General Question

albert_e's avatar

How can I learn Chess?

Asked by albert_e (529points) December 20th, 2010

I know the basic moves of all chess pieces and have played a few games when I was a kid.

But I never learnt the “strategy” part of the game—how to think ahead, anticipate some moves, alternatives, etc.

I rate myself “zero” in this ability to play with a strategy.

What’s a good way to approach this?

What if I dont have a partner to play with—any recommended PC games that can be a good opponent to practice?


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7 Answers

coffeenut's avatar

The game “Chessmaster” is a great pc game to learn and improve your chess skills….. and is cheaper than lessons…lol

Kayak8's avatar

I agree with @coffeenut I too learned some finer points of the game playing against the computer in Chessmaster.

phoebusg's avatar

You could start with the above. But I’d say it’s good to follow up with games vs other players.
See if there’s a chess club near you (if you get used to only playing on a computer, playing in person will/may be an issue if you want to get an official rating).

You can also play online using That’s the website and server – they also offer chess game reviews (aka, highly rated players review your game and give you tips). Is my favorite chess client to connect to FICS with.

You could find a chess puzzle book for cheap at a used book store. And maybe one staring you off with easy puzzles. After the game develops, tactics are very important. So once you have some openings down, you’ll need to work on tactics. And lastly, endgame but don’t worry about that so much yet (you’ll have plenty of time to focus on endgame moves).

Worth checking as well. Have fun learning, and thinking (it’s what the game’s about, not just “winning”).

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I started with a book of chess openings. You can find quite a few of these:

I don’t remember the author of the book I read; that would have been around 1962. Once you have an understanding of openings and the strategies they work with, you can study annotated master games to get an understanding of how the experts play. It also helps to work through chess problems; these usually involve strategies to achieve checkmate in a certain number of moves, or to capture a piece for material advantage (once a material advantage is attained, your opponent will usually resign). If you look in the games & puzzles section of your local newspaper (remember those?), you can sometimes find a daily chess problem.

And, of course, you’ll want to play. It’s best to play with people who are a little better than you are, or a lot, depending on how much humiliation you can take for the sake of learning.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I learned by playing Star Wars Chess on sega saturn. It was awesome

Eggie's avatar

By playing other players constantly. Chess is a practical game and you will only get better by practice.

1alpha1's avatar

Think of it as the pieces being your army. The goal of your army is to defeat the opponent’s army in the shortest amount of moves you can. While trying to defeat the opponent’s army you have to always protect you royalty while at the same time trying to destroy your opponent’s royalty. If you look at it as war it just comes natural once you know the ability of the pieces.

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