Common chess mistakes by new players

Common chess mistakes by new players

Jun 26, 2015, 2:10 PM |

 Hello everyone! After two years of playing chess I have started to notice some patterns why I won games against my opponents who are often beginners like me as well. I thought to share some of these patterns with everyone on


Chess mistake number 1: Not developing all of your (minor) pieces

Let's look at it this way: If chess is a battle of armies, then you should use all of your army to have a better chance to win. The problem is you can't really attack your opponent unless you have most or all of your pieces developed. This is because often one piece or two piece attacks can be easily protected or diverted and then you end up in a bad position.


A game position out of the opening to illustrate:

This is an extreme example but often in beginners games a knight or a rook stays at the starting position the whole game. If more pieces work together then your attack will be way stronger.


Ches mistake number 2: Delayed castling ( or none at all)

 If you don't castle in the opening and your opponent did then your opponent can attack your king without worrying about counter attacks. The nature of a safe king makes castling a very good. choice in the opening. Also castling gives your rooks a chance to play and support pawns or influence (semi) open files.


Chess mistake number 3: Neglecting the centre
The more pieces  and/or pawns you have in the centre the bigger your space advantage is! Knights are much stronger in the centre then anywhere else on the boards and bishop have bigger diagonals when they are aimed at the centre squares

 Off course flank attacks can be very deadly but often times the best cure is to counter attack in the centre. A flank attack can only be succesfull if the player controls more or has closed the centre.


Chess mistake number 4: Loose pieces drop off (LPDO)

This is one of the most played tactical mistakes.  Pieces and pawns developed in the opening often stay close in contact with each other and this way they can support each other. If you have multiple pieces or pawns undefended then for instance your pieces become vulnerable for queen, pawn and knight forks and all other sorts of nasty tactics.


Chess mistake number 5: Ignoring your opponents moves and threats

Chess is a two player game! So you can't just attack, you always need to sure your opponent's counterattack or defense isn't stronger. Every time your opponent plays a move ask yourself why did he play it and does he threaten to capture or check with one of his pieces or pawns? Always make sure your king is safe before you look for your own move. If your king isn't safe you should look if your attack is quicker. If it is not then your king needs some extra protection!

What can you do about it?

I myself like to use a thought system for the opening (first 10 moves by both sides most of the time). In Dutch I call it the COR system but if I translate it to English it would be the CDC system:


C: Castling

Making sure to castle in the opening. Often I myself try to castle the opposite side of my opponent. This makes the game more aggressive in nature but you can attack the enemy king better. Only if your king is safe you can attack because you don't have to worry about counter attacks!


D: Development

Developing all of the minor pieces in the opening and after castling you can set up the  rooks to the C, D or E files because often times they are the strongest on these files. If your king is safe and your pieces are developed you can start your attack!


C: Centre

Your pieces should be developed towards the centre. Bishops like to have influence over centre diagonals and knights are even better on c3/c6 f3/f6 then on the side of the boards. (Off course there are exceptions when you want the knight to reach the second rank to support the other knight). Rooks love to placed behind pawns in the centre or on open or semi open files. More centralisation of your pieces and pawns means more space advantage.


This is it so far! Hopefully you will have learned something from it and let me know in the comments if you appreciate it!