Learning chess the wrong way?

Many people set out to learn chess because it is a timeless classic game that we have played throughout the ages. Everyone can play and it's both simple and extremely complex. So when someone is learning how to play chess and play it well, they usually do what most people do which is go from beginning to end. This is actually not the best way to learn chess! Why is that? This article will explain the huge benefits of learning chess backwards.

Finish before you start

The benefits of learning backwards are tremendous for people who are learning to play chess seriously. The reason for this is because when you learn how to checkmate properly and win endgame material well, you can beat even seasoned players that chose to master openings and mid game because their end game is weaker. I have seen firsthand players with stronger openings lose badly at the end because they only focused on how to win material in the beginning. I'll go into detail more but suffice to say that learning end game and check mating is more important than anything else.


So two players are both well matched. One is a master of openings and early - mid game (We'll call him Player O), the other is a master of the end game (We'll call him Player E). Which one wins? Unless Player O has a severe advantage at end game then Player E will win because learning checkmating patterns will reign supreme over most material advantages. Player E begins to put Player O in continual check while he slowly chips away at Player O's material and creates a windmill effect until he wins. So what gives? The key is learning how to checkmate and win the end more than anything. If you can win in the end, then the beginning isn't as important because a person who only learns openings will never beat someone that can continually check and take material back in the end.

The mid game

Mid game is obviously the next step no matter if you go opening to end or end to opening. Mid game is important because once you get out of standard openings then mid game begins where strategy takes place over prearranged moves. This is where strategy is king, learning how to properly position pieces, covering them, and sacrificing when needed to gain either a material advantage or a positional advantage. Someone who takes mid game and end game more seriously than openings will always win because it's not structured and preset. Once you have spent a lot of time mastering end game and checkmating procedures take on the mid game!


This is where most beginners learn to play chess, but is out of the three sections the least important. Most chess players don't even think with their openings, they follow a standard opening like the "Ruy Lopez" opening[1] or the "King's Gambit" opening.[2] This is why opening is the least important to learn because most serious players follow an opening style and follow through until the line has been altered, in which case mid game begins! Studying opening lines is important because if you are facing an opponent and he's making moves in .25 seconds following his opening while you are thinking, you are wasting precious time. So study opening lines and follow them until they deteriorate and mid game begins, but don't make it your priority.

Final word

So there you have it! This is the best way to learn how to play chess is backwards. You will find yourself beating fellow newcomers easier if you learn this way because they will all know openings and quickly fall short once mid game and end game start. I would follow a 50-30-20 rule with these openings, making 50% of your study on end game and checkmating patterns, 30% on mid game strategy and piece positions, and 20% on opening lines and theory. Keep this style of study and you will quickly rise in the ranks of the chess players around you.