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Questions tagged [beginner]

Questions of interest to or relating to new players.

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2 votes
1 answer
135 views

Why do some common openings move a pawn in front a bishop prior to moving the king's or queen's pawn?

I've seen several people do this and assumed it was a beginner's mistake (since I'm a beginner myself and I play on the chess.com app usually only against other players within 25 points of my rating), ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
123 views

As a beginner, should I concern myself with pawn structure during opening, or just focus on developing my knights and bishops and winning time?

If a makes a difference, I usually open with the King's pawn (or, if I'm playing black and my opponent starts with the Queen's pawn, I'll usually counter with the Queen's pawn as well, since I don't ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
129 views

For a beginner focused on reducing blunders, should I study positional theory or tactics more?

I've been playing chess for about a month, learning strategies and principles along the way. Initially, reviewing my games to identify frequent mistakes helped me progress from a complete novice to ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
122 views

When is it worth it to sacrifice a knight or bishop in order to force the opponent to move the king down a rank and lose castling rights?

Specifically, I'm confused why the game review on chess.com says this move was a blunder: I did end up losing the knight, but that's what I expected to happen. I did it on purpose to force the king ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
328 views

What's the benefit to attacking f7 or f2 during the opening?

I remember a specific chess.com lesson on common openings, and it seems like one of the most common and safest openings is to take control of the center with the king and queen pawns and the attack ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
176 views

Is it ever advantageous to make a trade that loses material for the sake a positional advantage?

For example, trading a bishop or a knight for a pawn for the purpose of breaking up the opponents pawn structure. Is this sort of thing ever a good idea? If so, could you provide some examples (or ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
110 views

How do you systematically analyze an arbitrary chess position?

I've recently been learning the fundamentals of the game using the chess.com lessons and game reviews, but the thing I can't seem to figure out is how to even know what to look for or focus when ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
64 views

Resources To Learn How To Use Chessbase

Chessbase comes up practically everywhere as key software to use for chess improvement, accessing and playing through games, researching etc. As an adult improver (1900 Chess.com), beginner chess ...
chesshomem's user avatar
3 votes
7 answers
280 views

I'm Complete Beginner, where to start?

I'm a complete beginner and would like to ask for advice in finding the best source of learning materials and path to follow. I heard about chess.com as a one stop shop in terms of lessons as well as ...
Giacinto's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
324 views

Why is h3 a mistake?

This is the 12th move of this game I played as white: https://lichess.org/b7B16RLF/white#22 [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Be3 { C65 Ruy Lopez: Berlin Defense, Kaufmann ...
csmathhc's user avatar
  • 179
1 vote
1 answer
171 views

Why is Ba4 an inaccuracy here? Why is Bd3 the best move?

I played this game recently as white: https://lichess.org/b7B16RLF/white#18 [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Be3 Bxe3 6. fxe3 d6 7. d4 Bd7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Qe2 a6 10. Ba4 ...
csmathhc's user avatar
  • 179
14 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why can't I move my knight from d5 to c7?

I am a foreigner learning to play chess with my computer. The blue move is the last move and the red one is suggested to go. I wonder why I can't move my knight anymore. The computer doesn't allow me ...
Mona Evans's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
149 views

Why is Qe7 a blunder here?

I'm a chess beginner. I played this game against Stockfish and according to Lichess' analysis, Qe7 was a blunder here, and the best move actually was c6. I can't understand why? [Title "Why is ...
csmathhc's user avatar
  • 179
0 votes
1 answer
153 views

Why did I lose -> I thought I can swap king and castle to avoid checkmate? [duplicate]

[FEN "6nN/Bp1k2pp/2n5/p7/Q4R1P/5pP1/P3qN2/4K2R w K - 0 1"] As you can see my king got checkmated through the enemy's queen and pawn. My question is, why is this a checkmate? I haven't moved ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
173 views

Most people say that the best opening for beginners to improve is 1.e4 e5. But after 2.Nf3, what should we teach beginners to play: 2...Nf6 or 2..Nc6?

The players under consideration here, the so-called "beginners", are players who are below 1100 Elo, players who do not yet know what openings to play, players who do not know anything about ...
Fate's user avatar
  • 4,848
4 votes
2 answers
441 views

The simplest approach for king & pawn vs king & pawn endgames

I'm trying to study king & pawn endgames, where both sides have one or multiple pawns remaining. So far it seems really puzzling to me - while I know the basic principles of opposition and ...
Eenoku's user avatar
  • 143
5 votes
4 answers
222 views

How can I deal with low confidence and 'chess esteem' while I am learning to play, even when I repeat mistakes?

