3 Biggest Beginner Chess Mistakes

Beginner chess players often make the same mistakes over and over again, preventing them from taking their game to the next level. This repetition of errors causes many beginner chess players to give up the game altogether in a brash display of hopelessness. If you can’t identify your mistakes, you will never be able to evaluate your flaws and fix them. These are the 3 Biggest Beginner Chess Mistakes I’ve seen throughout my chess career:

1. Moving Too Fast

The Solution to Moving Too Fast
The Solution to Moving Too Fast

Standard time controls allot between 30 minutes and 3 hours of playing time to each player. Using your time wisely is not the mark of an experienced chess player – it’s the mark of a Smart chess player.Moving too fast is one of the silliest mistakes you can make, and it’s also the easiest one to fix. Many beginner players (especially young beginner chess players) have a serious problem with using their time correctly. It is very important to slow down and remain calm at all stages of the game, and avoid from impulsively grabbing a piece when you think you have discovered a good idea. The solution to moving too fast is very simple: Recognize you have a problem and be careful to exercise strong self-control in your games.

2. Playing Too Passively

Sometimes you might not feel like Mel Gibson in Braveheart but you really have to achieve a true warrior mindset to be a good chess player. Putting the pressure on your opponent goes way beyond just the chess board, it affects his psychological state as well. If you’ve ever played a game where your opponent attacked you and created threats against you from the very 1st move – you know exactly what I’m talking about. Constantly defending and playing an entire game on your heels is very uncomfortable, and that’s exactly where you want your opponent. The solution to this problem is simple and extremely important – you have to play as aggressively as possible and strive to create new threats and problems for your opponent with every single move. For a great example of how to play attacking chess, check out this masterpiece by Paul Morphy. As Bobby Fischer put it

You have to have the fighting spirit. You have to force moves and take chances”

You Have to Have the Fighting Spirit
You Have to Have the Fighting Spirit

3. Underestimating Your Opponent

While it’s great to be aggressive and attack your opponent, it’s very important to draw the line between optimism and over-confidence. Underestimating the opposition happens for a variety of reasons (a much younger or lower rated opponent, etc..) – but that doesn’t make it right! It is paramount to stay focused and play the best moves possible. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing against Bobby Fischer or your cat, you have to ignore all distractions and just play the best moves. Many beginner players like to gamble with loose/risky moves, ignorantly hoping that their weak opponent will miss the refutation. Many times these gambles work, although it is all too often they fail miserably and you leave with a very bad feeling in the back of your head. In the words of the current highest rated chess player in the world Magnus Carlsen

I am trying to beat the guy sitting across from me and trying to choose the moves that are most unpleasant for him and his style”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

×
×