3 Common Chess Mistakes of Beginners That You Must Avoid
by Priyambada Datta,
Table Of Contents
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Chess isn’t a very difficult game to play, once you get the hang of it! It is easy to get better at Chess if you keep a few ideas in mind while playing and avoid certain mistakes. Common Chess mistakes of Beginners could range from tiny errors to massive blunders. Believe it or not, avoiding those massive blunders and following a few simple strategies is all it takes to make you master the Beginner’s level of Chess.
3 Common Chess Mistakes Of Beginners
Savielly Tartakower, a Russian Chess journalist, once famously said, “Chess is a struggle against one’s own errors.” The statement makes it clear that errors aren’t the problem, not learning from them is.
Let's take a look at the 3 common Chess Mistakes of Beginners that you must avoid. Here we go!
1. Playing Only Blitz and Rapid Games
Blitz Chess games are those with the time control of 5 minutes. That is, each player gets 5 minutes to make all their moves. Rapid chess games are those where each player usually gets 15 minutes to make all their moves. Other than losing through checkmates, you can lose if you run out of time before your opponent does. Such rigid time controls are not at all appropriate for someone who is only beginning to play Chess. Thereby, it surely counts as one of the most common Chess mistakes for beginners.
These games reduce your chances of analyzing the board well or building proper strategies while playing. Instead of your Chess skills, a lot depends on whether you can move your pieces fast enough. With such rigidity in place, you will make a lot of mistakes in the Chess game. However, you will not get enough time to learn anything from those mistakes.
Surely, a Chess game with such time control is fun. However, if you want to grow as a player, if you want all those benefits of chess to take place, you must play longer games. The best idea is to start by playing without time control. As you learn and get confident, you can experiment with 60 minutes or 30 minutes of time control.
2. Spending Too Much Time Learning
At the end of the day, Chess is a game and the game demands to be played. While learning and preparation are all good and healthy, it should not be at the expense of actually playing. If you avoid playing, you will not have a chance to implement your learning. If you are unable to implement your learning, it will soon be forgotten. One game of Chess a day is a pretty good way of keeping your mind healthy and your Chess skills sharp.
Even within Chess preparation and learning, there are areas you need to focus more on. As a Beginner, opening preparation is not going to be very helpful in developing your skills. Openings are concretely written about and are easily accessible. However, with a limited understanding of Chess, you can only memorize the opening lines of chess. However, in order to improve your understanding of Chess, you must first practice tactics.
Some puzzles ask you to find a checkmate in a said number of moves. These are also puzzles that ask you to find forks, pins, discovered attacks, and many more. Solving these puzzles will familiarize you with the way all the pieces work together to attack or defend. It also helps improve your ability to calculate far ahead in the game.
3. Not Planning The Moves
Another common Chess mistake beginners make is that they limit themselves to short-term plans. For example, they capture a piece only when the opponent blunders. While it can help you win sometimes, it can only take you so far. In order to grow yourself as a player, you must start practicing longer calculations. This involves analyzing the board and looking at various potential moves. Your moves must be made as a result of a plan.
Sometimes one is unable to come up with a concrete plan. In such cases, your moves must be made with an idea behind them. For example, you might not have a grand plan to checkmate your opponent. However, you can make your moves based on even a simple idea, like “I will be able to control more squares if I place my knight on e5.” Meaningful moves will ensure that you have a good position. A good position will improve your chances of launching an attack on the opponent, thus increasing your chance of winning. On the contrary, if your Chess moves are completely random, it will give your opponent time to build an attack on you.
How To Avoid Blunders In Chess (For Beginners)?
A blunder is when your move puts you in a position where you are down in material or are going to get checkmated. Blunders are the most common reason behind losses in Chess for beginners. Avoiding blunders in Chess can take you a long way. Read on.
In Chess, defending the king is the most important. Hence, the biggest blunder is when you miss a checkmate. This allows your opponent to easily defeat you. As someone starting with Chess, in order to avoid checkmates, always look for ways in which your opponent can ‘check’ your king. Once you have made a list of the possible ‘checks’, ensure that your king has a way of defending itself. It can do so either by fleeing to another square or by using another piece for defense. If the king doesn’t have an escape or a way of defending itself, it would be best to stop the incoming ‘check’ move.
The next way to avoid blunders in Chess is by analyzing if any of your Chess pieces are under attack. That is, analyze if any of your Chess pieces can be captured by the opponent’s pieces. If not, all is well. However, if your pieces are attacked, you must ensure that you defend them.
There are three ways to do this.
- The first is where you move your piece away so that it can’t come under attack.
- The second is when you provide support to your attacked piece with another piece.
- The third is when you launch your own attack on the opponent’s piece or pieces. The attack is the best defense, after all!
The final way to avoid blundering in chess is to calculate the threats. This is a comparatively difficult task. Here, you won’t be looking at attacks that are already happening. You will, instead, analyze the possibility of an attack. This will require you to calculate at least 3 moves ahead. The further into the future you can calculate, the better. Threats can comprise everything, from tactical threats to positional threats. However, in the beginning, direct your attention towards tactical threats, like capturing pieces or checkmates.
Checks, captures, and threats. Make this your chess mantra. Not only will it help you avoid blunders in Chess Game, but will also improve your power to calculate moves. While being able to calculate during a game is important, you can start slow. Find yourself random Chess positions online or in books. Then, start analyzing them to find checks, captures, and threats.
The Biggest Mistake!
However, the biggest mistake you could make is not one of those listed above. The biggest Chess mistake is when you get disheartened with losses and stop playing. Chess mistakes are a part of the game.
In fact, blunders in Chess are even a bigger part of the game. They serve as the basis of learning. The first step is to learn to analyze your games using the strategies discussed above. The second step is to implement those strategies while you are playing chess. Eventually, you will be able to apply all that you have learned and you will grow as a chess player.
Like Irving Chernev once said, “Every Chess master was once a beginner.” So, be sure to keep practicing!
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