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Dorofei Zimin
Dorofei Zimin

Learn and Play Chess Online at Your Own Pace and Level


How to Play Chess Online: A Beginner's Guide




Chess is one of the oldest and most popular games in the world. It is a two-player board game that involves strategy, tactics, and skill. Chess can be played by anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. It is a great way to exercise your brain, improve your concentration, and have fun.




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Playing chess online is a convenient and exciting way to enjoy the game. You can play anytime, anywhere, with anyone. You can also access a variety of tools and resources that can help you learn and improve your chess skills. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, playing chess online will challenge you and keep you entertained.


But how do you play chess online? What are the rules and strategies of the game? What are the best chess websites and apps to play online? In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will provide you with a beginner's guide on how to play chess online.


Chess Rules and Strategies




Before you start playing chess online, you need to know the basic rules and strategies of the game. Here are some of the essential things you need to know:


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How to set up the board and move the pieces




The chess board consists of 64 squares of alternating colors (light and dark). Each player has 16 pieces of six types: one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, and eight pawns. The pieces are arranged on the first two rows (or ranks) of each side of the board. The rooks go in the corners, then the knights next to them, followed by the bishops, and finally the queen, who always goes on her own matching color (white queen on white, black queen on black), and the king on the remaining square.


The player with the white pieces moves first, then the players alternate turns. Each turn consists of moving one piece to a different square, following the rules of movement for that piece. You cannot move your piece to a square that is occupied by another piece of your own color. However, you can capture an enemy piece by moving your piece to its square and removing it from the board. The only exception is when you perform a special move called castling, which involves moving your king and one of your rooks at the same time.


Each piece has its own way of moving:


  • The king can move one square in any direction (up, down, left, right, or diagonally). The king cannot move into check (a situation where it is under attack by an enemy piece) or through check.



  • The queen can move any number of squares in any direction (up, down, left, right, or diagonally), as long as there are no pieces in her way.



  • The rook - can move any number of squares horizontally or vertically (up, down, left, or right), as long as there are no pieces in its way.



  • The bishop can move any number of squares diagonally, as long as there are no pieces in its way.



  • The knight can move in an L-shape: two squares in one direction (up, down, left, or right) and then one square in a perpendicular direction. The knight can jump over other pieces on its way.



  • The pawn can move one square forward (towards the enemy's side of the board), except on its first move, when it can move two squares forward. The pawn cannot move backwards or sideways. The pawn can capture an enemy piece that is one square diagonally ahead of it. The pawn also has a special move called en passant, which allows it to capture an enemy pawn that has just moved two squares forward and is adjacent to it. The pawn also has another special move called promotion, which allows it to transform into any other piece (except a king) when it reaches the last rank (row) of the board.



How to checkmate the opponent's king and win the game




The main goal of chess is to checkmate the opponent's king. This means putting the king in a position where it is under attack by one of your pieces and cannot escape, move, or be protected by another piece. When this happens, you win the game.


There are many ways to checkmate the opponent's king, depending on the position of the pieces on the board. Some of the most common checkmate patterns are:


  • Back rank mate: This occurs when the enemy king is trapped on the back rank (the first or eighth row) by its own pawns and rooks, and you use your rook or queen to deliver a check from the opposite side of the board.



  • Smothered mate: This occurs when the enemy king is surrounded by its own pieces and cannot move, and you use your knight to deliver a check that cannot be blocked or captured.



  • Fool's mate: This is the shortest possible checkmate, which occurs after only two moves by each player. It happens when the white player moves their f-pawn and g-pawn forward, exposing their king to a diagonal attack by the black queen.



  • Scholar's mate: This is another quick checkmate, which occurs after only four moves by each player. It happens when the white player moves their e-pawn, bishop, and queen to attack the black king on the f7-square.



How to use basic strategic concepts such as material, activity, pawn structure, space, and king safety




Besides knowing the rules and how to checkmate, you also need to understand some basic strategic concepts that can help you gain an advantage over your opponent. Here are some of them:


  • Material: This refers to the value of your pieces compared to your opponent's pieces. Generally, a queen is worth 9 points, a rook is worth 5 points, a bishop and a knight are worth 3 points each, and a pawn is worth 1 point. You should try to capture more material than your opponent, or at least avoid losing material unnecessarily.



  • Activity: This refers to the mobility and effectiveness of your pieces. You should try to develop your pieces (move them from their initial squares) as soon as possible, control the center of the board (the four central squares), and coordinate your pieces (make them work together).



  • Pawn structure: This refers to the arrangement and formation of your pawns on the board. You should try to keep your pawns connected (adjacent to each other), avoid creating weaknesses (such as isolated, doubled, or backward pawns), and create passed pawns (pawns that have no enemy pawns in front of them on their way to promotion).



  • Space: This refers to the amount of territory you control on the board. You should try to expand your space by advancing your pawns and pieces, especially on the side where you have more space. You should also try to restrict your opponent's space by preventing them from advancing their pawns and pieces.



  • King safety: This refers to how well you protect your king from attacks by your opponent. You should try to castle your king early in the game (move it to either side of the board behind a rook), avoid exposing it to checks or threats, and create a safe shelter for it with your pawns and pieces.



Chess Tips and Resources




Now that you know the basic rules and strategies of chess, you may wonder how you can improve your chess skills and enjoy playing chess online. Here are some tips and resources that can help you:


How to improve your chess skills by solving puzzles, taking lessons, watching videos, and analyzing games




One of the best ways to improve your chess skills is to practice regularly and learn from your mistakes. Here are some of the activities you can do to sharpen your chess skills:


  • Solve puzzles: Chess puzzles are problems that test your ability to find the best move or sequence of moves in a given position. Solving puzzles can help you improve your calculation, visualization, and tactical skills. You can find many chess puzzles online, such as on [Chess.com], [Lichess.org], or [ChessTempo.com].



  • Take lessons: Chess lessons are sessions where you learn from a chess coach or a chess program. Taking lessons can help you improve your understanding of chess concepts, principles, and strategies. You can find many chess lessons online, such as on [Chessable.com], [ChessKid.com], or [Chess24.com].



  • Watch videos: Chess videos are recordings where you watch and listen to a chess expert explain a chess topic, game, or puzzle. Watching videos can help you improve your knowledge, intuition, and inspiration. You can find many chess videos online, such as on [YouTube], [Twitch], or [Chess.com/TV].



Analyze games: Chess analysis is the process of reviewing and evaluating a chess game, either your own


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