Questions tagged [beginner]

Questions of interest to or relating to new players.

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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?
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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 ...
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  • 1,050
0 votes
1 answer
186 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. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
69 views

Does Story Time Chess work to teach young players the game?

Story Time Chess claims that it will teach young children to play the game, and - with some add on workbooks - to improve. I have a pre-school relative who I would like to help learn to play, but I ...
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  • 2,414
4 votes
2 answers
781 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 ...
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  • 333
-3 votes
2 answers
55 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
92 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 ...
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  • 29
2 votes
1 answer
198 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 ...
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  • 1,050
2 votes
1 answer
261 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. ...
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  • 1,050
6 votes
1 answer
388 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 ...
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  • 1,050
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 ...
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  • 1,050
1 vote
2 answers
140 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
200 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…...
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  • 1,050
4 votes
3 answers
339 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 ...
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  • 1,156
5 votes
1 answer
846 views

Why is 4…Bb4 an inaccuracy in the Berlin Defense?

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"] [Title "Berlin Defense"] [StartFlipped "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Bb4?! When White castles, ...
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  • 1,050
3 votes
2 answers
303 views

Challenges of becoming a good chess player

Chess is a deterministic game. Hence in principle we can have a perfect strategy for chess, a strategy that prevents a player losing a single game (given that no mistake has been made). All chess ...
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6 votes
1 answer
295 views

Are there any online chess tournaments for beginners( or new players)?

I have been playing online chess for a long time on sites like lichess and chess.com. But I have never played in any FIDE or AICF organized tournament. In this pandemic are there any online ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can white gain a slight advantage in this position? (puzzle for beginners)

Try solving the following puzzle authored by me (for beginners). White to move and gain a slight advantage, despite being a Queen down for a bishop at present: [FEN "2k1r3/pp6/n5q1/1N3p2/8/3B4/...
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  • 357
3 votes
3 answers
539 views

What does the term LPDO (Loose Pieces Drop Off) mean?

I have been hearing the term LPDO (Loose Pieces Drop Off) a lot lately, which apparently is helping players in the beginning level. If so, does it prescribe some best practices and tips to help ...
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  • 357
-1 votes
2 answers
115 views

Looking to improve my tactics and possibly develop an opening repertoire at the beginner/intermediate level [closed]

I am new to the game and I so far like it. I have watched people on the internet play, tried to copy their moves and have been maintaining an 800 rating on Chess.com and around 1000 on Lichess. I have ...
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4 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is a good strategy for blocking your opponent from checkmating you even though they always win? [closed]

I like to play chess against my Dad. He is almost a professional player. He always finds ways to checkmate my king. Every game I try new blocking strategies, but none of them work.
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8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is g3 a bad move here?

Why is the last move by white, g3 on the board below, considered a bad move? It was in a game that I played recently and my idea was to protect the bishop in f4 and give the other bishop more space to ...
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  • 191
2 votes
1 answer
118 views

When you study chess what do you do to learn something new? [closed]

All my life i was never been able to progress past beginner level. When i read a book or study a game i can't long term memorize what i do or what i read. So in practice what do you do to progress ? ...
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11 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why is 1. d4 2. c4 3. b3 so bad for white?

I recently played a game that opened like this: 1. d4 c6 2. c4 d5 { D10 Slav Defense } 3. b3 [FEN ""] My third move, 3. b3 is apparently so uncommon that Lichess doesn't have it in its ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
325 views

Why does the computer give me a high accuracy score?

My rating on chess.com is of about 1077 on rapid and today when I won a game against a player with slightly lower rating the analysis results said I played with 73 accuracy according to their best ...
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  • 125
-5 votes
2 answers
382 views

What does this algebraic notation expression mean?

What does this algebraic notation expression mean? exd5 There is no such notation as x. There is only a, b, c, d, e, f, g, and h. I don't know how this algebraic notation works.
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0 votes
3 answers
227 views

How good is 1. e3 2. c4 as an opening for White?

How good is 1. e3 2. c4 as an opening for White? Afterward, developing the knight on b1 to c3, and developing the bishops too, it seems good. Castling is preferably done on opposite sides as well.
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1 vote
2 answers
176 views

What are some "quick start" openings?

First of all, I'm sorry if it looks like I didn't really research before asking the question, but I really did put in some effort and couldn't find a satisfying answer. My problem is, I don't want to ...
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  • 13
0 votes
3 answers
220 views

What are some good chess resources to learn from?

I have looked in a lot of places, but I can't find good places to learn chess. I am at the stage where I know basic chess strategies, but my rating is still below average. I can't find a source longer ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
115 views

Why is bishop to h8 the best move in this position?

