As I'm just starting to play chess, I was wondering what are the top tips which long-time players of chess can give?
Any golden nuggets of wisdom?
The easiest piece of advice:
When you decide upon a move, before playing it ... ensure that ALL of your opponent's (forcing moves) in response to your move, i.e.
can be MET by you safely via careful anaylsis, as opposed to *HOPING* you can deal with it later (after he moves!).
If there's something he can play that you can't meet safely, your intended move is clearly wrong ... come up with something else to play.
The vast majority of chess players out there simply ignore this out of cluelessness or arrogantly think "of course I do this" even though they don't do it consistently on EVERY move.
If you ever wondered what separates the strong players from the weak ones, the thought process above would be one of the big differentiators.
The quickest and most boring way to improve a lot is to play and study rook endgames.
1. At the very least, familiarize yourself with the basic principles of the most elementary tactics. Forks, pins, skewers, etc. You don't need to be a tactical monster, able to see four and five moves deep. Just notice the obvious one and two movers.
2. Once #1 is achieved, apply it to your opponent's moves, too, and try real hard not to blunder anything.
Get that stuff right, and you'll be really hard to beat for anyone without a title before their name.
Study tactics. Plain and simple. Find a nice tactics server that you like and practice regularly.
When faced with a threat remember there are 5 ways to deal with something....Move, Capture, Support, Block and Utterly Ignore. The last one is seldom good.
I am definitely liking all these tips! I created this post so that not only I can benefit, but others too! Keep the tips coming is what I say, the more the merrier!
One tip i'd put up as a beginner to other beginners is not to get carried away studying a variety of openings and defenses! Just play a bunch of games and develop your own style, and then get into the nitty gritty, otherwise like i've done before, you'll follow an opening so far and then just get lost and fumble your way through the rest of the game!