67 votes

How should I make a 6 year old think more?

What else can I do to make her understand this Wait a few years. A 6 year-old's mental capacity is very limited. The good news is that at that age and for several years to come her mental capability ...
user avatar
  • 74.2k
38 votes

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

Very simple. Join a chess club and play people face-to-face. You'll improve rapidly after that.
user avatar
  • 74.2k
38 votes
Accepted

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

This is very hard to answer since the question is very broad, but in the opening, always ask yourself "what piece haven't I moved out yet?" If you move pieces twice or three times in the opening, and ...
user avatar
  • 31.9k
36 votes

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

There is a tried and tested strategy which works better than all others although it takes some time. That is quite simply to get your opponent to go over the game with you afterwards and point out to ...
user avatar
  • 74.2k
31 votes

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

In essence, you are asking- Can memory (or other brain functions) be improved or is it a natural trait? The answer is yes to both. While it is true that one's memory can be improved, it is also ...
user avatar
  • 9,215
31 votes
Accepted

How should I make a 6 year old think more?

From my 15 years experience as a chess teacher - and then chess dad. Stop telling her to think longer ! This is the wrong thing to do. First, it is useless: as you have noticed, even telling her so ...
user avatar
  • 12.8k
30 votes
Accepted

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

Basically, no. It was co-authored by Stuart Margulies and Don Mosenfelder, and while Fischer may have contributed a little, it is generally accepted that he just lent his name to the project. Soltis,...
user avatar
  • 31.9k
27 votes

How should I make a 6 year old think more?

Math educator here. It's very difficult for children at this age to think much ahead in their heads. According to Piaget's theory, they don't even reach "concrete operational" stage at this age, ...
user avatar
27 votes

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

Stockfish evaluation is not the only criterion to determine whether a move is sound or not. The main issue with committing so early to 3.b3 (against this particular Black setup) is that there are no ...
user avatar
  • 13k
26 votes

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

The first thing to learn once you know how the pieces move is basic tactics and general strategy. Tactics: In certain positions it is possible to gain an advantage doing a certain move or sequence of ...
user avatar
  • 20.3k
26 votes
Accepted

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

There are two key things you need to do. The first is to know how to win a won endgame. You do that by studying endgames. That will do two important things for you. Apart from teaching you how to win ...
user avatar
  • 74.2k
24 votes
Accepted

What is so great about Bxa3?

Black wrecks white's pawn structure Black gains in development since he's trading an undeveloped piece for a developed one. Although the center is sill fluid, black's dark square bishop is currently ...
user avatar
  • 3,967
24 votes
Accepted

Why is g3 a bad move here?

Pawn structure. Allowing the exchange ...Nxf4 gxf4 simply weakens your structure considerably. The pawns on f2, f4 and h2 are disjointed and cannot protect each other anymore. Black can immediately ...
user avatar
  • 5,774
22 votes
Accepted

Why is Qf3 better than Nf3?

It comes with the threat of Qa8+, which forces black to return the knight. And white is up material, so exchanges are good.
user avatar
  • 25.8k
20 votes
Accepted

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

The thing is, in this example you opponent didn't play all that badly. h6 and g5 looks too risky to me, but blunting your bishop (with d6) and gaining space on the queenside makes some sense. Right ...
user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

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

Easy: The bishop not only shoots thin air, but also asks to be kicked around with c3, such that White wins a tempo with a move he likes to play anyway in Italian/Spanish positions to make a big center ...
user avatar
19 votes

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

I recognize that attitude. Remember, first, that chess is HARD. That's why it took so long to get computers to be able to play it well. The rules are simple enough but understanding how those rules ...
user avatar
  • 291
18 votes
Accepted

Moving the queen early in the game - beginner

The main issue with developing your queen early is that it is a very valuable piece, so pretty much any time your opponent threatens to take it, he is threatening to win material. (Contrast with ...
user avatar
  • 14.4k
18 votes
Accepted

En passant for beginners

How can we teach this rule to a Beginner? (in a plain language or simplified way or associating any story to it) The history gives the story. At one time pawns could only move one square at a time ...
user avatar
  • 74.2k
18 votes

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

I remember reading about this from one of GM Yasser Seirawan's books. What you want to do is: Pick a target Figure out how to attack it In this case the obvious target is the White pawn on a3. Why ...
user avatar
  • 21.2k
18 votes

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

There are 3 main reasons for this move to be inaccurate. It doesn't place any pressure on black's position. It weakens c3, allowing black to "force" your knight to the more passive square ...
user avatar
  • 5,123
17 votes
Accepted

How are the scores decided in Chess?

Those aren't scores; there are just three possible scores in chess: White wins, Black wins, and draw. Those are evaluations of the chess engine; a score of +0.62 means the engine thinks White's ...
user avatar
  • 23.8k
17 votes

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

Some typical things to look out for in the middle game in order to develop a plan... This assumes that it is a relatively quiet position without any imminent tactics that need to be taken care of ...
user avatar
  • 20.3k
16 votes

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

It is obviously a learned skill. No-one pops into the world after gestating for 9 months able to play blindfold chess! Just as no-one arrives destined to be an International footballer, genius ...
user avatar
  • 397
16 votes
Accepted

Beginner Tactics - Why Isn't This Mate?

1...Qb2 is not a legal move because black is in check; 1...Rc6 blocks the check. Another alternative to block the check is 1...Qc6, but that would drop the knight on d3. [FEN "k1r4r/p6p/5p2/3Q4/1R5P/...
user avatar
  • 6,478
16 votes

What is so great about Bxa3?

Strong positives: Damages white's pawn structure. Paves the way for quick kingside castling. Prevents Nc4, which would centralize the knight and attack e5. Mild positives: Removes a potentially &...
user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Chess traps without positional loss

The following traps do not lead to any positional loss for the side setting the trap. It's obviously not an exhaustive list- A common trap in the Sicilian [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c3 Nf6 ...
user avatar
  • 9,215
15 votes
Accepted

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

Solving alot of tactic puzzles is a fantastic way to improve for a beginner. One of the reasons for my improvement was the constant solving of tactics on chess.com's tactics trainer feature, which ...
user avatar
  • 2,219
15 votes

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

Yes, you have a cramped position and your game will be difficult if you don't find a solution. Advanced pawns are generally harder to hold on to. Your opponent has given you many targets and now he'...
user avatar
  • 19.8k
15 votes
Accepted

Why was this move in a puzzle?

If black plays QxR then white plays Qc3+ with mate to follow. Black's Qg7 stops the mate. With the black queen on b2 white cannot play Qc3. The Re2 move is to divert the black queen [FEN "5r1k/1pQ4p/...
user avatar
  • 74.2k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible