When I am watching chess lessons, the mentor mostly uses the phrase: 'lets look at the board and find some ideas'. As a beginner, I can't get passed the: 'look at what pieces you can grab.'

Question: What keywords or ideas should a beginner teach his/her chessmind to evaluate a chessboard better?


There are two main categories for motifs in chess. Those are strategic and tactical motifs. Beginners should should focus on tactical motifs because strategic advantages are much smaller and negligible compared to material advantage, which tactics are usually the cause of. chesstempo has a good list of these.


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  • ok Cognismantis, i am gonna study that list. Good to know that i already know a few of them. The list is looks really nice. thank you for your reply – Dave Sep 17 '15 at 0:08

Every chess player should focus on strategic ideas. Chess is a strategic game. However, tactics are important so you can ensure the implementation of your strategy will be successful and you will not blunder all your piece on the way. As a beginner you should still focus on strategic ideas but simple ones e.g. develop all your pieces on the best possible squares( rooks in open files, knights need posts,bishop on long diagonals etc), castle, play on the centre and try to spot opponent's weaknesses. These are the basic strategic ideas that all beginners should try to implement in every single chess game and follow blindly. That requires a lot of practice and even GMs fail to follow these strategic principles from time to time.

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  • Your right, i am playing and it feels more like a race now. Who develops faster who takes more pieces. I need to try harder on learing something else strategic wise. Thank you for your words Kostas. That last part really gives me perspective on working harder to get better. – Dave Sep 18 '15 at 0:30

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