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Questions tagged [beginner]

Questions of interest to or relating to new players.

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3 votes
2 answers
94 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 ...
4 votes
5 answers
145 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
296 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
94 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
99 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 ...
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

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

Try solving the following puzzle (for beginners), where it is white to move and gain a slight advantage, despite being a queen down for a bishop: [FEN "2k1r3/pp6/n5q1/1N3p2/8/3B4/5PPP/5RK1 w - - ...
1 vote
1 answer
52 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 ...
3 votes
7 answers
273 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
321 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
169 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 ...
62 votes
14 answers
22k views

How should I make a 6 year old think more?

I have been teaching my 6 year old daughter chess for past 2 years. She plays reasonably well. She often defeats level 25 in Chess Lv 100 app and sometimes Level 6 in Chess.com app. So I am guessing ...
0 votes
5 answers
701 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 ...
11 votes
3 answers
11k views

Is the English opening the most suitable for beginners?

Here are my understandings of the English opening: The English opening is as good as 1.d4. Since it is less common than 1.e4 and 1.d4; it is more likely that an average amateur player is less familar ...
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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
147 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 ...
5 votes
4 answers
216 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. ...
0 votes
1 answer
147 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 ...
2 votes
5 answers
2k views

What should a beginner focus on to improve his level?

I learned chess only about 1 month ago. Of course, my first game was terrible. After reading some tips I improved a little. Learning basics of few openings (like Spanish, Vienna and Urusov) increased ...
0 votes
1 answer
171 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
386 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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
170 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 ...
-2 votes
2 answers
240 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 ...
5 votes
5 answers
338 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
499 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.
12 votes
5 answers
47k views

Is there any good app for learning openings?

My great fail is that I cannot learn opening or initial play. Normally I only play when I can connect to my mobile app (Chess Free on iOS), and play at a very low level (adjusted as a single bar), ...
3 votes
3 answers
370 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 ...
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. ...
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. ...
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 ...
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? ...
4 votes
1 answer
408 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 &...
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

Tools specifically for training at finding loose pieces?

There are of course lots of tactical trainers out there, but I'm wonder if there are any that focus solely on the basic skill of spotting loose or hanging pieces. It is of course a trivial exercise ...
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/...
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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
619 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
135 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....
6 votes
4 answers
890 views

What are some resources for someone past beginner but whom is not yet intermediate?

I've been playing chess off and on for the better part of 15 years, however, I've never done it enough to count myself as any good at it. I'd like to get better, but intermediate guides go over my ...
6 votes
4 answers
310 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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
174 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
315 views

Analyze this game

I am improving my chess. What is the best move here and why? (black moves) rnb2rk1/pp2qpp1/3p1b1p/2pBp2Q/4P2P/3P1N2/PPP2PP1/2KR3R b - h3 0 1
5 votes
7 answers
960 views

Is playing stronger opponents useful as a beginner?

I have signed up to a chess website and there are very few people who are as bad as I am (rating around 800), so I have to resort to playing against people who are much better (1200+) and end up ...
3 votes
1 answer
354 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?
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 ...
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 ...