I don't understand how that move is a good move, much less the best move according to this chess.com analysis.
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4 votes
2 answers
553 views

Can the pawn take the rook in this position?

I have a question regarding the way that pawns are allowed to attack. Sorry I’m a beginner, but me and my friend are playing and I don’t want to make this move if I’m not allowed to. I have a picture ...
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5 votes
1 answer
223 views

I need help understanding this puzzle

With White to play, I have trouble understanding what goes on in this puzzle. First of all, how exactly Kh1 is preferable to Kxh2? I know that Black can give checks after Kxh2, but there really is no ...
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  • 181
29 votes
4 answers
7k views

As a beginner, how do I learn to win in "won" positions?

I'm fairly new to chess (~3 months) and I have almost entirely been playing on chess.com where my rating sits somewhere between 1000 and 1100. Recently, I decided to sign up for lichess.org, where I ...
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  • 960
3 votes
2 answers
194 views

Why should black trade knights in this position?

After playing the following game, Stockfish advised me to play ...Nxd2 after white played Nd2 (which I did not play during the game). However, I am not sure why. Certainly, in the worst case, this is ...
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6 votes
1 answer
203 views

Why is a6 strong in this position?

I was spectating an online simul given by a GM (this game in particular) and as the game was played I was very surprised to see GM Chessweeb play 24... a6. Here is the position. [Title "Black to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Alternatives to the paid analysis on chess.com [duplicate]

On chess.com we get only one full depth analysis in a day, which is very little. Is there a way to analyze more chess games and get all the accuracy metrics as well? Are there any other website which ...
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1 vote
1 answer
175 views

Beginner book that has endgame scenarios

I’ve been looking for free online books on endgame scenarios, since I'm very bad at them. So far, I haven’t gotten any luck. By the way, I only know the pieces moves and some other basic stuff.
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  • 45
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why does black have an advantage here?

I am studying now old Polish book "ABC Szachisty" ("ABC for Chess Player", informal translation) and the following example is given there: [FEN ""] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 ...
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4 votes
5 answers
546 views

Move comparison in this opening

In this opening, being White, I want to understand, for the next move, why is e4 not as strong a move as e3 or Nf3? I am a beginner. [FEN ""] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6
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9 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is so great about Bxa3?

I only have about 35 games experience , so please excuse blunders. I am in the following position. My app (dr wolf) wants me to capture on a3. However I fail to see either the extreme threat posed by ...
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  • 333
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why is Qf3 better than Nf3?

I am training with an app and have played about 10 games in my life, most years apart. However, now I became interested in the game. I have this situation: [FEN "4kbnr/p2npppp/1p6/4P3/q2N4/P6P/...
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  • 333
9 votes
7 answers
5k views

How good can I get just by playing?

On blitz 3|2 I am rated around 1000. I love playing the game and usually I play with players around my level. I try to play against slightly better players. Assuming I am not reading chess books or ...
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  • 223
9 votes
4 answers
310 views

What's an ideal game for teaching a new beginner?

I sent my nephew a chess set for his 8th birthday. He doesn't play yet. When my children were small, I taught them to play by working through a simple game in which each piece was introduced in turn. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
490 views

The best chess websites or apps to play on

I am a beginner. Is there any place where I can play online and improve my game? I know of sites like Chess.com but unfortunately you have to pay for them. My parents won't allow me to spend money on ...
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4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Not able to use rooks properly

While playing a game, I observe that I am not able to use my rooks properly. The reason is that I am not able to bring them out earlier as they occupy the corner position. This gives a lead to the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

How should I improve my chesstempo tactics rating?

I was stuck on a chesstempo tactics rating of around1482-1509 for about 2 days. I reached my current level within 3 days. I want to improve to an 1800+ rating. How can I improve?
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  • 2,485
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

Attacking moves

While playing chess against a computer I am able to analyse what the computer is going to move even at the highest difficulty level but I am not able to place good moves against the computer. Can ...
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5 votes
3 answers
4k views

The Mosquito Gambit

[FEN ""] [startply "5"] 1. d4 e5 2. dxe5 Qh4 3. Nf3 I reached this position after following the line for the Englund Gambit. Lichess says that this is known as the Mosquito Gambit. Is it a joke ...
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  • 1,048
2 votes
2 answers
154 views

What programs (preferably open source) offer play against a computer with fine-grained difficulty-related adjustments?

My last serious attempt to get into chess ran into a basic difficulty with the program: with a bit of work, I got to a point where I could beat difficulty 1 or 2 on a scale of 10, but got consistently ...
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38 votes
12 answers
12k views

What should I do when I have no ideas and no strategies?

I'm really a beginner in chess, and I just know the rules. So many times in the game I have no idea what should I do. None of my pieces are in danger and I don't have any strategies. What should I do ...
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