How can beginners improve?

August 12, 2021 · George Henderson

So you’ve just learned how chess pieces move and are fascinated by the game. Now are ready to level up. But you don’t know what steps to take, and how to improve as a beginner? 


There’s a lot of information available on the internet. It can be very overwhelming, and you might end up feeling confused. 


But in reality, there are very few things you should be focused on to improve as a chess beginner. This is exactly what we’ve covered in the article. 


Apart from that, there’s one thing that’s a no-brainer for professionals, which most beginners take too casually. What’s that? 

Keep reading to find out!


  1. Solve basic chess puzzles


Do you know what’s the most common piece of advice given to chess players? It’s to solve tactics! Whether you are a world champion or just a beginner, you cannot ignore it! It’s one of those pieces of advice that will apply to any level of player.


The reason is tactics help you -


  • Recognize typical patterns in chess
  • Recognize the potential of your pieces
  • Speeds up your thinking process


We suggest you start solving basic ‘mate in 1’ puzzles. and as you begin to master them, move on to ‘mate in 2’ puzzles, followed by the ‘mate in 3’, and so on.

This will help you spot tactics faster than your competitors. Most beginner games aren’t decided by complex strategy but by simple tactics. That’s a reason why it’s necessary to build this skill. 


  1. Learn how to checkmate


The ultimate goal of a chess game is to checkmate the other king. But so many times a beginner player struggles to deliver a mate. Therefore, it’s important to study how to finish off the game by delivering a checkmate.


Some of the common ones to master include -


  • Checkmate with Queen 
  • Checkmate with Rook
  • Checkmate with 2 Bishops


Devoting time to this aspect also comes with added benefits. Your mind will develop a feel for how the pieces coordinate.


For instance, if you were to practice checkmating with the rook and king, you’ll notice how these two pieces coordinate to weave a mating net around the enemy king.  


Most experienced chess coaches recommend practicing such mates on a chessboard, which is how professionals practice. It helps you in developing a better board vision, and the patterns tend to stick in your head for a longer time. 


  1. Study the rules carefully


There are so many players who’re new to the game, who forget about the special rules, especially like en passant. So during a game, they don’t notice opportunities where such rules can be used to their advantage. Don’t be one of them. 


On the other hand, professionals can spot such moves without consciously thinking of them.


So spend time learning such rules, and know when they can be used during a game. These include rules like castling, en passant, promotion, under promotion, and stalemate. 


  1. Pick your favorite player and study their games


So what happens when you study the games of strong players? First, you learn strategies and ideas. These can be applied to your games. Second, isn’t it fascinating to understand how great players think differently?


Imagine you’re studying Fischer’s games from his book. There’s a difference between what you think is the best, and what he thinks is the best. 


Then he explains why x move is better than y. In this manner, you are learning where the difference is in how you think, and how Fischer would think. Once you find out the difference, all that’s left is to replicate the thought process of the great man in your games.


Pick a book of your favorite player and expose yourself to ideas of great players.


  1. Find a friend who’s equally passionate


Having someone who’s as passionate about the game as you are can help both of you to improve very quickly at chess. In fact, the Soviet school of chess was famous for advocating the concept of having a training partner.


With your friend, you can -


  • Play games with each other and never run out of a playing partner.
  • Study chess together.
  • Stay accountable for each other’s improvement.


Invite them over to our house, plan a chess night, play blitz games, study chess, etc. The options are limitless when you have someone who’s as passionate about the game as you are!


And if you’re looking for any chess sets or clocks, we have your back. 


Why a professional chess set can help you improve fast?


Grandmasters practice chess over a tournament board, which is very different compared to the board hobby players have. 

If you work with a professional coach, at some point they will ask you to practice on a good chess set. 

It’s a no-brainer for professionals.

Ever wondered why? 

Small boards with tiny pieces aren’t ideal if you want to take your chess seriously. Because when you play on them, here are the common problems you’ll face -


  • Small pieces don’t fit properly in your fingers. This makes it harder to handle the pieces when you make a move.
  • When the pieces are tiny, one easily gets confused with different pieces on the chessboard, like a bishop and a pawn(the classic!). This happens a lot, especially on small magnetic mini-chess sets.
  • On a tiny board, pieces stand closer to each other. So every time you make a move, you increase the chance of dropping a nearby piece. 


All of this ruins the whole playing experience. More than having fun or concentrating on the real game, you’ll be adjusting your pieces. 


That’s why it’s very important that you play on a good chess board that will help you focus on the game.


Our tournament chess sets do precisely that! They come with a beautiful chessboard (wooden/synthetic), 32 chess pieces (16 each per side), and a storage kit. 


Once you start using it for practice and playing games, you’ll realize why the pros prefer to practice on a good chess set. 




We hope you found a lot of useful takeaways from the article. To summarize, here’s where you need to focus on to improve as a beginner in chess -


  • Tactics
  • Learning Checkmates
  • Knowing the special rules
  • Games of your favorite player
  • A friend passionate about chess


At the same time, a professional chess set will ensure that you have a good time practicing chess. Head over to our Tournament Sets page to choose a board that you like!