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Tips for Beginners

Learning the rules is only the first step towards becoming a good chess player. If you've a beginner who has mastered the rules of chess and wants to take the first steps towards becoming a stronger player, it's time to learn the fundamentals of chess strategy.
  1. Glossary of Chess Terms (52)

Can I Checkmate With These Pieces?
A list of the pieces with which a player can or cannot checkmate an enemy king.

Learning Openings for Beginners
A discussion of the best ways to learn the openings in chess.

Illegal Moves
A discussion of illegal moves in chess, such as leaving your king in check.

Choosing the Right Odds
A short guide to picking odds that will make for a fun and competitive game of chess.

Ten Basic Checkmates to Know
A guide to ten basic checkmates that every chess player should know, presented as a series of mate-in-one problems.

Time Management
Learn how to better manage your time during a chess game. Time management is an important, but often overlooked, chess skill.

Basic Principles of Chess Openings
Learn the basic principles of playing chess openings properly.

Fool's Mate -- The Fastest Checkmate in Chess
A move by move guide to the fastest checkmate in chess, the Fool's Mate.

Basic Chess Tactics
A guide to basic chess tactics, including forks, pins and skewers.

How to Read and Write Algebraic Chess Notation
Learn how to read and write algebraic chess notation.

The Relative Value of the Pieces
Learn how much each piece is worth, from the pawn to the queen and king.

How to Checkmate with a King and Queen
Learn how to checkmate with a king and a queen, one of the most basic endgame checkmates in chess.

101 Chess Tips
A collection of chess advice. The main site generates a random tip each time it is visited; however, all 101 pieces can be accessed at any time.

Chess Tips by Bill Jordan
Chess tips from FM Bill Jordan, an Australian postal chess champion.

Pandolfini's 64 Commandments
Tips from renowned chess instructor and author Bruce Pandolfini.

Ten Tips to Winning Chess
Tips for beginners by Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier.

Class Prizes and Under Prizes in Chess Tournaments
A guide to understanding how chess prizes are awarded in most tournaments, including the difference between class prizes and under prizes.

Knights Before Bishops?
A discussion of the common chess advice "knights before bishops," and how you should use it in your chess games.

Mistakes When Setting Up a Chess Board
A few common errors players make when setting up a chessboard for the first time.

Five Key Ideas for New Chess Players to Work On
While new players have a lot to learn about chess, there are a few areas in particular that will help them achieve rapid improvement.

The Touch-Move Rule
A few quick tips on understanding and complying with the touch-move rule.

What is Hope Chess?
Find out what Hope Chess is, and how to move beyond this level of chess thinking.

Bringing Your Queen Out in the Opening
Find out when the queen should stay at home, and when it's time to get her into the action.

Why Recording Chess Games is Important
Writing down your moves during a chess games offers several great benefits for players.

Learning to Use a Chess Clock
There's no reason to be intimidated by the chess clock.

Pushing Pawns
When in doubt, maybe you shouldn't push a pawn.

Playing in Your First Chess Tournament
Thinking about joining a chess tournament? Here's a guide to what to expect.

Don’t Let Your Pieces Sit on the Bench
If you don't develop your pieces, it's like playing a sport with half a team.

King Safety Throughout the Game
Your king's safety is an important concern throughout all phases of a chess game.

Turning Draws into Wins
Learn how to win games when you have the advantage, rather than drawing them.

Simplification in Chess
What is simplification, and when should you consider it?

Nothing is Automatic in Chess
Just because a move looks automatic doesn't mean you should necessarily play it.

Knights vs. Bishops
Knights and bishops are very different, but have similar value on the chessboard.

Rook Pawns Can Be a Drawing Resource
If you're in trouble, leaving your opponent with a rook pawn might be enough to force a draw.

Capture with the Least Valuable Piece
When you're not sure how to take a piece, it's often best to take with your least valuable option.

If You’re Not Sure, Accept Sacrifices
What should you do when your opponent sacrifices material, and you're unsure of how to respond?

Keeping Your Castled King Safe
How can you make sure that your king stays safe after castling?

Minimizing the Damage
Just because a piece is trapped, that doesn't mean you have to give up on getting something in return.

How to Take Advantage of Open Files
Learn what an open file is, and how best to take advantage of one.

What is an Open File?
What is an open file, and why are they important strategically?

Avoiding the Biggest Chess Mistakes
Learn what the biggest mistake in chess is - and how you can avoid it.

How to Use Outposts
Outposts are excellent places from which your pieces can assault the enemy's position.

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