I posted a popular question a couple of days ago, and it brought up another topic that is worthy of a question. For reference, I've been playing 6–7 weeks, and my chess.com rating is a laughable ~300. ...
tomdot's user avatar
  • 273
12 votes
5 answers
3k views

As a novice, how can I improve at defending my pieces other than what I'm already doing?

I’m struggling with chess after about six weeks of proper learning, i.e. strategy other than how the pieces move. I get this is a short time. I’m working hard to try and learn, and joined a chess club ...
tomdot's user avatar
  • 273
2 votes
2 answers
173 views

Looking for a basic assessment

I'm looking for an app that after I play a game of chess (or 3) will tell me if I'm a beginner or intermediate. Not looking for an app to teach me or to assess the game move by move. Does anyone know ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 21
5 votes
5 answers
342 views

How to Learn Chess Comprehensively

I'm a pretty new to playing chess - I understand the fundamentals and can implement some of the basic ideas like forks and pins, but have never properly learned how to play. I'm looking for a ...
Kobo's user avatar
  • 51
-2 votes
2 answers
241 views

Why is this the wrong move?

I am new to chess. I am playing puzzles on chess.com. I made a move which I thought was checkmate, but it tells me I made the wrong move. It looks to me like the King is in check by the bishop. But no ...
Evorlor's user avatar
  • 145
1 vote
1 answer
195 views

Exchange Caro-Kann Qc7 line: why does the black king's knight not go to f6?

In this position in the Exchange Caro-Kann: [FEN "r1bqkbnr/pp2pppp/2n5/3p4/3P4/2PB4/PP3PPP/RNBQK1NR b KQkq - 0 5"] the computer suggests one of the continuations as: [FEN ""] 1. ...
insipidintegrator's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
5k views

Are hypermodern openings not recommended for beginners?

Beginners are taught principles in a classical style: control the center and develop pieces early. To my understanding, hypermodern openings try to control the center from a distance and wait for the ...
qwr's user avatar
  • 3,902
22 votes
1 answer
3k views

Basic "mate in one move" puzzle - what am I missing?

I am extremely new to chess and have been working through some "mate in one" problems on chesspuzzles.com for practice. This one has me very confused though: The stated answer is: But why? ...
ConfusedInOneMove's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
410 views

Panov-Botvinnik Attack: position analysis

I am a beginner in chess (1313 lichess, 1177 chess.com rapid) and am in the process of learning the basics of the Panov attack from the Hanging Pawns Youtube channel. In this video, at 15:00, [FEN &...
insipidintegrator's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
3k views

How to analyse positions more accurately as a total beginner?

In this position I thought I was winning with white, like +2 or +2.5. But Lichess Analysis shows evaluation as -1.4. [Title "Black to move after Ne5"] [fen "rn3rk1/1p1b3p/p2n1qp1/3PNp2/...
insipidintegrator's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Was my opponent in check?

I’m new to chess and I had my queen on the left one space away from the king which was on the right and he was unprotected, is that check? E.g., take the following sample position (note: not provided ...
Bella's user avatar
  • 27
2 votes
2 answers
157 views

How do I remember my analyses?

From How do I analyze my game after playing?, I've been annotating my games after playing. I used to turn on the engine immediately to see my blunders, but recently I've been analyzing without engine ...
qwr's user avatar
  • 3,902
2 votes
0 answers
138 views

Ultra-beginners mostly moving their pawns

I always wondered why ultra-beginners make so many pawn moves. (I don't have any recollection on my first steps, but I daresay after the first Scholar's mate I immediately added 1 and 1.) After all, e....
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is 10 minute time control too fast for me as a beginner?

Every day I usually play one or two 10+5 games for fun and to try to train my decision making. 10 minutes seems to be the recommended time control for a beginner. However, for a long time I've felt ...
qwr's user avatar
  • 3,902
6 votes
4 answers
315 views

Will writing a chess engine help my chess?

At first the premise seems absurd - the computer engine relies much more on brute-force search (Shannon's Type A Strategy) over selecting a few strong lines with heuristics (Type B Strategy). But can ...
qwr's user avatar
  • 3,902
11 votes
4 answers
5k views

How to pass 1000 elo

Currently my chess.com rating is fluctuating between 1000 - 1050. What are some common pitfalls that players in this range make and how can I capitalize on them? I've been playing for about 5 months ...
Jared's user avatar
  • 119
3 votes
1 answer
176 views

Literature on Accelerated London system

I (beginner) have been trying to shift from Philidor Defense (I still play it for Black) to the Accelerated London System for Blitz and Rapid. For eg: [FEN ""] 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nc6 3. e3 Nf6 ...
insipidintegrator's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

How can I avoid stalemate in this position?

