The best way for beginners to learn how to play chess better is by increasing your tactical eye, you can start off with some very basics, like one move mating patterns, then work your way up to (2) move mating patterns, then back rank mating patterns. This was very important for me to understand because I was winning a game against a higher rated player but failed to win because I was so focus on checkmating my opponent that I over looked the back rank mate that checkmated me so this is very important to understand next is forks,pins and skewers but you must really understand the technique to make the tactics possible.
My tactics rating on chess.com is 1430 now that is not that high but my tactics rating last year was just 900 so I improve quickly with a combination, of great chess tactics books, my two favorite tactics books are Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors by Lou Hays and chess tactics for champions by susan polgar.
Doing chess tactics online at http://chess.emrald.net/ For me at least books are OK but I love to do tactics on chess tactics server because it is more fun then doing them in the books, but when I asked chess players who where better then me at tactics how did they get there tactical rating so high they said do them over and over to you get it, again repetition is the key to success in chess and life. Another way to get better at chess tactics and seeing the board is to do visualization exercise or play blindfold chess cause you will have to learn to see the board in your head i will write more on this after I have improve my over all board vision.
Remember repetition is the key so if you don't get it the first time do not get discourage it takes time, and many hours everyday to be a expert in chess tactics just take your time and after 5 minutes on a problem if you cannot answer it just look at the solution get a understand of it then move on to the next one, after you have completed about a 100 puzzles go back to the beginning of the book and see if you can get at 85% of the problem right with in 12 seconds, if not repeat the whole process over and over till you get.
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