Questions tagged [beginner]

Questions of interest to or relating to new players.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
58 votes
14 answers
21k 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 ...
user avatar
43 votes
15 answers
49k views

Can playing blindfold chess be learned or is it a natural skill?

Any blindfold players here? Just wondering if blindfold chess is a skill that can be learned by amateurs like me or a natural skill by chess GM's, IM's, etc.
user avatar
  • 811
39 votes
17 answers
39k views

Good openings for a beginner (for white)

I am a beginner in chess and I like to play some of my friends who are basically at the same level. Usually who wins is based on who makes that one amazing (and lucky) move and quite frankly I want to ...
user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
31 votes
16 answers
11k views

How to learn chess if you're still a 3-digit rating after a few years

I know how all the pieces move and I've learned about castling and en passant. But all I do is play online against other people and get wrecked because I don't know how to "play." I make ...
user avatar
30 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 ...
user avatar
  • 970
27 votes
6 answers
10k views

What should you do when opponent opens with excessive pawn moves?

As a beginner I'm not spending much time studying openings (there are so many!) but trying to work on opening principles. One principle I've read is not to move too many pawns in your opening moves. ...
user avatar
  • 861
26 votes
3 answers
4k views

Did Bobby Fischer actually write "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess"?

Did Bobby Fischer actually write his bestseller primer “Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess” (1966, 978-0553130539), or was it written by a ghost writer? I often ask myself this question because it seems ...
user avatar
  • 6,726
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

En passant for beginners

When I started playing chess, I learned many of the rules of chess on my own. I was playing chess online, and then I realised that pawns can capture in such a fashion. At first, it was weird to me. ...
user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
7k views

As a Beginner, is playing a lot of tactics chess (puzzles) a good way to improve?

I am pretty new to chess, and I play lot of chess puzzles: trying to find the best move for a given situation (which will not necessarily end-up with a checkmate). Is this a good way to learn chess ...
user avatar
  • 637
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

What book should I refer to to begin learning chess?

I'm a highschool student and want to play chess seriously. A friend of mine taught me the basic rules of the game. What book should I refer to to begin learning chess? I tried Capablanca's Chess ...
user avatar
  • 253
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Examples of harmony?

Recently my chess tutor used a word which in hindsight is very interesting: harmony. He mentioned I should not just develop my pieces in the opening, but develop them harmoniously. Since then, I've ...
user avatar
  • 1,097
14 votes
10 answers
4k views

How to study a chess tactics book?

I've been playing chess for quite a while now, but I still consider myself a beginner. I play with friends most of the time. Now I want to get better so I bougth a tactics book (Yusupov: Build up your ...
user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,050
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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
11 answers
12k views

Moving the queen early in the game - beginner

Ok, I know this will be a vague question... I recently played against a friend three games, and lost all of them, and the problem was that he played his queen very early in the game (second move). I ...
user avatar
  • 319
11 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 119
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Beginner Tactics - Why Isn't This Mate?

I was playing on chesstempo and came across the following setup: [FEN "k1r4r/p6p/5p2/3Q4/1R5P/PPqn4/3N1P2/1K1R4 b - - 1 1"] With black to move. I was unable to solve this tactic - it seemed to me ...
user avatar
  • 221
11 votes
3 answers
10k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 7,725
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/...
user avatar
  • 357
10 votes
3 answers
6k views

How are the scores decided in Chess?

Consider the following pictures: I would like to understand the following: My understanding is that it depends on the opponent's move against our move. Am I right? What is the minimum and maximum ...
user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
3k views

Which of these two endgame books?

I am a beginner (approximately 1400) seeking to improve my endgame technique. Which one of these books would you recommend as suitable for my strength and why? 100 Endgames you must know by Jesus de ...
user avatar
  • 499
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 ...
user avatar
  • 333
9 votes
8 answers
20k views

Ways to quickly beat beginners

Are there any common tactics or combinations used to beat complete beginners quickly (or gain large material advantages)? By "beginner" I mean someone who is good enough not to get caught out by ...
user avatar
  • 193
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/...
user avatar
  • 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 ...
user avatar
  • 223
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Strategic implications in this puzzle by S. Polgar/P. Truong

Usually chess puzzles at my level (beginner) have just one or two forced variations and a clear achievement, like a substantial material gain or checkmate. Once in a while, though, a puzzle leaves me ...
user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
36k 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), ...
user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does it make sense to use an online ELO-rating-test for a beginner as a monthly test tool in order to see my progress?

