Improving Your Chess - Resources for Beginners and Beyond
A 13-year old Magnus Carlsen plays World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov at Reykjavic Rapid 2004 tournament... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjEmquJhSas

Improving Your Chess - Resources for Beginners and Beyond

RussBell
RussBell
|
0

Pandolfini's 64 Commandments of Chess...

As originally published in "The ABC's of Chess"  by NM Bruce Pandolfini....

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell/64-commandments-of-chess-by-bruce-pandolfini

Bruce Pandolfini Chess Books.....(primarily for beginner-novice players)...

https://www.amazon.com/Bruce-Pandolfini/e/B000APJ6YQ?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1610817227&sr=1-2

Bill Wall's 64 Chess Principles...

http://billwall.phpwebhosting.com/articles/principles.htm

http://billwall.phpwebhosting.com/

ChessKids Academy...

Excellent introductory chess lessons for kids and beginning chess players of any age...

http://www.chesskids.org.uk/

A link to their openings summary guide pdf which you can download...

http://www.chesskids.org.uk/grownups/openings.pdf

Chess Fundamentals - Instructive Lessons by John Bartholomew...

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=john+bartholomew+chess+fundamentals

Mark Weeks' chess site...

Lots of instructive content on chess basics for beginners and beyond...(you'll need to browse to discover it all)...

https://www.mark-weeks.com/aboutcom/caa-ltpc.htm

The Principle of Maximum Usefulness…

https://www.mark-weeks.com/aboutcom/aa06b18.htm

The Principle of the Least Active Piece... 

The Best Chess Strategy (simple and powerful) - IM Igor Smirnoff...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXIfO3aKA8I

5 Most Important Principles of Attack in Chess…
Spend some time studying the following instructive game (video) with the goal of understanding the reasoning (i.e., the principles) behind each and every move White makes.  Go over the game as many times as it takes (slowly, frequently pausing the video to think about the position and the possible moves) until you understand White’s decisions…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPlzkrBzlko

'Kestony' YouTube...

Instructive videos...principles, strategies, tips...

https://www.youtube.com/c/Kestony/videos

https://www.chess.com/member/kestony

'Hanging Pawns' YouTube...

Instructive videos, well presented, on every facet of the game, for every chess player...

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkJdvwRC-oGPhRHW_XPNokg

'Jim's Chess Channel' YouTube...

Instructive videos.....particularly on openings...

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChSqcu-VJQSLfQes1vlGL5g

'ChessEdge' YouTube...

Instructive videos focusing on chess fundamentals for the improving chess amateur...

https://www.youtube.com/user/BKKaye

ChessCafe.com articles archive...

A gold mine of instructive articles about chess, openings, book reviews...etc...includes Dan Heisman's instructive 'Novice Nook' articles...

https://web.archive.org/web/20140714190611/http://www.chesscafe.com/archives/archives.htm

Instructive Chess.com lessons, blogs, forum threads...

Note: you may need to subscribe to Chess.com's "Diamond' membership level in order to view Chess.com training/instructional videos in their entirety...

https://www.chess.com/article/view/study-plan-directory

https://www.chess.com/lessons

https://www.chess.com/article/view/the-10-most-common-mistakes-among-chess-beginners

https://www.chess.com/blog/Cherub_Enjel/1-how-to-understand-everything-in-a-chess-game

Chess Opening Principles....how to begin a chess game....

I highly recommend as a first book on opening play for every beginner-novice  "Discovering Chess Openings" by John EmmsIts focus is specifically and exclusively on opening fundamental principles, treating some openings only insofar as they serve to illustrate the principles under discussion. This is the best book for learning the basics of the opening phase of the game in general, i.e., how to play (and not play) the opening...

http://www.chesscentral.com/chess_strategy_a/201.htm

http://www.chess.com/article/view/the-principles-of-the-opening

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ugDFOoevyI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbD_jtRCAsA

https://www.chess.com/article/opening+theory

Chess Openings Wiki...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_opening

A popular site with an innovative, interactive approach to chess instruction - on every aspect of chess, including openings - is ChessableI recommend to check it out....some of the courses are free...

https://www.chessable.com/?page=landingpage

Chess Openings Resources for Beginners and Beyond...

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell/openings-resources-for-beginners-and-beyond

Endgame fundamentals....

The most important fundamentals for the beginner-novice to study in chess are: Tactics, Endgame and Opening Principles....while the last of these is certainly important to understand and to become skilled at, you can never study too much of the first two of these.  That is, time spent studying and improving your tactical and endgame skills will accrue more to your chess success and rating than focusing primarily on learning specific openings.

Unfortunately, endgame proficiency is probably the most neglected part of the game (at all levels of chess).  However, without an adequate understanding of endgame fundamentals, you will likely end up losing many games that you otherwise could have won (or drawn). The first three endgame techniques to become acquainted (and skilled) with are pawn endings, the 'Opposition', and basic rook endings.

I recommend to supplement the following endgame lessons with the book "Endgame Workshop" by Bruce Pandolfini.  It focuses on basic endgame fundamental principles, including detailed coverage of the three techniques mentioned above.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_endgame

Complete Guide To Chess Endgames on SimplifyChess.com...

https://simplifychess.com/chess/complete-endgame-guide.html#h.6aiyulkb8me3

John Bartholomew's Endgame Tutorials  and 'Endgame Bootcamp' on Chessable...

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLl9uuRYQ-6MDzm-bs8kbyHdYEmRGUauot

https://www.chessable.com/endgame-bootcamp-with-john-bartholomew/course/33597/

Introduction to  'Opposition' - to access the following web page click on (chess)...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_(chess)

more on 'Opposition'...

