With such a deep-rooted history of providing players with a spirit of competition, the game of chess elaborately propels many profound issues, of the time of it's birth, to the forefront of our consideration. Amidst it's lessons involving the strategic utility of all the pieces on the board, to the inherent limitation of those same pieces, learning to play chess like a professional is certainly no easy task, especially in world where the best have come to be able to think in excess of 10-15 moves ahead of their competition. Don't be discouraged, however, by understanding the fundamental rules of chess, as well as the inherent capabilities and limitation of the pieces allocated to each competing Army, you will be well on your way to ascending the ranks of the Chess playing elite.

For many of us, the lessons we learn about chess most likely won't be with the sole intention of becoming a national star on the chess playing stage. While volumes of manuals and books have been written about chess, those who are interested in perfecting and increasing their skill oftentimes would just like to become good enough to beat their friends or excel in their chess club.

Things You Will Need

Chess Board
Chess Pieces

Step 1

Once you are at least somewhat familiar with the rules of chess, as well as the fundamental moves and limitations of each piece, greatly improving your skill may be as simple as setting up a chess game with the sole intention of playing yourself. Pick the army that you will be in command of, and alternate turn-taking, just as you would if you were playing a friend or relative. While you do this, focus strictly on your understanding of the game, and refine the fundamental core competencies that we spoke about in my first Info Barrel article about learning to play chess like a pro.

Familiarization with the pieces, and each one's movements, may seem like a very simple thing to do, however, you really have to be cognizant of everything you do when you are attempting to learn how to play chess like a professional.

Step 2

When attempting to master the game of chess, while you play yourself, you can also consider utilizing online resources such as Wikipedia, in order to further familiarize yourself with the historical context surrounding the game. In order to succeed at this game, you really have to learn to think on a much deeper level of strategy, while integrating concepts of utility and sacrifice. Even though most would say that it would be unwise to sacrifice your queen early in the game, dependent on the situation and circumstances, this doing may actually be the most feasible of action. The same could be said of any piece on the board, and we can derive much deeper philosophical lessons from this gain. I encourage you to think about these things, and refine your own skills, abilities, and familiarization with the game.

Step 3

By removing some pieces from the board, you can inject a degree of randomization into the game that you may only find in a much further progressed game. Doing this from the start can give you an entirely new perspective on the game, without each piece being nestled at it's own starting point. As you continue to play against yourself, you can randomize the board, also, so that you do not have to wait very long to get into the high intensity situations that make chess such a strategic game. Think through these situations, and, while you practice, anticipate potential moves of your opponent.

Step 4

As you continue to play yourself, it helps to get into a habit of moving your eyes from one side to the other side, and thinking analytically in anticipation of future opponent moves. You must always be cognizant of the 'strength' of your own army, as well as the army of your opponent, every step of the way. Hinder yourself from thinking that just because one army has less pieces that they are essentially the 'weaker' of the two armies. I challenge you to engage in a deeper level of though regarding the complexity of the game, underlying issues, as well as utility and effective allocation of resources.

Step 5

For many, playing chess with themselves may be flat-out boring. This is completely understandable, however, understanding and familiarization of the game of chess comes best when you are actively investing time to become more proficient and competent in how the game is actually played. If you feel confident, now would be a great time to seek out people to potentially play chess with. Whether you are in school, or at home, a close relative or friend, who shares interest in the game of chess, would make a great opponent. In order to ensure that you are continually challenged, and thus improving, if you can, picking an opponent that you would actually consider 'better than you', may be the best way to go here in your opponent selection. Oftentimes, you may not have this choice, however, if you do, I encourage you to be at least somewhat selective in your opponent. The more difficult your opponent, the greater you would be tested to become better and more proficient in a game of such high skill and strategy.


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