I am very much a beginner to chess and have been clueless in my past matches. I feel like I'm either making a move just to protect any of my pieces at that moment or make a move to simply knock my ...
anotherhyooman's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

How does centipawn scoring work?/Why is a higher (positive) score horrible while a lower score is better?

I'm a total beginner in Chess. I've known the basic rules for at least 20 years, but have never played it somewhat serious. Only toddler-level. I recently started trying to learn how to play properly. ...
Opifex's user avatar
  • 151
4 votes
2 answers
615 views

“Rating” going up too fast [closed]

I am a chess beginner. I love playing Blitz games (especially 3+0). I play on Lichess.org. My “Lichess blitz rating” (currently between 1040 and 1060; not giving exact value for privacy) has been ...
insipidintegrator's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
511 views

What are some middle game chess books that are good for beginners? [closed]

What are some great middlegame chess books that are for beginners that will help me to improve my middle game in chess? There aren't a lot of books on the middle game.
Ramsey Rashelle's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
358 views

Why is this a Checkmate? Pawn can capture queen?

I am just learning Chess. Why is this a checkmate? It's Black's turn, and White's queen threatens Black's king, so check. But if I play gxf8, the check is gone. Why doesn't the game let me do it?
Maximilian Schwärzler's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is 3...c5 a blunder in the Center Game Accepted?

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"] [Title "Center Game Accepted"] [StartFlipped "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. Qxd4 c5?? Stockfish says that 3…c5 was a ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 1,082
0 votes
1 answer
200 views

How to discourage distracting behaviour by a teenager?

I’m showing a 12 year old male how to play chess. While he has amazing abilities, he plays with the captured pieces, jumps around, leans over the board, knock pieces over that are still on the board. ...
Laurent Leduc's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
865 views

What is the great thing about Bc4 here?

Please forgive my blindness! I am a beginner and have not played in months. I was going to go Bd3, where my bishop would have been protected by a pawn and poised to strike one of the next potential ...
Ludi's user avatar
  • 333
-3 votes
2 answers
72 views

Benefits Of PGN Files [closed]

I’m wanting to improve at Chess and reduce my number of mistakes and blunders in order for me to win more games. Can Pgn files help me with my quest to improve? If not then what can I do? What is a ...
Fileepio's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
122 views

Rules of Checkmate [duplicate]

I’ve attached a picture of the board configuration of an end game. Black wins this game by checkmate, however, I’m wondering how this is valid checkmate? To my understanding, checkmate occurs when a ...
vegeta1's user avatar
  • 29
2 votes
2 answers
656 views

What are some good tactics books?

I am looking for books with exercises to improve at tactics. It seems that there are lots of options. My definition of what constitutes a “good” tactics books is variety. Even if the book focuses on a ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 1,082
2 votes
1 answer
329 views

Why is forking the king and rook a blunder in this Halloween Gambit line?

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"] [Title "Halloween Gambit Game"] [StartPly "22"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nxe5 Nxe5 5. d4 Nc6?! 6. d5 Ne5 7. ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 1,082
6 votes
1 answer
407 views

Why should Black capture with different pawns in these similar Spanish game variations?

As a general “rule”, I have read that pawn captures toward the center should be preferred. I have found 2 different positions which look similar but the best way for Black to recapture with the pawn ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 1,082
12 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why is it a blunder to capture this pawn even if its defender is pinned?

[FEN "1r1q1rk1/p4pp1/3p1b1p/2pQ4/4P3/P1P2P2/1P2B1PP/1K1R3R b - - 0 20"] [Title "The Position"] 1... Bxc3?? In this position, I believed that the best move for Black is Bxc3. It’s ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 1,082
1 vote
2 answers
155 views

Why is this rook move a mistake?

Recently I was playing a game on chess.com (300 rating) and after the game the engine showed that this move was a mistake, losing two points of material. [FEN ""] 1. e4 a5 2. d4 h5 3. f3 f6 ...
Gage McMullen's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
436 views

Why is 2…f6 a blunder in the Center Game?

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"] [Title "Center Game"] [StartFlipped "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 f6?? Stockfish says that 2…f6 was a blunder and recommends 2…...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 1,082
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Play/learn Sveshnikov Sicilian as a beginner?

I've read countless times, that beginners should not play the Sicilian. On the other hand, one often reads that the opening does not matter for beginners. There are many courses claiming the included ...
Hauptideal's user avatar
  • 6,222