Chess is an everlasting masterpiece that has crossed generations up to today. It was not only a game of strategy but also helped hundreds of people boost their cognitive capabilities. The technological tools helped to make the learning techniques simpler. Instead of laying the pieces on a real board, a digital board with the same functionality and reduced time spent while learning. In this article, we will take a detailed tour of how to learn chess in the new era.
- Key takeaways
- Understanding the basics
- Online chess platforms
- Pros and Cons
- Chess tutorials and courses
- Tips on selecting the right course based on skill level
- Pros and Cons
- Сhess books and literature
- Tips on selecting the chess books and literature
- Pros and Cons
- Hiring a chess coach
- Tips on how to find a qualified chess coach
- Pros and Cons
These are the best ways to learn chess in 2024:
- Online chess sites: They grant access to different players at all levels in one location. Learning is mandatory to compete against stronger opponents.
- Chess courses and tutorials: Most people don’t know where to start learning. These video course materials provide a tailored approach to guiding people. Besides, it is perhaps the most enjoyable way to learn chess.
- Literature and chess books: As a classic approach, we can never omit the books. Although they are a little harder to follow for newcomers, a treasure trove of variety is out there. It also helps with the visualization because, after a while, you stop putting pieces on the board and try to imagine.
- Hiring a tutor: This option is the most expensive one. But it saves a tremendous amount of time. Taking a few hours of lessons each week may shape the player’s perspective and build consistency in the improvement process.
Understanding the basics
Before improving ourselves, we must know the rules. This helps us to recognize our boundaries and act accordingly. The board setup, for instance, is done automatically on all websites. However, we need to know how to set it up so that we can also play over the board. We also need to see how the chess pieces move. Similarly, websites show the available squares once the players click a piece. However, this won’t help us make legal moves on the actual board. The game rules are the core of our comprehension. We cannot learn without knowing the different rules of drawing and what happens if we have only a Bishop on the board. In an abstract, we must be experts in everything non-arbitrary regarding this game to begin learning it. These fundamentals can be fully understood by going through one of the four methods we discuss in this writing.
Online chess platforms
The online platforms provide interactive methods and offer different promises at various levels. As a beginner, you can access thousands of exercises to learn the basics. They usually contain the other three (courses, books, and coaches) methods in their body, so we may consider them a full package. Also, there are millions of people you can play against and test your limits.
- Playing against a better human player: To beat, you must first lose. By studying your mistakes and examining how you got outplayed by your rival, you can deploy those robust ideas against your opponents and avoid losing in the same fashion.
- Playing against the best engine: The preferred platforms should contain the best possible engines (like Stockfish and Komodo) to analyze your games. Nowadays, there are also human-like AI bots you can fight against.
- Online tournaments: Regular open tournaments can help you match against one of the best players in the world. What are the chances for an amateur golf player to play against Tiger Woods? Some of the platforms give you this shot.
- People you can chat with: Going through different sources, an active and regulated forum is an essential part of a quality platform. You should be able to share a great game you won with hundreds of people and get feedback from the pros.
- Visual Learning and Tutorials: Although we have this under a separate heading, the desirable platforms include thousands of video courses and even cooperate with the preferred teaching course sites.
- Accessing the verified coaches: These platforms also check the credentials of the tutors and rank them based on the previous student’s feedback.
- Puzzles and tactical themes: The best system to improve until the 2000 range is to solve all sorts of tactics and enhance pattern recognition and visualization abilities.
- Interactive Lessons: These exercises combine reading and visualization to help you improve your knowledge of a particular script. They are like a maze you need to pass, and you can gain hints along the way.
- Exploring different variants of the game: Chess has many other variants (Like Horde, Crazyhouse, etc.) that players can discover. The rules might change completely, which can help your understanding, like reverse engineering.
- Practising custom positions: In contrast to tactics, not every position gives you an opportunity to win the game on the next turn. To get those settings, players need to learn how to improve their position when they think there is no apparent plan in their mind.
- Automatic game analysis: To grasp, you must analyze your games. Some of these platforms allow you to analyze your games with engine assistance. And some even give some automated comments. Although they are not as valuable as a tutor, they are still a valid option.
- Staying in the community: You need to follow the big names to be very good in this game. The big tournaments and strongest GMs are fighting each other live, and another super strong GM is commenting on their game and making impersonations simultaneously. You must enjoy this!
Pros and Cons
|You can access all the best ways to learn chess in one place.
|The best of them require a subscription for most of the features mentioned.
|Actual people are playing real-time games. You can watch a chess superstar live all the time.
|Most of the qualities require an internet connection. A laptop or tablet is also usually needed.
|You won’t be alone. Every player uses at least one platform.
|Studying structurally is difficult.
|If you follow the events and speak the same language (Algebraic), you will feel at home.
|Players might lose the motivation to study and repeat their mistakes.
