"I think it's very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person." -Oscar Wilde

Many people are falsely under the impression that good times are solely possible with a large group of friends and that solitude is dull and without anything positive. However, that couldn't be any farther from the truth. Persons who take the time to be alone are incredibly courageous, and they learn a lot of valuable lessons about themselves and the activities they decide to embark on.

It's worth mentioning that many entertaining activities and games are usually completed in a group that may be practised alone. Such as? Chess. Since it's so commonly played with a partner, most believe that practising chess by yourself is impossible, well, unless you're playing against the computer!

However, to become better at playing chess, many expert practitioners have learned to play by themselves to be able to best opponent when the opportunity arises. So, without further delay, in today's article, we'll take a look at how to practice chess by yourself and enjoy it.

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Playing Chess Alone: is it Possible?

working on your techniques
Playing chess against yourself is a brilliant time to try new things and see whether they will work out or not. (Source: pixabay)

For most persons who have observed a chess match, it is a game that is played between two opponents and, by the end of the game, there is always one winner and one loser. Nonetheless, since you might not be able to have a playing partner near you at all times, some chess practitioners who want to improve their abilities consistently might have to find alternatives. Such as? Playing against themselves.

While not the most common way that chess is played, solo chess matches allow beginner, intermediate, and advanced players an opportunity to test their abilities on the board without the pressure of performing or trying to best their opponent.

But how is chess played alone without another person to compete against? The following list highlights some chronological steps about how to play chess alone:

  1. Place Your Pieces on the Board: before you can start playing yourself, it's essential to place all the white and black pieces on the board in front of you. Put all the pieces in their respective positions.
  2. Find a Token: why would you need to locate a token? Well, since you're playing against yourself and the white and black pieces are both yours, it can sometimes be confusing to know who's turn it is. A coin or a simple object placed on the right side can help you keep track of things when you're strategising.
  3. Play the First Move: the next step of playing against yourself is starting the game and playing the first move for both sides. Don't try to make the first move for both sides; variety is key.
  4. Think About Your Middle and End Game: you want to strategise and determine which piece they will move in the next few moves that are part of the middle and end game. But, again, try to remain unbiased about which side will win and use different techniques.

After reading the four previously mentioned steps, we're sure that you're convinced of the fact that it is possible to play chess by yourself and without an opponent. But, what are the advantages and disadvantages of playing chess alone? Keep on reading to find out more!

The Pros and Cons of Playing by Yourself Versus a Partner

chess opponents
Whether you decide to practice chess alone or with a friend, you are embarking on a journey of learning a fantastic game. We remarkably suggest choosing both methods of playing strategies since you will strengthen your abilities either way. (Source: pixabay)

As is the case with all things in life, there are pros and cons to playing chess alone, as when you are engaged in a chess game with others. Therefore, we shall look at the advantages and disadvantages of participating in chess matches, whether by yourself or with a playing partner.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Playing Alone

Playing alone isn't as common as playing chess with a partner; however, there are many valid reasons that people play chess by themselves. The following highlights the pros and cons of playing chess solo:

  • Pros: you have an opportunity to test out new playing strategies and techniques without the pressure of playing. Also, playing alone allows you to see if you do enjoy playing chess or not.
  • Cons: you might miss the competition of participating against another opponent and quickly begin to believe that playing chess alone is pointless. Playing against a competitor usually means that you will bring your A-game.

Positives and Negatives of Practising Chess With a Partner

Still, the most common way to play chess is with a playing partner or competitor. The following are the most prominent pros and cons of practising chess with an opponent:

  • Pros: by playing against a fellow chess enthusiast, you learn how to read your opponent and pay close attention to their skills, which you could never do when playing solo. Also, chess competitions against other individuals allow you to meet new players and learn from their experiences.
  • Cons: when you are participating in a chess game against an opponent, you often don't have the possibility of trying new moves and techniques since the pressure is on and you want to perform.

So, which is best, playing alone or with others? The answer comes down to personal preferences. However, it's worth stating that to continue improving your chess abilities, it is highly recommended to participate in both solo and partner chess playing since they complement each other beautifully.

Is there any helpful advice to play chess alone? Absolutely! Keep on reading to learn some valuable tips and tricks.

Tips and Tricks to Play Chess Alone

matches of chess
Those who aren't too familiar with the game might not be aware that chess may be played alone without an opponent. (Source: Unsplash)

If you've never done something and are unsure about how well you will do, you might feel insecure and afraid to try. But, what if I told you that you could try the new game or activity in question with guidance? Then, you would probably feel more comfortable and willing to try something you've never done before.

In many ways, tips and tricks from experienced professionals in the field you are studying are like guidance and direction. 

So, what are some of the best pieces of advice to keep in mind when learning how to play chess alone? The following are some tips to apply when playing solo chess:

  • Be Unbiased: one of the biggest mistakes that a person can make when playing a solo chess game is bias. Why's that? Well, since you are your opponent, you know what you're thinking at all times, and this makes it difficult to have an unbiased opinion. It may be tempting to use the fact that you know what you're thinking to sway the game in one way. Being biased will prevent you from exercising new skills and strategies; so, avoid that!
  • Play Like Your Participating in a Chess Match: it doesn't matter if you're practising or playing a solo chess match; when you're playing chess against yourself, remember that you should show the same level of dedication, concentration, and expert ability as you would when you when playing a competitive chess match. Why's that? Well, it prepares you for what's next and keeps things interesting at all times.
  • Always Play the Best Move: instead of becoming obsessed about which side, whether white or black, win's the game, when you take a look at the board, you should try to remain focused on playing the best move possible and practising any new playing strategies that you may have learnt. In the end, when you're playing solo chess, you will always be the victor, so use it as a time to test out your chess moves.
  • Take a Look at Chess Playing Resources: if you're not sure about how to play chess all by yourself, you might want to take a look at some YouTube videos about how Chess Grand Masters play or read some articles that offer practical advice about how to master chess when you are playing solo. In most cases, learning resources are free, and they can significantly help you to improve.
  • Play Chess Puzzles: if you think that you'd be bored playing a chess match by yourself, you might want to try participating in chess puzzles that are taken from games. Since chess puzzles aren't complete games, they allow beginner chess players to practice on their own time and feel what it's like to play by themselves.

By following all of the previously mentioned tips and practising them, you can guarantee that you will slowly start to enjoy and do better at solo chess matches.

In conclusion, it is possible to play chess alone and, if you do so, you will be setting yourself up for success when it comes time to play competitive matches.

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.