Chess 8 Common Mistakes Beginners Make

Chess 8 Common Mistakes Beginners Make

Aug 7, 2014, 6:10 AM |

Chess 8 Common Mistakes Beginners Make

Random Pawn Moves

When you don't know what to do in a chess game, it is not a good idea just to move a pawn. Pawns cannot move backwards, and the position of the pawns determines the weaknesses and the plans of the game. Instead of moving a pawn when you don't know what to do, try to improve the position of your pieces.

Moving the Same Piece Twice in the Opening.

 During the opening phase of the game it is imperative that you get your pieces out. Think of it like boxing. The pieces are like your fists. If you don't develop your pieces by getting them out into the center of the board it is like a boxer going out into the ring with his hands behind his back.

Not Castling

 Leaving your king in the center of the board by not castling is a very risky thing to do. You may find yourself getting checkmated. Castle early, and keep those pawns snug right in front of your king and don't push them unless you have a very good reason. Having no plan and not being able to come up with one is not a good reason to move a pawn.

Leaving Pieces Ungaurded

 Be aware whenever you have a piece that is not protected by another piece. There is a saying in chess, "Loose pieces fall off." A loose piece is unprotected, and often your opponent will find a tactic to capture it. When your opponent has an unprotected piece that is a good time to look for a tactic to capture it.

Not Having a Plan

Even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. Plans can be very simple. You can plan to get castled. You can try to get your rook to an open file (a file with no pawns). If you have the two bishops you can try to open up the position (trade pawns) because bishops love open diagonals. You can try to get your knight on an outpost (a square that cannot be attacked by a pawn). And each move you might have a long range plan, or a short range plan that can change with each move. Just don't randomly move pawns for no reason, a big chess no no.

Counting on your Opponent to Play Badly

 When calculating your move, and your opponent's possible responses, it is a big mistake to assume that your opponent will play the move you want him to play. What you should look for is what you would play if you were in your opponent's shoes. Pretend you are him and think of the best possible move for him in response to your next move, and assume he will play it.


 A blunder is kind of like slipping on a banana peel. It is not something you intend to do, it is simply a mistake. You forgot that your opponent's bishop was aiming  right at your queen and moved a pawn to some unrelated area of the board. Then you got mad at yourself. All chess players make these types of mistakes. The only thing you can do about this is to check just before you make your move to see if there is anything you are overlooking. Over time you will make fewer of these.

Not Bringing your King Out in the Endgame

Once the pieces are mostly cleared, and the pawn's foot race to the other side begins, it's time to bring your king to the center. Leaving your king behind can lose you the endgame. The relative strength of the king is about three pawns. Assuming he is not going to get checkmated, it only makes sense to use him as a fighting piece. Many players, because of the reasonable fear of getting checkmated when there are many pieces on the board, carry this fear into the endgame when the danger is no longer there.