You want to learn to play chess, but you don’t know how to start. Here is an original guide by Anatoly Machulsky, which will allow you to progress without dispersing yourself.
Looking back on how to learn to play chess, I have identified three crucial phases in the progression of the beginner player. For each of these phases, you will find here some advice to guide you in the study of the game of chess.
Phase 1: Assimilate
Anatoly Machulsky named the first phase “Assimilate” because it will mainly involve appropriating the rules of the game to “forget” them. It concerns a person who does not know anything about this game and wants to start playing.
As in all games, you will first have to answer two questions:
- What is the objective of the game?
- What are the rules? The pieces, their movements, their catches.
Let’s try to understand what goes through a player’s mind during their very first games. In what direction is his thinking going? What are the elements he assimilates during these first moves, which will allow him to move to a higher stage?
The player when he starts wondering all the time, what are the possible moves? He struggles to imagine where his pieces can go, what other opposing pieces they can “eat”? He wants to avoid losing a piece stupidly. So there isn’t much room left for anything else in his thinking.
It seems to me that all the games played at this stage are therefore only intended to “forget the rules” or instead make them your own. There will then be more room for something else, and he can, if he wishes, glimpse phase 2.
At this stage, playing simplified chess games or games with reduced equipment allows you to become familiar with the movement of the pieces.
Phase 2: Calculate
Phase 2 of a chess player’s progression, therefore begins when he has managed to assimilate the rules of the game. He has integrated the movements of the pieces as well as the goal of the game. He sees other horizons.
The initial position of a game of chess. The objective becomes well determined: we must subdue this opposing king as quickly as possible.
The opponent no longer offers his pieces as before, and it is necessary to “calculate” more deeply, to construct his first combinations. For that, it is essential to glimpse the first notions of tactics: nailing, double attack, deflection, single mats… It is, therefore, necessary to practice regularly to solve chess diagrams.
Phase 3: Plan:
To start learning to play chess, the player has assimilated the rules of the game and the process of the pieces. Subsequently, he was able to begin calculating with a specific objective: to attack the opposing king. Now he is up against good defenses, and the limits of “mate at all costs” are felt.
A position with same-colored bishops will have to find other plans! For this, the tactics must be supplemented by notions of strategy: the pair of bishops, excellent and lousy bishop, open columns, the past, backward, isolated pawn, the center.
To “Plan” everything :
- It is necessary to build a repertoire of openings more consistent and adapted to his style of play,
- You have to master the essential types of finals such as Turn finals which occur most often given the position of these pieces at the start of the game.