Top 7 Chess Strategy Tips for Beginners

Top 7 Chess Strategy Tips for Beginners

FM Gertsog

Hi! This is FIDE Master Victor Neustroev.

You know chess becomes more popular all over the world and many people would like to learn chess and they even consider this game as a game that reflects their intellectual abilities. And it’s very often when beginners face with difficulties trying to play chess, because they just don’t know how to play strategically, and are looking of how to improve in chess.

What you should know about chess when you start playing it. Chess is not only checks, attacks and captures, you have to be creative and create your own strategical plans that help to improve your position in general or just in a certain part of the board. Of course, it takes much time to learn strategy yourself, you’d better follow basic guidelines that were already formed and proved by millions of chessplayers.

If you are a beginner or just want to improve your ability to play strategically watch this video about Top 7 Chess Strategy Tips for Beginners!

1. Occupy the center with your pawns

Move the pawn in front of either the king or queen two squares forward. If your opponent allows you to get 2 pawns to the center, do it! The player who controls the center usually dominates in the game, has more space and as a result interacts with his pieces better.

2. Develop your minor pieces

After you occupied the center with at least one pawn, develop your minor pieces. You shouldn’t only think about how to bring your pieces out of their initial positions, but also find ideal locations for these pieces. Develop your knights first and try to control the center with them and bishops should be located on the open diagonals. Also don’t play with the same piece twice, if it’s not required, this is how you can just lose a tempo instead of developing your other pieces.

3. Don’t forget to castle and remember about your king safety

After you developed all or just some of your pieces don’t forget to castle. When the king is castled it’s more difficult for your opponent to attack it. But even if you castled early, don’t forget about the king and be sure that it is safe. Otherwise, trade the queens or other pieces that attack your king or… just defend the king with your pieces.

4. Make a game plan

It’s very often when a beginner or even a club player doesn’t think about the plan. It is said that it's better to play following a bad plan than with no plan at all. Each move you make must have an idea behind it!

In the middlegame it is key to have a general idea of what we want to do. It's not enough to make a move just because it's our turn. You should follow your general idea. Of course, if you are not experienced or meet a certain position for the first time you may struggle with plan. For such situations I can give 2 tips:

  1. Improve our own pieces. Find the worst piece and improve it.
  2. Figure out our opponent's plan and try to disrupt it.

Attacking might be a good plan if this attack really works and cause some weakness in the enemy position or puts the enemy king into a risk to be checkmated. But it’s very often when you shouldn’t attack, but choose another plan. For example, improve your pieces, play in the center or on the queenside to create pawn weakness or strong points to occupy it with your pieces.

5. Occupy open and semi-open files with your rooks

Soviet masters always said to their students: “If you don’t know how to play, occupy the open file with your rook”. Same thing can be recommended for semi-open files. These moves sometimes look like useless moves, but later in the game you can be very thankful to your rook that controls the key file. You rook becomes active and can penetrate into the enemy camp in the endgame and attack pawn weaknesses.

6. Activate your King in the Endgame

When it comes to the endgame there is no need to keep you king safe. Usually there is not enough enemy pieces on the board to checkmate it. However, if you centralize the king and use at as a normal piece that can attack squares around it, it can be very helpful for your position.

7. Support/Attack Passed pawns from behind with your rook

If you have a passed pawn and want to promote it, support it from behind. If you are attacking the enemy pawn also attack it from behind. This is how you can keep your rook active, but still control the queening square.

If you have any other ideas about strategy tips for begginners, please, share them into the comment section below this video! I would appreciate it.

Best Regards,
FM Victor Neustroev