Chess Tips for Beginners and Intermediate Players

In Chess, we end the game with 3 results i.e. 1-0, 0-1, or 1/2-1/2. Although it looks simple there are a lot of factors affecting the same result. Today I share the Chess Tips some of which I learned normally while some the hard way. This article will give you various chess tips which are very useful.

Chess Tips Before the match preparation

Good sleep prior to the round

Once you get good sleep you are in a position to Focus well and maintain your composure for the match. At times we see players either prepare too much or play practice games or don’t believe in proper resting. The reason all top players insist on taking good rest is to be in a good frame of mind for the match

Proper food intake

Generally, we see kids tend to neglect food when they are upset or indulged in any activity. That is not a good sign. To play the game with full energy one must have a proper food intake before the match. Proper food intake 2 hours prior to the round is suggested by many top players and coaches.

As one is not guaranteed the duration, for eg. We might have to play a 4/4.5 hours long game. Then after the 3rd hour of the match one start to feel hungry. So one must have proper meals before, during, and after matches.

Decent amount of opening preparation

There are two types of approaches in chess. Some players prefer to go directly to the match and decide what to play while others tend to prepare against their opponent or revise their own openings. The ideal way is to prepare openings 2 weeks prior to a tournament and just revise them before the match. This revision helps to stay confident during the game.

Solving tactics before the round

Solving tactics prior to the round is an ideal way to get warmed up for the match. One can be in a good shape and stay alert by solving tactics regularly. Another benefit of solving tactics is it boosts confidence and you stay upbeat for the match. You can use chess.com or lichess puzzles to solve tactics before the round.

Sufficient amount of meditation before the round

Meditation has a variety of definitions for everyone, some people like to focus on breathing while some like to follow pranayama and some like to just do something which gets them to focus well. So whatever you feel is the best you should do for yourself. In the end, it is important to gain focus for the match.

A good frame of mind before the round

All the above points were focused on reaching a good frame of mind. So what is exactly the reason for a good frame of mind? When you are feeling pleasant mentally, it automatically helps you to perform well. Your thoughts are controlled well, and you are able to focus better and don’t get distracted easily. For this, you should avoid any sort of conflicts or debates prior to a round.

A small amount of motivation to play the round which increases confidence

Motivation differs from person to person. Someone can be motivated to win the tournament while someone might aim to increase their rating, to get motivation for the round is to have the driving force, the desire to win.

Revision of basic endgames before the tournament

Endgames are the most explored territory in Chess. There are a lot of positions with fixed outcomes with precise play from both sides for eg Lucena or Philidor’s position and many more. One must revise these endgames constantly. Most of the time we are playing endgames in time trouble. So it is necessary to know what we are aiming for.

Also if you make mistake in opening you can survive in the middle game, if you make mistake in the middlegame you can swindle in the end game. But it’s a do-or-die situation in the endgame, one move here and there and it’s over.

Chess Tips During the match

There are a lot of things one must keep in mind when playing a game. I am sharing some of the tips which I have found useful in my tournament experience.

Staying alert from move 1

There are a lot of instances where the games ended quickly as one player was not alert. Sharing the famous one where Former 5 times World Champion Vishwanathan Anand lost in just 6 moves.  Also, there are openings traps that you might face so they are not that deep and you encounter them at an early stage of the game.

Play according to the position I.e. don’t focus on rating

Whenever we play a game, we often have the habit to check our opponent’s rating or take decisions according to the rating. We have a superiority complex against lower-rated opponents and an inferiority complex against higher-rated opponents. So instead of focusing on rating, we should play according to the position and have faith in yourself

Body Language

This is a vital point. Body language is very important one has to give the habit of portraying a poker face and being confident. A lot of top players have confessed that when Former World Champion Garry Kasparov used to play, he used to bring huge energy to the chessboard. And this energy is used to affect his opponents. Kasparov’s body language was best seen when he made a strong comeback against Anand in game 9 of the PCA World championship.

Thinking about the game and not about the result

During a match, it is obvious for one to get thoughts on the result of the game. These thoughts don’t help you win the match, what helps you is thinking about the position rather than the result.

Fighting till the very end, when you have sufficient pieces to continue the game

Never giving up is the quality of a champion. When the position is tough and you feel it’s difficult to win and easy to resign. Everyone can resign from that situation but only those who fight till the end are able to create miracles!

Time management and dealing with time pressure

Time management is a crucial factor. It is important to keep a track of time and play at a regular speed. Once you are under time pressure the result often goes against you. Time management also means how and when you reach the round and how well you manage time during tournaments

Chess Tips Post-match

Accept the fact that, once the score sheet is signed, you cannot change the result

Once the match ends. All you can do is smile and greet your opponent. Whatever might be the outcome of the game. Your opponent will become a good friend! Also, it is easy to react after a painful loss but it takes a lot to be calm! It all depends on which end you want to be on.

Analyzing the game with your opponent to know his insights into the game and critical points as well

As soon as the game ends, all the thoughts are fresh and you can easily recall the variations and your exact evaluations, etc. Also, your opponent might have opinions that differ. So you should analyze the game and save the thoughts in your notes

Detaching emotionally from the game and rethinking it with a 3rd person point of view

During the game, one take decisions that are emotional and it affects the outcome of the game. So as soon as the game ends. Once the scoresheet is signed one must detach the feelings, and accept the fact that you can’t change the outcome of the game. You must get ready for the next one.

Keep in mind not to let the impact of the current game influence the next one

Just like in cricket where one wicket brings another. In chess one loss might lead to several losses. So one must quickly get composed for the next game

Saving energy for the next round

After playing a long fighting game it is necessary to store energy for the coming match. Accepting the fact that your body is tired and needs some rest all decisions depend on how you treat the scenario.

Following the routine set before the tournament

When you decide to play a tournament, you should start your planning with the tournament schedule I.e. if the tournament you play is a double-round event, then you must be prepared to play 8 hours of chess in the tournament.

So you should practice 10 hours daily for a minimum of one month so as to build the stamina to play a good 8 hours of chess. If you play a single round per day event, you can check to play schedule and practice accordingly, I.e. if the tournament is a morning round event, then you can play training games perfectly at the same time as the tournament and do general practice thereafter.

Analyzing games with a lot of players to get different views about the same position

The analysis is a crucial part and if you analyze your game yourself or with just your opponent then the angles you get are limited. Whereas if you discuss those games or positions with a lot of players, then you will get a variety of ideas and also get to know different approaches to that position.

So these were the General Chess Tips that I have acquired in my life. Do share any other chess tips in the ents section which I have missed.