How to Be a Better Chess (with Pictures)

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How to Be a Better Chess (with Pictures)
How to Be a Better Chess (with Pictures)

Anyone can try to play chess, but to become a good chess player, it takes more effort. Read this article to learn how to develop your skills.


Part 1 of 2: Becoming a Better Chess

Become a Better Chess Player Step 1
Become a Better Chess Player Step 1

Step 1. Learn to play chess

Your skills won't improve if you don't know the rules of the game or how to run chess pieces properly.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 2
Become a Better Chess Player Step 2

Step 2. Join a local chess club

Be social and be free. Don't try to make yourself feel superior by choosing a partner who is clearly below your ability. If you need a way to feel better after a losing game, come up with a plan for how to beat your opponent.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 3
Become a Better Chess Player Step 3

Step 3. Learn the value of each chess piece

Pawns or Pawns have a value of one. Horse or Knight and Minister/Elephant or Bishop each have a value of three. Fort or Rook is worth five. Queen or Queen has a value of nine. This is just a guide, not a winning strategy. So if you have a move to take to win, ignore the value of the chess pieces.

  • Don't sacrifice chess pieces in vain. A plan to sacrifice certain pieces may be profitable for you, but losing pieces to a bad plan can actually cost you. Defend your chess pieces and plan sacrifices wisely.
  • It is not profitable to trade ministers (worth 3) and horses (worth 3) for a rook (worth 5) and a pawn (worth 1) because horses and ministers are stronger than rooks while pawns will only be useful at the end of the game.
  • These values are relative. In certain positions, a minister or a horse is more powerful than a fortress.
  • The swap (a horse or a minister for a rook) isn't worth 2 even though it seems that way. Generally this move is worth 1-1 1/2 points. Therefore, 1-2 (sometimes 3) pawns are enough to compensate for the exchange.
Become a Better Chess Player Step 4
Become a Better Chess Player Step 4

Step 4. Always develop ministers and horses

Pawns are overused and defended. Often times, the pieces of chess that can improve the game are not developed and as a result, your opponent will break through your pawn fence using ministers.

Moving too many pawns will weaken the king's position and leave you vulnerable to attacks. Moving a lot of pawns will weaken your pawn structure at the end of the game

Become a Better Chess Player Step 5
Become a Better Chess Player Step 5

Step 5. Find your style

There are many styles of playing in chess. Some people like the aggressive and fast attacking style, playing a certain strategy or gambit, or sacrificing chess pieces. Some people prefer positional play, generally spending many moves to build a strong position before attacking. Try different styles and find what you like.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 6
Become a Better Chess Player Step 6

Step 6. Enter your first tournament

Follow with confidence that you will win the game. Forget ratings. Forget the score. Enter tournaments and play your best, confidence will help you play.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 7
Become a Better Chess Player Step 7

Step 7. Look for competitors

Find someone who is more proficient than you and compete with them. Make them your co-stars. Participate in the same tournaments as them. Get used to their style of play and use it to beat them and others. Don't think that "competitors" are people you have to beat. Don't be too sad when you lose. Keep fighting. Again. And again. Do this until you master their style and know how to deal with it.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 8
Become a Better Chess Player Step 8

Step 8. Learn your favorite GM (grandmaster)

Learn, play, learn, play. Learn how to use their techniques and how to deal with them.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 9
Become a Better Chess Player Step 9

Step 9. Read one of the ten best books on chess

Below are some good books:

  • "The Mammoth book of Chess"
  • " Logical Chess move by move " by Irving Chernev. This book teaches you how to attack the king when the king's pawn is open and how to use the position when the queen's pawn is open.
  • "My System" by Aaron Nimzovitch.
  • "Think Like a Grandmaster" by Alexander Kotov. This book explains how to analyze variation so you can play your middle game at a higher level.
  • “Judgment and Planning in Chess" by Max Euwe. This book is a classic that explains how to judge position based on area advantage, combinations, end-game advantage, attack probability against the king, and pawn structure.
  • "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" by Bobby Fischer. A classic book on chess tactics for beginners.
  • "Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur" by Max Euwe and Walter Meiden. This book explains how a master beats amateur chess players by taking the right steps based on the needs of a particular position.
  • "Practical Chess Endings" by Irving Chernev. 300 endgames that start out simple, but end hard.
  • "1001 Checkmates" by Fred Reinfield. A classic book that helps you identify checkmate and calculate the variations.
  • "Ideas behind the Chess Openings" by Reuben Fine. Explains the strategy of executing the first steps so you can remember and play them better.
  • " 100 selected games " by Botvinnik.
  • "Basic Chess Endings" by Reuben Fine. A thick classic book that explains all types of endgames.
  • "Point Count Chess" by I. A. Horowitz. A classic book covering the 32 positions and how to use them to win.
  • "How to win in the chess endings" by I. A. Horowitz. This book explains the late game strategy without complicated variations.
  • "Chess Fundamentals" by Jose Raul Capablanca. This book teaches the steps of early, middle, and late game strategy.
Become a Better Chess Player Step 10
Become a Better Chess Player Step 10

Step 10. Learn the basic rules of the end game

End game strategy, "If you have more pieces, trade pieces instead of pawns. If you have fewer pieces, trade pieces and you can force a tie."

