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Chess Strategy for Beginners

CMG Staff / March 10, 2021
Chess Strategy for Beginners

Chess is a great game for any age, but mastering a chess strategy for beginners takes time and practice. 

Do you want to improve at chess and learn some chess strategy for beginners? Well you've come to the right place! After all, the only way to win is to know what you're doing and how to do it best. 

Keep reading to find out more about how to develop our own strategy and apply those tactics in the game.

How to Play Chess: The Basics

Although chess may seem like a complex game, it's not difficult to learn with practice. For now, we’ll just go over the basics. Check out this article to learn more about how to play chess and learn from a chess master!

There are six types of pieces: the king, the queen, rooks, bishops, knights, and pawns. Both players will have their own sets of pieces to move on their turn.

All pieces except the pawns are set up on the last row. The pawns occupy the next row in a straight line. 

In a game of chess, white pieces will always move first. Pieces cannot jump over other pieces to move with the exception of the knight.

Once you know the basic rules of chess, you'll have a better time playing similar games, like Space Chess. This means that playing chess opens up doors to other games you may enjoy as well! 

Of course, if you play chess against someone that's been playing for years, you'll be able to see that there are certain strategies and critical thinking skills that develop with practice! Knowing chess strategy for beginners will help you become better at the game as you play more.

How Do the Pieces Move?

Pawns can move forward one or two spaces on their first move. After this, they can only move forward one space at a time. To take another piece, the pawn is the only piece that has to be able to move forward toward it diagonally.

Knights move in an L-shape, which means they can go any direction as long as it is two spaces forward, backward, or sideways and 1 space to the side from there to form an "L".

Bishops move diagonally based on the color they start on. They can go in any direction.

Rooks go in straight lines only, but they can move in any direction as well.

The queen is a special piece because it can move diagonally or straight and can move in any direction. This makes the queen a valuable piece for any player. 

What's So Important About the King?

The king is the piece that you are trying to protect in a game of chess. They can go in any direction, but only one spot at a time. 

You can take the other player's pieces with the king if necessary, but it shouldn't be your first choice. The king is vulnerable, so you need to keep it guarded if you can.

Once a king is in checkmate, the game is over. For this reason, you cannot move a king into any spot that would put you into check in relation to the other player's pieces. 

Chess Strategy for Beginners

Don't waste too much time, but also don't play too quickly. You should try to consider what the other player just did and what they would be able to do after your turn is over before you make a move. 

If you get a pawn all the way to the other side of the board, you will be able to promote it. You can turn it into any piece that isn't a king or pawn. 

A tip for new chess players that may be valuable at the start of the game is to make sure you are getting your last-row pieces out as soon as you can. Although you can start with the pawns and knights, you want to move your other pieces around so that the other player doesn't back you into a corner. 

A big tip is to know some of the less common, but useful moves that you can make.

A simple move that you can make before you move your king or one of your rooks is called "castling." The king will move two spaces over either way and the rook will sit next to it on the opposite side. To do this, the king cannot be in check, move through check, or end in check. 

Another move to be aware of is called "en passant." If the other player's pawn advances to sit next to your pawn on an initial move, your pawn can capture it as if it had only moved one space. 

Basic Chess Strategies to Master First

One chess strategy for beginners is to avoid moving one of your pieces more than once during your opening. You want to try and get as many pieces out onto the main part of the board for the best game position.

Open with pawns that will give your back pieces the best opportunity to move. This means moving the pawns near the center of the row instead of the ones on the ends first. 

Another chess strategy for beginners is to control the center. This section of the board allows for the most mobility, gives you the most options, and provides easy access to other areas.

A third strategy is to "threaten" your opponent with your pieces. You can move a piece to be in the position to attack if the other player decides to attack a different piece. This gives you a defensive strategy that makes it harder for the other player to evade capture. 

Choosing the best strategy for your game is going to depend on how you like to play, how the game is going, and what your skill level is. You will learn new strategies and become even better the more that you play. 

Use Your Chess Strategy Today

While you're just starting out, developing a chess strategy that works for you may feel difficult at first.

Remember that the game gets easier the more you play, and as you practice, you'll find yourself making better and better moves!

If you want to get even more help with mastering the game of chess as a beginner, check out our chess videos to get a visual of some of the things we discussed here.

CMG Staff