After nearly 50 years of helping people start the game of chess, we've seen people go from absolute newbies to proficient players within a short period of time.
7 Simple Steps to Learn Chess
Here are 7 simple steps to help make learning chess a little easier:
- 1. Learn the basic rules
- 2. Watch YouTube tutorials or Chess4Life videos on how to play
- 3. Play against a computer or another person to become familiar with the game
- 4. Read up on chess strategy
- 5. Study your mistakes after every match
- 6. Find someone who knows chess better than you and play practice games
- 7. Practice playing online with other players
Here's an outline each step:
1. Learn the Basic Rules
If you’re new to chess, it can seem very intimidating at first! Once you learn the basic rules and get used to how everything works together, playing gets much easier.
You may have already picked up on a few things by watching others play - but it's a good plan to consult a basic rules guide first or have a friend show you the basic rules.
Before you start playing, spend some time getting to know the 6 different pieces:
The chessboard looks complicated at first. It's so different from other games. But once you setup the pieces for the first time, learning how to play isn't nearly as hard as it seems.
You may find the visual PDF guide by Chess4Life, the Rules of Chess very helpful:
View it online or print it out 🖨️ for easy reference.
2. Watch YouTube tutorials or Chess4Life videos on how to play
If you want to get a good head start, try watching this short free video series on Chess.com that teaches the basics:
Another great way is this video series by Chess4Life:
Elliott's Chess School: All the Basics
Don't give up! Learning chess takes time, but it's definitely worth it.
Over 300 million people play this game worldwide. Keep working on your skills, and you can be one of them!
3. Play against a computer or another person to become familiar with the game
One of the best ways to learn the basics and affirm your understanding of the rules is to practice playing. This is best done by playing online against a computer or another person.
Playing against a computer, whether online or a real electronic chess computer, ensures that you are making correct "legal" moves. In most cases, you can take back moves to retry other moves and even learn from the computer's evaluation of your moves.
4. Read up on chess strategy
The fastest way to improve is to read up or listen to an expert on chess strategy and then put these newly acquired ideas to the test.
5. Study your mistakes after every match
The real key, however, is to learn from your mistakes in every game. With an electronic chess game software or internet playing site such as chess.com, you'll be able to take advantage of very advanced algorithms that show you exactly where you played a weak move along with better options that you could have played instead.
The more effort you put into studying some new strategies and then applying them and learning from them - without repeating the same mistakes in game after game - the faster you're going to learn!
6. Find someone who knows chess better than you and play practice games
If you can find someone who is a much better chess player who is willing to play and then revisit the entire game, explaining their thought process and the strategies they considered ... that's the very best!
7. Practice playing online with other players
- There are many benefits to online play. You will have access to a very wide range of playing skills and styles.
There are always players available to play fast games like 1 minute bullet chess, or slow games with 30 minutes or more per player.
So, Where Should You Start?
Simply watch a video, download the rules guide, or get a book or two.
Don't get overwhelmed! Just get one small chess book and study it for a little while each day.
If you take just a few small steps each day, you will have fun with it and learn how to play better chess.