Chess - Play & Learn


FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store


Teaching beginners

  • #1


    A friend who's almost an absolute beginner (knows the rules but that's about all) has asked me to teach him to play better.

    As I'm only a fairly intermediate player myself (hovering around the 1300 mark on this site) I was wondering if anyone has any tips for how I can most effectively do that. Should I just play through a few games and stop them at key moments to look at what's happening, or find a few examples of games to look at? Or should I be more structured and split it all into sections, looking at common ways of winning material, forcing checkmates and common openings?

    Are there any recommended "resources" that would be helpful?

  • #2

    Well I would give him a few tips and tell him to go over some  of the annotated games to see what the higher level people think of. And if your just starting never assmune for 1 second!! that they made a dumb move. Always look  for the reason behind the move whether it is out of your league or below what you would do because often times you can't see everything. Merry Christmas!

  • #3

    There's a great book as well, called Bobby Fisher teaches chess. give's a good structured way on how to approach the thinking in chess, without straining his capacity to read a fairly long, drawn out move-by-move read-out. Give him structure before you teach him trick mates like the legal mate, otherwise he will ignore the building blocks necessary to build a good game.Teach him the smothered mate, to show how with the right material, you can overcome a deficit. And have him work on a good opening that he feels comfortable in developing, and stick with it for a good 6months to a year, to learn its ins, and outs.then he can move on to another. Good luck with your new student.

  • #4

    hi chess is like a mathematics. more practicing gives knowledge on chess. i recomand a book that is best then any other book i read. that is "the road to chess mastery" by Max Euwe & Walter Meiden.

  • #5

    A beginner can watch many videos and even cartoons for kids at kidchess.com

    This is a page hosted by a company that runs tournaments in schools and coaches children, many of whom have won state and national championships while learning chess in a fun way.

    You can go to kidchess.com and use the username kidchess (or kid chess) and the password  - battery - to access free cartoons that will make things like castling, activating pieces, centralizing, building batteries, tactics like forks, skewers, etc. - all these things can be learned by watching fairly hilarious cartoons.

    There are also beginner puzzles, practice games, etc.

    kidchess.com is a good place for beginner's to take on chess without the stress of competing with fully developed players.

  • #6

    P.S. if the kidchess web site has changed up its password lately, email them and they will set up entrance for you.

  • #7

    1) Play many games with him, give yourself handicaps like playing without a knight, bishop, rook, or Queen so he will win some games.  Losing all the time may discourage him.

    2) Go over pawn mazes, which is capture all the pawns on consecutive moves ( this will help him not hang pieces and begin to develope some basic calculation skills.

    3) Go over extremely simple tactics, just the basics for now ( en prise, forks, pins, skewers)

    4) Go over very simple mate in ones and maybe mate with Queen and King vs. King

    5) Mix in the learning with playing games so that he can try to implement the learning in his games and also so he is not bored.

    Your basic goal for an absolute beginer is to get them to the level where they are not hanging pieces and where they take hanging pieces.

  • #8

    kidchess.com is a great site.  They have great little flash games and puzzles for the beginner.

  • #9

    Play pawn wars: just pawns, you win when a a pawn gets to the promotion square.

    Then add kings, promote a pawn and play to checkmate (or end with promotion as long as the king cannot capture).

    Then add rooks and castling.

    Not only will this process equalize some of the difference in ability by taking away some tactics, both of you will develop better endgame skills.

  • #10

    Grab the book Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess and go through it together!

    Then go through the following together (print them off), just take what you can understand and try to apply it in your games.




    Then just play :)

    Finally, you can go through master games, like those from the book 'Logical Chess: Move by Move' by Irving Chernev or there are some annotated games you can find online for free.


  • #11

    Jeremy Silman also wrote a great book that I still carry around called, "The Complete Book Of Chess Strategy", Supposedly Grandmaster Techniques From A to Z. All the basics are there as well, so it covers the whole learning curve from beginner up to class A (experienced tournament) Categories. I didn't mention it before, because I had left it home, and didn't remember the name exactly. It's truly a work of great chess teaching presented in a simple, easy to absorb manner. It's made in 4 sections that are: 1.Openings, 2.The Middlegame, 3.The Endgame, and finally 4.Practical Matters. Each section has a new whole working every 2-3pages, and it's laid out with a title of what you're looking to learn, gives a quick illustration, and in the end of each section it gives quizzes to test you on what you have learned. Go through it with him, and help him to learn these methods. I guarantee that it will help him, and what you teach him will also become ingrained in you the better as well. Once again, good luck.

  • #12

    Beginners should start with the fundamentals and work out from there. It seems in chess that a lot of people (myself included) overlook the basics. You should go over endgame technique so they will know the mechanics of winning. It is important at this stage also to study the elements of chess, like the ideas of force, time, space etc. The most brilliant games and moves are all just made up of very simple chess truths. The better we know the elements of chess, the better we can put them to use.

  • #13

    A friend of mine has a post about endgames:



  • #14

    A small point: introduce them to algebraic notation. It is part of the common language of chess - and it makes other discussions more accessible. (If playing on chess.com, switch algebraic labelling on for the board).

  • #15

    well the best tip i got is the game is about postion not taking pieces.

  • #16
  • #17

    when you are teaching,it is not just about bossing somebody around,it is about teaching your friend or famiy member something new.You fell proud of yourself

  • #18

    I Love CHESS!

  • #19

    The kids that I teach chess to, I make go through a checklist before they move:

    1. The piece you move, will it be captured?

    2. Are any of your other pieces able to be captured?

    3. If any of your pieces are captured, can you capture back?

    4. Can you check your opponents King, or attack their Queen.

    5. Can you use your Knight to place a fork on 2 pieces without it being captured?

    6. Can you pin any pieces with you Bishop or Rook? Look for pieces especially in the line of the King or Queen.

    7. Before you move your piece try to imagine what the best move your opponent is going to make.

    This is how my Dad taught me, if you use this checklist, you will avoid a lot of mistakes.

    I agree with everyone on reading Bobby Fischer Teaches chess. It won't make you a better player in the openings, but it will get you to really recognizes mating situations. This is one book that really helped me in the middle game.

  • #20

    I got from total novice to about a 900 (Estimate. I wasn't USCF then.) in about two months just by playing my dad once a day. For beginners, experience is the best teacher. And if that means losing over and over again, well, you have to learn to accept that you're going to lose quite often if you play chess. But losing to you, who he must obviously consider to be a skilled player, will be better than losing to others.


Online Now