Why should I learn to play chess?


Before the first game

Learning chess is easier than it looks

If you've never played chess in your life and learn the rules first and foremost, you will find that they are not as complicated as they are often said.

There are plenty of chess books that explain how to get started with chess in a way that is easy to understand. This way you can learn chess quickly, even if you have never had a single chess piece in your hand before.

There are also plenty of instructions on the Internet. In addition to the online beginners course from Chessbase described above, where you do not need a board or pieces, this very simple summary for your first introduction or this more detailed explanation could also be of interest to you.

The most important things to learn at the beginning are how the board is positioned correctly, how the pieces move and capture, what their value is and what the basic position looks like.

Careful, don't mess up

If you have also familiarized yourself a little with the notation, know Matt and Patt, nothing stands in the way of your first game.

The shortest stalemate from the basic position after only ten moves.

You will see that with a little time and patience, progress can be made quickly.

Chess as a hobby and leisure activity

A game here and there

Once you have learned the rules of chess, you may occasionally play a game or two. Or you can solve chess puzzles in newspapers or buy chess books. The very daring even play on the Internet.

So far so good. They belong to the largest group within the chess community.

Further learning and deepening knowledge: The search for a chess club

If you find chess so exciting that you want to continue learning and deepen your knowledge, it is best to look for a club.

Ideally, you'll find one that you're comfortable with. This is easier if you have looked at several clubs before permanently joining. Don't let yourself be rushed.

Now there may be championship games in the house. Chess is gradually becoming a sport.

That is the most difficult hurdle. Suddenly you are dealing with people who have been learning, playing and training for years, and maybe since they were in school. Catching up this lead does not happen overnight and requires a lot of stamina.

Individual tournaments

Open tournaments are numerous and worldwide. Because such events often take place in attractive locations, many players also like to combine their vacation with them.

Chess as a sport: the hunt for Elo points

Those who regularly play championships or tournaments receive a rating similar to many other sports. In Austria it is the so-called "Elo number".

It allows the players to be compared directly with one another, is constantly updated and is officially published by the Austrian Chess Federation at the beginning of each quarter.

Everyone is waiting for the new rating list.

If games are also rated internationally, you get a "FIDE rating number". It appears even more frequently, always on the first of the month.

Learning chess should be fun

You need endurance for chess, but chess is not an endurance sport.

Only study for as long as you enjoy it. You will be more successful in the long term if you enjoy training and retain an interest in new things.

Special features of the individual figures

The jumper

The jumper has perhaps the most difficult gait to learn. When it comes to movement, it is very dependent on whether it is in the center or on the edge.

  • Learn chess by gaining understanding.

    A knight standing on a white square can only threaten black squares and vice versa.

    The diagram shows two jumpers and the squares they threaten.

    How much does the edge of the board restrict the knight and what follows from it?

  • Of all the pieces, the jumper is most restricted by the edge of the board.

    Depending on where it is, it threatens between two and eight fields.

    So you need good reasons to pull the jumper to the edge. They can be positional or tactical, for example to threaten weak fields.

    Checkmate with a single move

    Matt motifs are an important component in any attack management.

    Matt-in-1 motifs can also play an important role in the disintegration of longer tactical combinations.

    • Four positions with mate each in a single move. In the upper half it is White's turn, in the lower half it is Black's turn.

      How can the side with the move checkmate?

    • Top left: 1.Nc7 mate.

      Top right: 1.Bf6 mate.

      Bottom left: 1. ... Qb2 mate.

      Bottom right: 1st ... Rh1 mate.