Learn how to inprove quickly at chess

Gain confidence and don't be afraid to lose

I love chess but I’ve played it since I was very young. However sometimes I come across people who didn’t play much when they were little or they learned how the pieces moved but didn’t really have the support around them to take it further. As adults, they don’t want to learn because they fear they will lose and look stupid. It’s not true. Chess is one of those things where losing is a good thing.

So to get good fast, begin by following three simple steps:

1) Find an opponent who knows how to play better than you can

2) Lose

3) Analyse the game

Two pawns

When analysing the game, ask yourself: Did your opponent beat you in four moves? What could you have done to prevent this?

Don’t be too preoccupied with analysis during play just try to be aware. At first, you will lack the necessary experience to truly see what is going on. Relax; you are not a super computer. Chess should be fun.

Lose your first 30 games as fast as you can.

Playing thirty games fast will allow you to blast through the initial feeling of puzzlement that many first time chess players experience.

Just play fast and furious and make a lot of mistakes without worrying too much about it. However, pay attention to what your opponent is doing to you. If you see a move that works remember it. Use it back on your opponent when the opportunity presents itself in a future game.

Your first thirty games are about gaining experience. They are not about winning. Remember to relax and don’t get too competitive in these early games. Of course if you do pull off an amazing win good for you. Remember what worked. After thirty games, you will find that your confidence has increased.

The next move

Once you have gained some experience, you will find you are beginning to grasp some of the underlying principles of the game. Now is a good time to begin learning simple tactics such as pins and forks.

There are plenty of good books out there that can help you learn chess tactics. I would recommend the Winning Chess series by Yasser Seirawan. If you have played your first thirty games, many of the simpler tactics will sound familiar straight away, because you’ve already seen them in action.