  • Without a pawn, you should at least have a rook to do checkmate. The only exception is when there are two horses and one king. This state of affairs cannot produce a coercive check against a single king.
  • The king is a powerful chess piece, use it to block and attack pawns.
  • Opposing ministers are generally always equally strong because no one can use a pawn without losing a minister. A rook and a minister will be as strong as a black king if the minister is the opposite color of the queen's promotion box color (queening).
  • Ministers are more valuable than horses except in locked pawn positions.
  • Pawns, rooks, and ministers become more valuable the longer the game progresses. So try to defend your pawns, rooks and ministers.
  • Many games end in a draw with many pawns on one side of the board. Ninety percent of masters end up in a tie when all of the pawns are on one side of the board because opponents with fewer pawns will trade their pawns and sacrifice horses or ministers to eat the rest of the pawns. If you only have one Minister or Horse, you cannot force checkmate.
  • Forts and horses or rooks and ministers often only result in a tie against a rook.
  • In a late game that uses a queen, the player who can put the queen in the middle of the board will dominate the game.
Become a Better Chess Player Step 11
Become a Better Chess Player Step 11

Step 11. The structure of a strong pawn is:

  • "Outside Pawn" or "Outer Pawn" lures the opponent's king to the other side, allowing you to eat the remaining pawns of your opponent or run your pawn across the board.
  • "Passed Pawn" or "Passed Pawn" is not blocked by other pawns and must continue to run. Nimzovitch said, "Passing Pawns must be pushed".
  • " Protected Passed Pawn " is a passing pawn that is protected by another pawn. Shielded passing pawns force the opponent to constantly defend against attacks.
Become a Better Chess Player Step 12
Become a Better Chess Player Step 12

Step 12. Weak Pawn Structures are:

  • Two parallel pawns cannot protect each other and are vulnerable to attack.
  • Isolated pawns are weak and must be protected by other pieces.
  • The pawns left behind are very weak and become targets for attacks by the fortress.
  • A king against a king and one pawn can end in a draw.
  • A fortress that had reached level seven was as valuable as a pawn.
  • Zugzwang occurs when movement actually weakens the position. If a chess player moves, his position becomes weaker (he is better off not taking a move), and this is normal in a game of chess.
  • The end game fortress and pawns is the most complicated game. So, avoid it.
Become a Better Chess Player Step 13
Become a Better Chess Player Step 13

Step 13. Download the blindfold chess workout

This method will train you to remember and relearn which pieces hit which square without having to look at the board. When playing chess, your brain is forced to remember vast amounts of information about the state of the board. You won't have much trouble translating the information you normally see into information in the form of descriptions (what chess pieces are where). You'll even slowly learn to see the big picture of the game, recognize complex board situations, and prioritize certain situations to make your next move. If you allocate the same amount of time practicing both regular and blind chess, you will be better at playing blind chess than regular chess. However, that doesn't mean that if you are currently in the middle of a game, you will play it better while closing your eyes. The purpose of practicing using blindfold chess is to prepare yourself for the game in the future.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 14
Become a Better Chess Player Step 14

Step 14. Watch for patterns that tend to lead to victory

Do not always follow the third step without exception. Consider the arrangement of the chess pieces and decide if an exchange is necessary. Swapping chess pieces is a good move when you're in a winning position. You will be able to force a win if you promote a pawn into a rook that will be sacrificed later. You will still be able to force a win if you promote him to the queen position. Make sure these chess pieces don't turn into rooks or ministers because the queen can move like rooks and ministers. Converting chess pieces to queens will allow you to use a winning strategy that you would initially run using rooks. Use your pattern-recognition skills to make your opponents misstep so you can win the game. This strategy requires knowledge of the opponent, the ability to recognize mistakes that the opponent has made early in the game, or the ability to be aware of patterns of the types of mistakes that people usually make.

Part 2 of 2: Train Like a Champion

Become a Better Chess Player Step 15
Become a Better Chess Player Step 15

Step 1. Memorize the first 12 steps in the 20 best GM games

You can find these games easily on websites like You have to remember the first ten moves the white and black sides make in order to get a feel for how the masters started their game. This process will help you understand how to be successful and grow. Memorizing these steps will also make you more disciplined because you have to train your brain to absorb these steps and understand what makes them so great.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 16
Become a Better Chess Player Step 16

Step 2. Solve 10,000 of your favorite puzzles online

You can use a website like Chestempo, Chessity, or Puzzle Books. As Malcom Gladwell hypothesized, doing something for 10,000 hours will make you an expert, so imagine how good you will be after completing 10,000 puzzles ! Of course, this process will take some time, but if you complete at least one each day, you will make progress. You can also start by setting realistic goals for yourself, such as 1,000 puzzles, and see how you can move forward.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 17
Become a Better Chess Player Step 17

