• Ashley Yan

How to practice chess

Like any other sport or hobby, the best way to improve in chess is to practice endlessly. However, some ways of practicing are more efficient than others - in order to maximize your practice time, you can learn different ways of practicing and see which one benefits you the most. After all, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and a practice strategy that benefits one person may be ineffective for another. Below are some ways to practice chess and the benefits of each approach.

The fundamentals (for beginners)

If you're new to chess, then learning the basic fundamentals of chess and how to play is absolutely necessary before focusing on other practice strategies. Knowing the rules of the game and having a general idea about how to win will help you understand the other strategies, such as tactics, openings, and endgames. To learn how to play chess, you can:

  1. Follow the lesson plan on

  2. Watch introductory chess videos on youtube

  3. Read an introductory chess book for beginners


Many people claim that chess is 99% tactics, so there's no doubt that focusing solely on tactical skills will help improve your chess game. The benefits of learning different patterns and getting used to them will show in your results, as it will give you a strong tactical advantage over your opponent and help you think faster during tournament games. To practice tactics, you can:

  1. Spend 20 minutes everyday doing free online puzzles on or

  2. Read a chess tactics book

  3. Watch chess tactic videos on youtube


Learning new opening lines would be a great way to gain an advantage early on in the game if your opponent doesn't know the theory. Although it's arguably less important than learning tactics, openings will help you start strong each game and potentially trick your opponent through complicated traps. To practice openings, you can:

  1. Read a book about chess openings

  2. Search online for different chess openings and find one that interests you

  3. Watch specific chess opening videos on youtube


Focusing on learning chess strategies, such as positional play, identifying weaknesses, and creating a plan, can help you slowly gain an advantage and outplay your opponent throughout the game. It is especially helpful in a position where there are no tactics, which is very common. To practice strategy, you can:

  1. Play against others on and try creating different plans

  2. Learn positional patterns and strategies on youtube

  3. Read a chess book on middle game strategies

Essentially, an experienced chess player is well-rounded in all of these areas, and it would be difficult to improve while lacking skills in one of these areas. Therefore, it's equally as important to find the right balance between these strategies.