Chess Strategies for Beginners

I’ve been asked whether this site will have any type of information on chess strategies for beginners. Even my older brother has asked me to give him some tips on improving his chess (he’s just now learning the moves). Well, the short answer is YES! Although, most of this site will cater to those chess amateurs who have tried unsuccessfully at becoming a chess Expert or Master.

However, you cannot become a moderately successful chess player until you learn basic strategies. I will provide a small section of this site for those players who are just starting out on the journey to chess improvement.

Most of what will be available for beginners will focus on chess tactics. This is simply because tactics is the fastest way to chess improvement. My suggestion for beginners is to first learn how the pieces move, then learn some very basic mating techniques, such as Queen+King vs King, and Rook+King vs King. From there, I would focus solely on tactics, learning basic tactical patterns, such as skewer, pin, back rank mate, double attack, double check, and other typical mating patterns.

An excellent book on all of this is Comprehensive Chess Course, Volume I: Learn Chess in 12 Lessons by Roman Pelts and Grandmaster Lev Alburt. I wish I had this book available to me when I was first starting out on my journey to chess mastery 26 years ago.

Actually, the entire Comprehensive Chess Course books are highly recommended, but they get progressively advanced (there are 7 books), so for beginners, Volume I is all you need. It’ll teach you how to write down the moves of the game so you can read chess books and even review games that you played. This is the book I use when coaching new students as it reads like a textbook, review questions and all.

I encourage anyone who has questions to please leave feedback below. Also, if you are an experienced player and you have other book recommendations, I encourage you to use the comments section below.

10 thoughts on “Chess Strategies for Beginners

  1. I’m not much of a chess player but my son is. All I know is that everytime I play with him, I lose. He is 13 years old. So I will recommend this site to him or maybe I won’t. I will learn and get back at him.

    1. ht, you should totally learn chess. It’s something that has brought me a great deal of enjoyment over the years. I’ve played it with my father, my brother, my children, friends, taken the trophies in classes while I was in school, etc..

      The point is, not only does it sharpen your mind, it’s a bonding experience, something you can have a conversation over. It’s something to slow you down, and helps you approach things in a methodical but strategic way. 🙂

    2. Hi ht,

      The reason he wins is actually because he knows just a few small bits of knowledge more than you. It wouldn’t take very much to get to where you two are trading wins, instead of him enjoying all the fun. Good luck!

  2. I have played chess for years and enjoy playing the game. Just like ht who left a earlier comment, I have been losing to my 13 year old nephew on his Harry Potter chess set. I think that it is time that purchase one of the books that you mentioned. I will recommend him to this site so that he will keep improving as a chess player.

  3. I strongly recommend that you do add some strategies for beginners. Primarily because many people believe that knowing the basic moves is all it takes to play chess.

    Helping to get someone engaged in the game (pastime?) by helping them to see the many layers of the game is something that we need, especially today. These days, the finer points of slow thought, un-distracted concentration, and concise strategy are often overlooked in favor of the latest candy crush craze!

    I’ve beaten people that consider themselves great chess players in 7 moves. Needless to say, they reconsider their self elevation pretty quickly, especially when I repeat the experience with different slight the very next game.

  4. You could not have said it better. I think that is why I don’t try to play. I tried it as a kid and got as far as learning how the pieces moved. I got so discouraged because I did not understand the strategy of it I never played again. So yes it is wise to do your home work if you are going to play it.

    1. Hi Ronnie,

      Everybody worries that chess is too hard to learn. The reality is chess is very easy to learn. Just a small investment in time each week working on specific things can make you a better player than 80% of all players out there. I encourage you to give it a try. At the beginning level, strategy is not very important. It is all about tactics! And of course, you will need to know basic mating techniques, but those can be learned in about 20-30 mins.

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