope this helps.