by on December 20, 2022
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Chess is one of the most fun and intellectually challenging board games out there, and that's part of what makes it so unique! Having fallen in love with chess ever since The Queen's Gambit came out on Netflix, I'm so glad to have you here and show you how you can get started in only ten minutes! So, let's get into it.


The basics

Chess is played on an 8x8 board, with one side playing White and the other playing Black. The rule is that White always goes first and is generally thought to have a slight advantage accordingly, though Black has many ways of neutralizing and even winning! The opening move can be played in a multitude of ways, some being harder to follow up with than others. Generally, before you start learning an opening, go to a free chess website and play around with the pieces to see how they move.



When it comes to openings, the more you can learn, the better your chances of winning right from the game's opening stage! However, as a beginner, learning more than two openings will quickly get overwhelming, so I would advise you to learn one for each side. If you're like me and prefer just one opening that works with both, consider learning the King's Indian attack/defense, a solid opening that can be played with either side and should work regardless of what your opponent plays. If you'd prefer a unique opening for both sides, the Vienna Game and Caro-Kann are two popular options for starters.

If you've been inspired by Beth Harmon and her mastery of the Sicilian opening (with Black), I would advise you not to start with that for now, as it is really complicated for beginners to learn all the variations and could land you in a bit of trouble in the opening! However, if you insist on playing the Sicilian, the Dragon variation is the most popular and easy to learn for beginners.

As a beginner, learning your chosen opening as well as you can is the most important part of getting better at chess. If you learn even the first five moves of each variation in your opening(s), you will win so many of your games virtually effortlessly, as your opponents won't know how to respond. One of the best feelings in chess is when you completely outplay your opponent right in the opening, and they don't even know what hit them!


Tactics and puzzles

Once you've looked at a few variations of your chosen openings, you can move on to this stage of learning chess. Tactics and puzzles are pre-made scenarios in chess designed by coaches and instructors that train your pattern recognition skills. Usually, the puzzle will involve the opposing side making a blunder or an inaccurate move and will challenge you to punish them with a winning tactic! Puzzles are the best way to improve your tactics and, thus, your pattern recognition skills and will give you a massive head start on your peers.

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