Thanks guys, will be doing all of that. From reading about.com which has many diagrams, it seems it's just simply dependent on how the other player reacts. Very interesting and will be quite the challenge to learn, but hey, it should be fun, too!
Hope you keep that attitude about it being fun. Otherwise, you may end up in chess purgatory!
I get what you're saying. Make the plan of how you want to be set up, start it, and then when the other player reacts, change your plan to correspond to what they do and be able to defend core pieces and expose any weakness in their opening tactics so you can control the board. That's what I get from it thus far. I kind of look at it like a war: you wouldn't send the snipers out in the open, nor would you leave all of the infantry in the back.
Another tip is to try solving chess puzzles. They range from easy to difficult and are usually of situations that would arise in real games. You can check out puzzle books from a library or look them up online (make sure they are the right difficulty).
Chess.com has a "puzzle of the day", which is normally quite difficult and geared toward the average player, although on Sundays there is always an easy one. ☺
I agree 100% with this fun attitude. When you start with the art of war attitude, chess adds misery to your life.
Read one of these for starters
"Common Sense In Chess" by Dr Lasker
"Logical Chess Move by Move" by Irving Chernev
Anything written by J R Capablanca
Check out this whole page (remember to scroll down). It contains several short lists of tips from strong masters. There are lots more training materials for free at the Exeter club site - and here at Chess.com too.
There isn't any easy way to get really good at chess. If it were, it would just be a slightly advanced form of Tic-Tac-Toe.
Practice is paramount, experience is the very best teacher. If you go back over your games to see where you went awry, you can begin to avoid repeating the mistakes. Play slower games and avoid speed chess like an annoying relative.
And if anyone recommends you "study openings," kill them and dispose of the body with discretion. You will thank me later.
Thank you NimzoRoy, I will look those us, and Estragon I am going to that site right after I'm done typing this post! Mandy711, I think it should be fun, and if anything will help with reasoning and other cognitive skills. Cnl_Duck, I've tried several and have figured out one (maybe two), completely failed others, and some have helped me to really understand more about the selection process.