Step 3. Use the chess app in your phone

You can also use the World Chess Champs app or other apps made for chess players. While practicing to become a master requires concentration, having a chess app in your phone will help you practice when you suddenly have some free time.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 18
Become a Better Chess Player Step 18

Step 4. Compete in local tournaments

Sign up for as many tournaments as you can and make sure you play at least once a week, no matter how tired or frustrated you are. Local tournaments help you practice against real chess players and improve your technique and strategy.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 19
Become a Better Chess Player Step 19

Step 5. Review your play using the chess engine or chess coach

Having a coach will cost you a lot of money, but he will be able to help you improve your skills and develop the discipline to think creatively. You can also find chess engines online that can help you check your moves, mistakes, and accuracy. Realizing your strengths and weaknesses is the best way to be successful at playing chess.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 20
Become a Better Chess Player Step 20

Step 6. Play at least 10,000 games of chess

Remember those words about becoming a pro after doing something for 10,000 hours? While the exercises mentioned above will help you, in the end, it all depends on how much play you do. If you are really committed to becoming a good chess player, this is the path you should take.

Become a Better Chess Player Step 21
Become a Better Chess Player Step 21

Step 7. Talk to good chess players

One of the best ways to improve your skills is to talk to someone who understands the game and is good at it. This person could be your brother, a GM, or even someone who once beat you.


  • Practice creates perfection. Becoming a good chess player takes time, but don't be discouraged.
  • At the start of the game, move your horse. This move threatens the opponent's pawns and some players move their ministers out. Your horses can also eat your opponent's ministers and weaken the strength of their pawn structures which they will need at the end of the game.
  • Concentrate on practice rather than ranking. Ranking will follow your abilities.
  • If you are under 1700 USCF, your skills will improve rapidly if you do at least 30 minutes of tactical training (chesstempo,, chess.emerald, etc.) per day.
  • Don't believe in the "eye contact" or "fake" tactics. Concentrate on the board: chess, not poker.
  • has a video analysis of the steps GMs take in their game.
  • is a good resource; their chessmentors, database, and videos (especially IM Rensch's “live” video) are very instructive and helpful.
  • Avoid playing more than 3-5 quick chess per day. Play slow chess so you can think and do calculations. If you play too much fast chess, you won't be able to calculate moves accurately or implement ideas from your drills, and you'll have a hard time beating strong opponents.
  • As you learn strategy, write down the ideas and plans you learn, and use them in your play.
  • Create a logical and consistent study plan (and stick to it) and your skills will improve.
  • Try to get rid of your ego. You will learn more when you lose than when you win, so look for opponents who are better than you!
  • Study "Art of Logical Thinking" by Neil McDonald's and " Winning Chess: Strategies " by Seirawan. Books like "My System" are classics, but difficult for beginners/intermediate chess players to understand.


  • The queen is the most valuable piece of chess. If your opponent puts his queen in a vulnerable position, he may be setting a trap for you!
  • Unless you're fighting someone very weak, don't use Sokolsky's opening move (1. b4) or other opening moves that are difficult to play and defend.
  • Don't try to win by using the Scholar's Mate strategy (the four-step checkmate strategy); people who are knowledgeable about chess will use it to beat you.
  • Don't use an opening step that you don't understand. You may be able to succeed if you are under 800 USCF, but above that point, your opponent will use it to beat you.
  • As an advanced chess player, once you've learned the opening moves (London System, Colle System, Four Knights) try using tactical opening moves like The King's Gambit, Scotch, Goering's Gambit, and The Elephant. These openings demand good attacking skills and help train your tactics.
  • Wait until you are a real expert before you use an open using a position. (English, Queen's Gambit, Birds, Giuoco Pianissimo, Vienna Game)
  • Not every opening step is good for you. If you're aggressive, try King's Gambit, Evan's Gambit/Fried Liver Attack, Max Lange Attack, Sicilian Sveshnikov, Grünfeld and Latvian Gambit. If you're a passive chess player or a position player, try The English, "Fianchetto Birds, Queen's Gambit, Nimzowitsch, Queen's Indian, or Petroff Defense.
  • Not all opening steps are good to use. Don't waste time playing Hippo, Grob, Ware, or Basman Defense.
  • As a beginner, choose one or two types of opening moves. For white, try The Italian Game, Stonewall Attack, London System or The Vienna Game. For black, try The Double King Pawn and Modern Defense. Once your skills have improved, you can try The Queen's Gambit or Scotch, and for black, Sicilian Dragon, French, or Nimzowitsch Defense. Once you get really good at it, try Ruy Lopez, King's Gambit, Max Lange, English, or Birds, and for black, Pirc, The Modern Benoni, Petroff, Sicilian Najdorf, or Classical Sicilian.

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