Prerequisites of Becoming a Good Chess Player

When it comes to chess, we associate it with characteristics of a game which requires great thinking and patience. It’s a game that most people have played in their lifetime. Also, it is a fact that it sharpens the brain which is why people want to grow to next level of advancement in the play of chess. Are you someone who makes random moves? And obviously tired of long calculations which never really worked? Well, that’s for sure one should know how to be good in chess and become a better player. There are some prerequisites which when followed will lead to be a good chess player.

Play as much as possible

This is the best form of development. It is rightly said- “The more you practice the better you become”. The thing is that attitude and way of thinking is instilled in you through practice. One can play against a computer or a human. Solving puzzles and exercises is a nice practice. You should do it in free time like while travelling on bus or train, or while listening to music, etc. Playing long control games instead of short duration ones will develop your understanding of the current game efficiently. During such games, patience is an important key.

Research about the game

Only playing chess is not a good practice to way to be good. Reading on the subject on net, watching videos and discussing among family and friends is required too. Some of the websites for reading includes,, Wikipedia, and Udemy.  For videos, one can refer to ChessKid, Chess Vibes, ASMR Chess and Chess Talk. Some books available are ‘My 60 Memorable Games’ by Bobby Fischer, ‘Think Like a Grandmaster’ by Alexander Kotov, ‘The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal’ by Mikhail Tal. When one likes these activities, it helps her be interested in the game in the long run.

Learn basic making techniques

To play an ideal game, for example, combination of pieces needed to make a formation, strategy to play, guessing what opponent is thinking, why or when to defend or attack, etc. should be learnt.

SWOT analysis of both yours and opponent’s move would be great idea to play your game. First, positive point of your move. Question it. What do you achieve by your particular move? Did you get control over some other squares? Also, are you defending one or more of your other pieces? Did you give space for the other pieces to move? These points should be thought as advantageous.

Second, negative point of your move. Did you lose control of squares which you had access to earlier? Is it that you’re not defending any piece? Is the path of movement for your other pieces blocked? Has your move exposed the king and is it at great potential of risk?

Just keep these points in mind and try not to make unnecessary moves. There are some pros and cons in each move. You have to decide which you find beneficial.

Analysis of strengths and weaknesses of your opponent has little bit different questions.

First, strength for the opponent. Ask, if her piece is well protected or not. Has the move opened path for her another piece? Is there any immediate attack against you? You have to see that potential risky pieces of yours are protected so that you are safe of attack.

Second, look for weakness. Has she left any holes? Is there any square which she had access to but now it is unprotected? Can you get an opportunity? These questions about the opponent might help quite better.

Learn from old masters

Since chess has been played at high level, it is great idea to observe them. If it happened to you to get a top-class coach or a good training centre, then you will learn a lot. Watch the games of great players like Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Carlsen Magnus, Judit Polgar, Hou Yifan and Koneru Humpy to name a few.

Review all your chess games

No matter how many games you won or lost, you should review your games. Asking what you did wrong or using computer engines for correct moves might help.

Make lists of areas where improvement is needed

Chess is so huge that making lists where you need improvement can be called a smart idea. Maybe, for example, you’re not doing correct start of the game or not able to defend the king. There are many more areas you can find scope of improvement.

Even at the early stages of great players, the points discussed above has played role in their lives. You can find some of those points here. Some are-

 Garry Kasparov

At his age of ten, he began training at Mikhail Botvinnik’s chess school. Kasparov developed positional skills and learnt to play Caro-Kann Defence and the Tartakower System of the Queen’s Gambit Decline.

Bobby Fischer

When Joan, His sister lost interest in chess and Regina Fischer, his mother did not have time, he was left alone to play. He played many of his first games against himself during his childhood days.

Judit Polgar

She is regarded as the strongest female chess player of all time. Susan, her sister, Women’s World Champion, and who trained her, once stated that her sister, Judit, was a slow starter but very hard working. Pulgar was ‘obsessed’ about chess as said by her about herself at that age.

Hou Yifan

She is the second highest rated female chess player of all time. At age of 5, Tong Yuanming became her mentor. Tong said that she showed strong confidence, had extraordinary memory and calculating ability. Since September 2015, she has been the no.1 woman chess player.


In least words, the prerequisites are practice, curiosity, techniques, analysis, patience and of course, positivity to be a good chess player. Last but not the least, what one receives is combined form of all these requirements, that is, fun.

By: Harshik

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