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How to play chess? Where to start? Beginner’s guide

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How to play chess? Where to start? Beginner’s guide

The game of chess is associated with a difficult, elitist, yet boring activity for nerds. These stereotypes cause the chessboard to be hidden at the bottom of the cupboard and we are reluctant to reach for it. And this is a big mistake.

Almost every home has a chess set. Tables with chessboard tops or huge, open-air chessboards are appearing more and more often in parks, squares, and playgrounds. Maybe it’s worth breaking through and trying your hand at this timeless game?

A range of benefits

Anyone can learn to play chess. Regardless of age, gender or mathematical and logical predispositions. There are at least several benefits of playing chess:

  • integration – traditional chess is played in two people. This gives an opportunity to spend time together and make new friends. Thanks to the development of technology today we can also play chess alone, with a computer as an opponent;
  • intellectual development – especially in children and young people. Scientists have observed a close correlation between playing chess and good results in school. For this reason chess is increasingly being introduced as a subject at school;
  • improving brain function – chess engages both hemispheres to work hard. They improve the ability to think analytically, non-verbal reasoning and memory;
  • counteracting diseases – in particular dementia, memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have shown that active chess players who are over 75 are less likely to suffer from the above-mentioned diseases.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich/Pexels

Understanding chess rules

For many people who were once exposed to chess, a traumatic memory is the plethora of information. In fact, learning all the pawns – their names and how they move around the board – can be overwhelming in too large a dose. Therefore the best way to learn the rules is in small steps.

It is worth starting with mini-games, or rivalries, which will allow us to master the basics in a dynamic way. Thanks to this method, we will learn the names of pieces, fields and directions of movement on a chessboard.

Very helpful in learning the rules of chess are videos on YouTube. There we will find concise and more elaborate descriptions of the rules, basics, but also tricks, chess openings and chess motifs. The Internet is a veritable gold mine of knowledge and advice on the subject.

Finding an opponent to play against

The best way to learn is to play with a person who has a solid foundation, patience and willingness to share his knowledge. Playing with someone like that will allow us to catch the rules faster, eliminate mistakes and will awaken the need for competition. If we do not have anyone like that in our environment – nothing lost. Chess has its fans all over the world. There are many online platforms where chess games are played almost constantly. It is on the Internet that we can find a teacher and a fellow player. We can also watch others play. Then we learn by observation, looking for analogies and drawing conclusions.

Another solution is to play chess with a computer. Very often such games are accompanied by a tutorial, we can turn on the hints and choose the level of difficulty. If this form of learning suits us, we can easily find a suitable program.

The most important thing is persistence

If we have decided to start learning to play chess, it is worth giving ourselves time. First of all, for learning, mistakes and understanding the rules. Chess is not an easy game, but worth learning. The benefits of playing chess should outweigh the initial difficulties and failures. The most important thing is persistence and finding a way to learn that suits your preferences. Each of us absorbs knowledge in a different way. For some of us the best method will be an instructional video, for others an extensive description. The game of chess is worth learning regardless of age. We do not have to be chess grandmasters to meet for a game with friends from time to time.

Main photo: Vlada Karpovich/Pexels

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