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=opposition+chess+endgame

'Opposition' tutorial on 'Jim's Chess Channel'...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBqSAgsTqDY&list=PLPaM3qJ0ieXsZkPDAwkiT4jtV5MWGQXEI&index=4&t=0s

'Opposition' tutorial by 'Hanging Pawns'...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoZPZdnYYk8&list=PLssNbVBYrGcAcadywNlkAGpO1-kLfy0y2&index=2&t=0s

King + Pawn endings on 'Jim's Chess Channel' (4 parts)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiaGte1CRnM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3QRTpIC9GQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBqSAgsTqDY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3dfayNstrQ

King + Pawn endings by John Bartholomew...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLyRWZPXUzI

Many Instructive Endgame tutorial videos, including pawn endings, by 'Hanging Pawns'...

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLssNbVBYrGcAcadywNlkAGpO1-kLfy0y2

More endgame principles for beginners...

https://www.chess.com/article/view/the-principles-of-the-endgame----for-beginner

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mhLQOZKVQs

Rook & Pawn Endings... 

Other than King + Pawn endgames, Rook endgames are the most common and important to learn.  The most important rook endgame techniques to learn first are the Lucena Position (aka 'Building a Bridge'), checking distance, and Philidor Draw.  It will initially take some time and effort to become fluent with these, but the work you put in will pay off over the long term of your chess career...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EYY0JCuAlY

Lucena Position - 'Jim's Chess Channel'...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3mgvsmMu6o&list=PLPaM3qJ0ieXsZkPDAwkiT4jtV5MWGQXEI&index=22&t=0s

Lucena Position - 'Hanging Pawns' channel...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOVCZbJAdTU&list=PLssNbVBYrGcAcadywNlkAGpO1-kLfy0y2&index=11&t=0s

Philidor (Draw) Position - 'Jim's Chess Channel'...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzq4dCrxWs8&list=PLPaM3qJ0ieXsZkPDAwkiT4jtV5MWGQXEI&index=23&t=0s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hMvGvaJ9LQ&list=PLPaM3qJ0ieXsZkPDAwkiT4jtV5MWGQXEI&index=24&t=0s

Philidor (Draw) Position - 'Hanging Pawns' channel...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qftbzl1dZws&list=PLssNbVBYrGcAcadywNlkAGpO1-kLfy0y2&index=10&t=0s

John Bartholomew's video tutorials on basic rook endgame technique...checking distance, Lucena & Philidor Positions, etc...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xk56Rt-7Rs&list=PLl9uuRYQ-6MDzm-bs8kbyHdYEmRGUauot

Pawn Play and Structures...

According to the famous quote by Francoise Andre Philidor (1727-1795), considered by many to be the best chess player of his time, "Pawns are the soul of chess".

Pawn structure is one of the most important aspects of chess to learn well - especially as it essentially provides the road map for how to plan in the opening and middlegame, and also many times in the early endgame as well.  An excellent introduction to the topic is presented here...

The Complete Guide To Pawn Structures...

https://simplifychess.com/pawn-structures/complete-guide-chess-pawn-structures/index.html

Chess Books on Pawn Play and Structure - for Beginners and Beyond...

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell/chess-books-on-pawn-play-and-structure

Positional Chess, Planning and Strategy...

Positional chess is about the cooperative placement and activity of your pieces and pawns with a view toward accomplishing a specific goal, be it offensive or defensive.  Positional chess concepts and techniques are integral elements in conceiving and implementing plans and strategies, and are essential if your goal is to play chess at higher levels.  If you have acquired at least a basic level of proficiency in the areas I have recommended earlier - tactics, endgame and opening principles - but still feel stuck at your current level, it may be time to consider incorporating positional chess concepts into your knowledge base.  Here are some thoughts, examples and suggestions along these lines...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_strategy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBZL_uUX-7E

https://mark-weeks.com/aboutcom/ble26pos.htm

https://www.mark-weeks.com/aboutcom/aa03k01.htm

https://www.chess.com/article/view/how-to-play-positional-chess

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1015488

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1013545

Good Positional Chess, Planning & Strategy Books for Beginners and Beyond...

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell/introduction-to-positional-chess-planning-strategy

Play Longer Time Controls...

For many at the beginner-novice level, speed chess tends to be primarily an exercise in moving pieces around faster than your opponent while avoiding checkmate, in hopes that his/her clock runs out sooner than yours. Or being lucky enough to notice and exploit your opponent’s blunders before they exploit yours.

The point is, there is little time to think about what you should be doing.

It makes sense that taking more time to think about what you should be doing would promote improvement in your chess skills.

An effective way to improve your chess is therefore to play mostly longer time controls, including "daily" chess, so you have time to think about what you should be doing.

This is not to suggest that you should necessarily play exclusively slow time controls or daily games, but they should be a significant percentage of your games, at least as much, if not more so than speed games which, while they may be fun, do almost nothing to promote an understanding of how to play the game well.

Here's what IM Jeremy Silman, well-known chess book author, has to say on the topic...
https://www.chess.com/article/view/longer-time-controls-are-more-instructive

And Dan Heisman, well-known chess teacher and chess book author…
https://web.archive.org/web/20140627052239/http:/www.chesscafe.com/text/heisman16.pdf

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell/dan-heisman-resources

and the experience of a FIDE Master...
https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/how-blitz-and-bullet-rotted-my-brain-don-t-let-it-rot-yours

Chess Databases Online......several that I especially like...

https://www.chessgames.com/

https://old.chesstempo.com/game-database.html

https://www.365chess.com/

https://database.chessbase.com/

Rules of Chess....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rules_of_chess

http://main.uschess.org/content/view/7324/28/

http://www.fide.com/fide/handbook?id=124&view=article

**********************************************************************************************************

For more articles on other chess topics, including more helpful chess resources and book recommendations, be sure to check out my Chess.com blog.

**********************************************************************************************************