I'm almost a beginner in the chess world who at the moment only plays online and watch various chess lectures on youtube. I'm thinking about using http://www.elometer.net/ on a monthly basis in ...
user avatar
  • 537
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

When should you stop chasing a piece?

I'm only a beginner, and I've found that sometimes a piece of mine (esp Queen) will just get chased around relentlessly causing problems, so I've started trying to do the same, but I seem to sometimes ...
user avatar
  • 861
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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,050
9 votes
4 answers
312 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. ...
user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
  • 191
8 votes
4 answers
707 views

Beginner Chess Question: Bringing out my queen early?

Sometimes I bring my queen out early, however GMs say "Queen is vulnerable to attack and hinders development" I agree with that but most of the time I only bring it to f3 or around the 3rd-rank ex. b3/...
user avatar
  • 379
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Chess book for kids (9-11 y.o.)

Are there any chess books accessible for kids in the 9-11 age range that don't waste the first half of the book teaching how the pieces move, castling rules and en passant capture? I am expecting some ...
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
600 views

Chess engine with danger (mate) warnings for beginners?

I am new to the site and would appreciate help in this area. At my current stage (beginner) I have started to draw or sometimes even beat the computer at low levels (ex. chess.com level1,2,3, lichess....
user avatar
  • 409
8 votes
8 answers
2k views

A first book for a chess beginner

I am thinking about getting my first chess book. After making a bit of research, people recommend to not worry about opening and endings and start with a primer on general strategy. That description ...
user avatar
  • 343
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Chess traps without positional loss

Most of the common chess traps are ill advised (at least in standard games), as you sacrifice better moves. Traps that I have tried out with some success are the fishing pole, and the blackbourne ...
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
230 views

What do I do next?

So I've been playing chess for about 7 months regularly. I learned basic movements years and years ago but tactically there was nothing. Over the 7 months tactically I've learned basic moves, beginner ...
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
5k views

Shortest path for a knight

Is there a practical way of computing the shortest path from a square to another, for a knight? (for a human chess player, not for a computer) Usually, when I want to send my knight from a square to ...
user avatar
  • 415
7 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is a chess database used for?

I frequently see advice about how to learn chess that include links to databases, or how to set them up, or a question here about Analysis where the accepted answer says to just add some stuff to your ...
user avatar
  • 406
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

How to make a self study plan to become a good chess player to play rated tournaments?

I am a programmer and a chess player who knows the moves and the basic rules but never played professionally. I am a complete novice. I tried in FICS and failed to win a single match. I was playing ...
user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
2 answers
929 views

What openings provide "mini-objectives" in the early game?

As a beginner I've found that it is psychologically really nice playing QGA as white simply because I have a clear task at hand in the early game - namely recapture that pawn. Similarly, hedgehog for ...
user avatar
  • 861
7 votes
4 answers
6k views

How do you teach chess to a beginner / rookie?

Recently, I got some students (beginners) in chess, and I would like to teach them how to play but I don't know where to start! They already know how to move pieces and some concepts on how to play, ...
user avatar
  • 1,347
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to deal with unorthodox players?

I am new to chess and know only a bit of opening theory and understand some general ideas like developing my pieces, threatening and controlling the center of the board, etc. but I struggle against ...
user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
9 answers
1k views

Opening as a Beginner: Mainlines or Offbeaten path?

I am approximately 1500 OTB (Lichess Classical 1750, chess.com 1540, internal rating in my club ~1500), and of course I would like to improve. Work and family are demanding, so naturally I would like ...
user avatar
  • 499
6 votes
6 answers
11k views

Is the Scandinavian Defense a good opening for beginners?

Is the Scandinavian Defense a good opening for beginners? I'm wondering this because I'm a beginner and I mainly try to do this opening.
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
506 views

Good chess opening for a beginner

I am a beginner and my chess opening is pretty weak. Can you suggest me an opening that is easy to learn and is suitable for a beginner like me?
user avatar
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 ...
user avatar