How do you learn to play chess?
The earliest forms of the game we now know as chess originated in India during the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. Chess lessons can give you a strong foundation for a hobby that will keep your mind lively for your lifetime. Chess is a game of strategy; you can learn to play and understand the basic rules of chess in a short period of time — often you can cover all the basics in the first chess lesson — but understanding the strategies of chess will be a lifelong pursuit.
During beginning chess lessons you learn the basics of the board and how to set up the chess pieces. You will learn the use for each of the different chess pieces: the king, queen, pawns, knights, bishops and rooks. You can learn about movements such as check, fleeing, blocking, capturing and checkmate. As you advance, your chess teacher will coach you on strategies and the finer points of the game. Chess lessons are great for any age player, from those just starting out to grandmasters looking to refine their skills.
What makes a good chess player?
If you want to be a good chess player, practicing often and studying strategies and techniques of more masterful players can help you advance. Good chess players have the ability to remember patterns, openings, endgames, tactics, guidelines and can visualize moves ahead and combinations. They can also sit comfortably for many hours and concentrate on an active game.
Research has shown that almost anyone can be a good chess player if they practice often and put in the time. Being a truly great player however involves more than just practice, and requires good general cognitive abilities and agile decision-making skills. It also helps if you first learned to play chess at a young age.
The US Chess Federation offers these additional tips for becoming a good chess player:
- Look at your opponent's move.
- Make the best possible move.
- Have a plan.
- Know what the pieces are worth.
- Develop quickly and well.
- Control the center.
- Keep your king safe.
- Know when to trade pieces.
- Think about the endgame.
- Always be alert.
Whether you are young or old, new to the game or advanced in your practice, chess lessons can be a good way to refine your game, sharpen your strengths, and keep your mind nimble. A chess coach can make you a good chess player by helping you develop opening moves, tactics, positions and endgames, and by helping you find and fix weaknesses in your game.