Chess. A 1500-year-old game believed to have originated in India or Persia has now become the most famous worldwide strategy game captivating the hearts of millions. Who can forget iconic scenes in movies like Searching for Bobby Fischer and even Harry Potter? Mastering, chess, however, can seem daunting. Luckily, chess gurus, like the gang over at Chessable and others have put together educational and fun courses so you can own your chess game. We don’t have room here to incorporate everything but we did want to give you a good start on your chess adventure.
Step #1: The Opening
Arguably one of the most important moves in a chess game is how you open. The right opening move will help you avoid trouble later and creates the support you need for that important middle game. Here are just a few reasons why experts say studying chess openings can make your game:
- Control – Novices react but pros study, plan, and implement to gain control right away
- Traps – Studying your openings will help you avoid the thousands of opening traps out there
- Attacks – Focus on making great attack moves as opposed to defending your pieces
- Strategy – Save time and let you focus on your middle and endgame
A good rule of thumb for your opening strategy is following these helpful tips:
- Control the center (e4, d4, e5, and d5)
- Get your Knights and Bishops out as soon as possible
- Castle as soon as you can – you want your King safe
Step #2: Endgame
I know we just started but a real chess player always has their endgame in mind. An endgame in chess refers to that point where you are down to just a few pieces left on the board. Studying endgames like openings will prepare you for your entire play, developing your strategies and understanding the way a chess game moves from start to middle to end. Chessable offers an incredible amount of courses you can take that will provide you with endgame tactics and strategies so you can beat your opponent every time. Some of the courses they provide are:
- 100 Endgames You Must Know (they also have a workbook course!)
- Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual
- Mastering Paw Endgames (this a series)
- Basic Endgames (perfect for beginners and it’s FREE!)
Although the endgame in chess is infamous for being the hardest phase, studying the strategy and various proven moves of legends will make a huge difference to your game.
Step #3: Strategy vs. Tactics
These two words seem synonymous but each has a subtle difference that will affect your chess game if not studied and worked properly. Simply put a tactic is the way you do something to meet your objective and a strategy is an overall plan.
You could study tens of thousands of chess tactics and strategies from the world’s most incredible chess masters and still find something new. Chess, like math, is seemingly infinite when it comes to variation and possibilities.
We recommend starting with strategy as understanding and having a plan will help shape your next moves or tactics you will use to own your game.
Here are some study courses you can check out:
- Chess Structure – A Grandmaster Guide
- Chess Pattern Recognition
- Checkmate Patterns
- Improve your Chess Tactics: 700 Practical Lessons & Exercises
Chess has a reputation for being challenging for good reason. With almost endless strategies it can seem overwhelming. Luckily, Chess Masters and Grand Masters are not keeping these secrets to themselves and instead are educating the masses with easy to follow online courses. Take a look for yourself and check out all the different ways you can own your chess game. From your opening, middle, to the endgame, we are sure that you will be saying checkmate in no time!