Chess Tips

You already know the rules of chess and have to chuckle when your opponent tries the scholar’s mate? Then you are perfectly right here. Nevertheless I’d recommend you skimming through the chess beginner’s section. Maybe you can find some helpful advices. But for now we’ll precede with chess tips.


1. Try to understand the moves of your opponent

Analyzing the moves of your opponent is an important criterion when it comes to the success of playing chess. You should carefully think about the intention of every move. Is one of my pieces in danger? Is he or she only activating the pieces to bring them in a better position or is there going to be an attack on the king´s side? You have to understand your opponent moves so that you can respond wisely.

understand your opponent moves

2. Take your time

Chess beginners often get carried away, meaning that they take their turns very quickly. They usually have good ideas and try to achieve them but they often forget to think about the moves of the opponent and what his or her intentions could be (see chess tip 1). It frequently happens that you have to readjust your plan when your opponent has found a way to thwart your idea. Therefore you should take your time and think about whether your plan still can be put into action.

To sum up chess tips 1+ 2: It is crucially important to think ahead when playing chess. An advanced player is able to plan his or her next 4-5 moves without any difficulty.

3. Center domination

The player who dominates the center of the game dominates the whole game but what is the so called center? The squares e4, d4, e5, d5.

chess center

A common goal of many openings is to control the central squares with Pawns. Other figures are placed to protect/ attack the center so that they have a bigger impact on the game. An ideal structure for White would be the following:

chess center 2

 4. Attack

After developing your men and bringing your King in a safe position you should attack but how? There is no general strategy to do so because each game is different. However, there are common tactics I would like to mention:

1.       An attack on the king’s side usually is the best strategy.

2.       Bring your pieces into position for example if there is a half-open file at king’s side, you should place your rooks on the line.

chess attack

 The same applies for knights, bishops and queen. Overwhelm the king’s side with your pieces and strike for example with a pawn storm. Keep in mind that attack is the best defense as my chess trainer always said. In my experience, it is much more fun to attack your opponent instead of defending oneself.

5. Play as much chess as possible

Practice makes perfect. Playing one game of chess each day will improve your skills rapidly. Often there are no training partners or friends available for a good game of chess and that is why I’d recommend getting a chess program for your computer. Within recent years the program “Fritz” became very popular and successful. It is even able to beat world champion. Although it is quite expensive it is a good opportunity to play chess and it has many features that can be used for chess training. Check out the latest version of Fritz 13 at amazon

6. Record all or your games

If you want to improve you have to be able to learn from your mistakes. Write down each game so that you can analyze it afterwards. You can download a chess notation sheet here but usually most chess clubs have their own version so do not hesitate to ask for them. There are two possibilities to analyze your games. Either you analyze it with other chess players, if possible advanced players, or a chess program. As far as my experience is concerned, chess players are open-minded and friendly people and are willing to help you out with your analysis. I have often even learned a lot of stuff of my opponents but usually analysis takes place with a qualified trainer who is far better at chess than you are. If this possibility is not available you should review your games with a chess program.

7. For chess amateurs - do not memorize an opening

Many chess trainers tend to teach an opening to chess beginners but in my opinion it is more important to learn tactics, positioning the pieces and to develop strategies in the middlegame and endgame. Do you know how to win a game with only two bishops or a bishop and a knight? If you are not aware of these techniques, you should acquire this how-to.

At some point you will forget the theory but you will always remember logical thinking and general strategies that you understood. I hadn’t played chess for three years because of my career and I almost forgot all openings but after I started playing again I was still successful because I knew how to position my pieces.

8. Tactic training

The best way of getting to know certain strategies for the middle and endgame is by learning from a well-educated trainer. In comparison to that, tactic has to be learned at home. By tactic I mean to solving chess problems like choosing the best moves or winning a game in three moves like the following problem.

mate in 3

In this case you have to bite the bullet and buy a suitable chess book. A real good chess book which I have bought myself is 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games by László Polgár. It offers many different situations and problems to solve for all kinds of players from amateur to professionals. If you don’t want to spend money on books you can have a look at the chess training section where you can solve dozens of problems.

I hope you enjoyed the chess tips. If you have suggestions for other tips, please feel free to contact us.