Chess tutorials and courses
This method can at least be combined with others, as it gives considerable value. Players can easily get lost and stuck behind a barrier they can’t pass through. This is often due to the non-systematic path they choose. Then, they earn bad habits, repeat the same mistakes, and expect a miracle. These courses can definitely help in these cases because they contain information that can change everything. The visual demonstration of this method is also enjoyable and usable for people who consider themselves lazy or children who are easily distracted.
Tips on selecting the right course based on skill level
- 600-1000 Elo Range: Focusing mainly on openings is a huge mistake for beginners. In this level range, players must understand the basics of the game. These involve the value of the pieces and how we use them fundamentally. Mastering the basic principles of opening, middlegame, and endgame, and not blundering pieces, will help you get over 1000.
- 1000-1400 Elo Range: As a rule, these players must fully acknowledge everything we mentioned in the 600 –1000 range. Studying different tactical motifs usually helps you advance to the next step. Courses involving tactics are recommended.
- 1400-1600 Elo Range: This is a critical range for most players. At this range, players can start grasping strategic concepts (both middlegame and endgame) and mastering their tactical abilities.
- 1600-1800 Elo Range: Besides the tactical studies, these players must study endgames and positional gameplay. They can have middlegame courses and actually embrace at least four openings in good depth.
- 1800-2000 Range: This range requires expertise in consolidation, tactical ability, and conversion. Players must study different openings and uncover transpositions. Endgames are also a must, and the transitioning phase should be deeply studied. This rating range also requires a substantial amount of positional understanding. Before the next step, experiencing more games and being fully proficient in all the basic theoretical endgames (Like Philidor-draw and building a bridge) is a must.
Pros and Cons
|Visual digesting and is fun.
|It may not be effective without the necessary exercises to complement the courses.
|A well-structured curriculum.
|Players might not know where to start.
|It may save time compared to reading books.
|The quality of the course is crucial.
|In-depth coverage of the respected subject.
|Most of the extensive courses require payment.
Сhess books and literature
It is known that even most GMS only read a few chess books. However, this doesn’t mean books are the wrong way to learn chess. Through their comprehensive content, players can enhance their skills without any gaps. If you want to know what they think, you must read them. Books like Chess Fundamentals (Capablanca) can make a 1000-rated player jump right up to 1500.
Tips on selecting the chess books and literature
- Find a book that suits your style: If you are a beginner, you can start with the fundamentals. Books might be hard to finish. The coverage and theme should grab your attention, and you should desire to gain more.
- Learn your gaps and cover them: Many players start without a specific structure, which typically makes it difficult to assess what basics are missing for that person. You can analyze your games and conclude what is missing in your comprehension.
- A recommended book from the writer: As mentioned, Chess Fundamentals is a great resource for amateur players. Every player should read it, even if they are over 1800.
Pros and Cons
|Comprehensive and quality content.
|Usually, it is not fun for young or lazy students.
|A way to learn chess without the internet.
|Accessibility is limited compared to other methods.
|It not only involves the game but also contains history.
|Many books are too heavy for beginners.
|Structural gain method.
|They require reading different forms of chess notations.
Hiring a chess coach
Tutors are great supporters in every field. They can shape the process and personalize the player’s training, which, of course, accelerates that person’s improvement. The quick feedback and various training methods are great opportunities for those who can hire a coach.
Tips on how to find a qualified chess coach
- Chess coaches can only do so much: First, you must ask yourself if you can actually follow the tutor’s instructions. Players need to be ready to make major changes in their schedules and playing patterns during these sessions.
- Proper communication is vital: The tutor should be fluent in the common language and a proficient communicator during the lessons.
- Discuss your expectations: Many players think a coach can make them master-level players. That is not true. 95% of the effort will still be on your side, while the coach will shape that 95% with their 5%.
- Availability in the long term: Improving with a scheduled tutor is not a short-term business. Both parties need to be committed to the process and have enough availability to reach the set goals.
- Being a good player does not mean being a good teacher: Unfortunately, this reality should not be forgotten.
Pros and Cons
|Personal-tailored learning process.
|There might be difficulty in scheduling the lessons.
|Live feedback and expert thoughts on your play.
|Limited digesting time.
|Motivation and mental affirmation.
|Usually not helpful for non-devoted players.
Chess is a different game to grasp than it was 20 years ago. In this writing, we examine the four best ways to learn chess. Each of these methods has its ups and downs. Every player can try each way and continue with the most suitable one.