5 Best Chess Puzzles for Beginners

5 Best Chess Puzzles For Beginners“Chess is 99 per cent tactics” is an old saying. That famous quote has often been debated in the world of chess. Although this might be a slight exaggeration, there is no doubt that strong tactical abilities are essential in order to improve in chess.

You can play a beautiful positional game and obtain a strategically winning position, but if you’re not able to seal the deal and blunder a piece due to a simple tactic, all the hard work is gone. Hence, without good calculation skills, it’s nearly impossible to play a good game.

Regular chess tactics training with puzzles helps you to find different motifs in your games faster and more frequently. If you’re a beginner in the game of chess and quickly want to improve your playing strength, chess tactics training has to be an integral part of your daily training routine. In the following article, we want to present you with 5 of the best chess puzzles for beginners.

A Short Introduction To Pattern Recognition & Types Of Chess Tactics

“Although tactics sometimes can be very complicated, there is good news: tactics consist of basic elements that can be learned like a language or mathematics.” This quote was written by FM Martin Weteschnik in his brilliant book “Understanding Chess Tactics” and hits the nail right on the head.

Many difficult chess tactics consist of a series of basic tactical elements. Hence, if you want to solve complicated chess puzzles, you’ll need to be familiar with all the different basic types of chess tactics. There are familiar tactical themes like pins, forks and double attacks which recur over and over in each chess game. While doing tactics training, this concept of pattern recognition is of great importance. Beginner chess players need to learn to recognize elementary tactical patterns in their games.

Being able to spot these tactical motifs quickly is an essential factor to compete with strong chess players. The more tactics you solve, the more patterns you are familiar with and the faster you’ll recognize them in different positions.

All in all, it becomes obvious that the key to chess improvement is pattern recognition. Even if you’ve got only little time per day to study chess, it’s essential to work on your most important tool which enables you to achieve great results – your brain. As the human brain is inherently forgetful, you need to work on it on a daily basis. Even the best players in the world are doing this repeatedly in order to keep their brain sharp.

5 Best Chess Puzzles for Beginners

To illustrate this key chess tactics training method, we shall dive straight into 5 excellent chess puzzles for beginners and discuss the aspects involved. If you want to learn the maximum from these examples, we suggest you to try to solve the chess puzzles first and only then read the solution.

Chess Puzzle #1:

5 Best Chess Puzzles For BeginnersWhite to move (see the diagram on the left). Can you spot the winning combination for White?

The position at hand looks promising for White as Black’s king is caught on f8 and White’s knight on f5 takes away the escape squares e7 and g7. The problem for White is that his queen on b4 and the knight on f5 are under attack. 5 Best Chess Puzzles For Beginners

However, it is important to recognize that Black’s queen is pinned against his king and Black has back-rank problems (see the diagram on the right). Hence, White can play the strong move 1.Rc1!! Black has no defense. He can’t take the rook and if he takes White’s queen on b4 with 1…Qxb4, 2.Rc8 is mate.

The pin is an essential tactical pattern. If you see a queen pinned against the king, you should always look for ways to exploit this.

Chess Puzzle #2:

5 Best Chess Puzzles For BeginnersWhite to move (see the diagram on the left). Can you spot the winning chess tactic for White?

The first move which comes to mind in the position at hand is 1.Nxf7. White is currently an exchange down and he can restore the material balance with this move. However, it is always important to search for more than one candidate move (the move 1.Nxf7 is by no means forced).5 Best Chess Puzzles For Beginners

You might notice that White’s queen on b2 is well placed on the long diagonal and if Black’s king would be on h8, the move Nxf7 would be even stronger as it would be a double attack against Black’s king and queen (see the diagram on the right).

Hence, White can play 1.Qh8+!!. Black has to take the queen – 1…Kxh8 and after 2.Nxf7+, White not only wins the rook, but also Black’s queen in the next move. White will be up a piece and easily win the endgame.

The double attack (or the fork) is another essential tactical pattern. If you have an active knight, you should always try to look for hidden forks.

Chess Puzzle #3:

5 Best Chess Puzzles For BeginnersWhite to move (see the diagram on the left). Can you spot the winning combination for White?

5 Best Chess Puzzles For BeginnersWhite’s knight on e7 controls the squares g8 and g6. If White could give a check on the h-file, Black’s would not have any escape squares (see the diagram on the right).

Hence, White can play 1.Qxh7+!! Black has to take the queen – 1…Kxh7 and 2.Rh5+ is mate.

 

Chess Puzzle #4:

5 Best Chess Puzzles For BeginnersBlack to move (see the diagram on the left). Can you spot the winning chess tactics for Black?

If Black could bring his queen to d1, it would be mate as Black’s pawn on h3 takes away the g2-square for White’s king. 5 Best Chess Puzzles For Beginners

Hence, Black has to find a way to move his rook away from f3 with tempo (see the diagram on the right). 1…Rf7!! wins for Black. Black not only threatens 2…Qd1 mate, but also 2…Rxa7, winning a rook. White can’t defend against both threats.

Chess Puzzle #5:

5 Best Chess Puzzles For BeginnersBlack to move (see the diagram on the left). Can you spot the winning chess tactics for Black?

White has back-rank problems as Black’s pawn on b3 takes away the important c2-square for White’s king. If Black can bring a rook or a queen to the first rank, it would be mate. But wait! At the moment, the 1st rank is defended by White’s rook on d1. However, this also has to defend the bishop on d3. The rook is overloaded (see the diagram on the right).5 Best Chess Puzzles For Beginners

Black has the winning move 1…Qxd3!! White can’t take back as 2.Rxd3 Re1+ would lead to mate.

Conclusion – Best 5 Chess Puzzles for Beginners

The key to chess improvement is pattern recognition. Try to solve as many chess puzzles for beginners as possible in order to recognize recurring tactical themes. If you do all the hard work, you will see significant improvement and take down even the toughest rivals on the chess board – guaranteed.

All in all, we could only present 5 of the best chess puzzles for beginners in our article. Do you want to watch some breathtaking tactical combinations by some of the greatest chess giants and finally be able to execute them yourself? Click here to get a special discount on “Tactical Decisions” by GM Maxim Dlugy.

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3 comments on “5 Best Chess Puzzles for Beginners

  1. As a new player to chess. At 78 years old I have just downloaded your five chess puzzles and applied for your free course . I am also waiting for a new chess board to arrive which I believe will help my brain learn to be a better player .one of my questions is the numbers and the letters which is at the bottom and which is at the side it would help me to know this please regards Chris Dixon

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