Best early game strategy for chess

  • #1
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I've started to get back into chess. I never had any formal training and was never very good. A friend of mine has got me playing against him via a phone app a few times a week. What is a good basic strategy for me to use? Especially interested in early game. Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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One thing a friend of mine made me do was learn rook/king, queen/king and pawn/king end games. Early on its amazing how many players can't actually finish a game (at least within time controls).

Remember that en passent exists, another mistake very new players make.

And lastly, don't always just take.
 
  • #4
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Train your cat to knock over all the other guy's pieces after the first move. :)
 
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  • #6
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I've started to get back into chess. I never had any formal training and was never very good. A friend of mine has got me playing against him via a phone app a few times a week. What is a good basic strategy for me to use? Especially interested in early game. Thanks!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuoco_Piano

That is the standard opening for beginners, because it results in an open game later on.
 
  • #8
lisab
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The best early game strategy for me actually starts before the game, when I decide not to play at all.
 
  • #9
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Which app are you using? I'd love to play chess on my phone with friends.
 
  • #10
Matterwave
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I don't think memorizing any openings is going to help if you are a beginner. Stick with the basic principles. Develop your pieces to good squares (knights like to be centralized rather than on edges, rooks like to be connected, don't develop your queen too early lest it become a target), take control of the center if possible (moves like e4, d4, nf3, nc3, etc. are good for this), and castle your king in a timely fashion.

Once you get better at the basics, you can start getting more fancy.
 
  • #11
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I've started to get back into chess. I never had any formal training and was never very good.
About 6 months ago these could have been my words. I revived my interest in chess after I had accidentaly noticed that youtube has lot of interesting chess videos where some guys explain their thoughts on it. I cannot guarantee that they are all good, but the speakers were better than I, so at least learned from them.

I don't know what strategy to use in the game, but I'll advice to use the youtube as a "learning strategy" :wink:

Some youtube videos I've seen have contained links to some commercial sites where you can purchase educational chess material in forms of DVDs. I still haven't made the decision to order any of them, but I've been considering.
 
  • #12
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Let me plug www.chesstempo.com This site will improve your game a ton with little practice, and is free. I use it all the time.

For openings, www.365chess.com is great.

When first starting off, openings really shouldn't be your concern. Memorize a couple lines, and know a few principals but it's not worth spending too much time. Really, tactics are far more important. At a beginners level, games are won and lost by knight forks and simple tactics. Don't approach chesstempo with the mindset of trying to use these tactics, but rather by being aware of when your opponent has them.

Know how to checkmate with a rook, a queen, two bishops, two knights, bishop and knight, etc.
 
  • #13
DataGG
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I agree with @johnqwertful about chesstempo.com (If you're serious about chess, definitely buy an account there!).

I also think you should check www.lichess.org to play.

About early game strategy:

- Occupy the center
- Develop the minor pieces
- Castle
- Connect rooks
- Don't blunder.

While doing all of that, check for tactical motifs (Like pins, skewers, etc). Use chesstempo for this.
 
  • #14
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I don't know about 'best' strategy for chess in the early game. I learned about a lot of traps. Not because I wanted to try and exploit them in every game. Moreso because I wanted to spot them and learn to avoid them. Taught me a lot about positional chess, move order and such.
 
  • #15
I've started to get back into chess. I never had any formal training and was never very good. A friend of mine has got me playing against him via a phone app a few times a week. What is a good basic strategy for me to use? Especially interested in early game. Thanks!
I wouldn't focus too much on openings as a beginner. There's no point spending weeks learning opening lines if a couple moves later you'll make a mistake that gets punished by the guy who spent those weeks learning basic tactics.

A roadmap, from the very start, would be

1. Make sure you know the rules.
2. Basic checkmates.
3. Opening principles (not specific openings, just the main principles).
4. Learn and practice tactics. Keep practicing tactics all the time.
5. Basic endgames.
6. Experiment with openings that may suit you. Don't learn specific lines yet, just take an overview and look at the ideas behind the openings.
7. Take a look at some basic strategy.

By then you should have enough experience and knowledge to figure out which openings suit you and would be meaningful to invest time in.

One thing that is important at every level, always have a plan. It may be the worst plan possible, it doesn't matter, just have one. Ask yourself when you are about to make a move: "if I had to convince someone that this move, in accordance with this plan, is objectively the best based on the position on the board, would I be able to do so?". If not, don't make it. If you end up losing the game and have played without a plan, then not only have you lost the game but you've learned nothing from it.
 

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