"Know how to win by following the rules." -Arnold Palmer

Whether you're driving a car, paying your taxes, or purchasing a home, specific regulations must be followed to avoid getting in trouble with those overseeing the rules. Without rules, many aspects of life would be uncontrolled, and chaos would become much too familiar.

Also, while it is a no brainer that significant aspects important to society have regulations, even trivial things such as games and activities have rules so that those playing know what to expect and how to win. 

Rules may be likened to guidelines that instruct a person on what they should and shouldn't do when it comes to games. Therefore, when it comes to a popular and universally adored game such as chess, players, whether amateur or experienced, know that there are certain things they must avoid at all costs. Like what?

Without further delay, let's take a peek at some indispensable advice about what NOT to do when learning or playing chess.

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Why Learn to Play Chess

Before going off about the many things you should strictly keep away from doing, as a beginner, it might be a good idea to consider some of the most popular reasons to learn chess and dedicate yourself to the game.

The following are the top five reasons to learn to play chess:

  1. Chess Improves Memory: do you struggle to remember where you put your keys or what you ate for breakfast yesterday? If so, you're like most of us who are challenged to recall basic things. However, there's hope since chess has been proven to aid persons with their memory. By striving to remember techniques and piece positions, memory is enhanced when playing chess.
  2. Chess Deepens Focus: to become a better chess player, total concentration is needed to plan your moves and best your opponent. So, by concentrating fully, you keep your focus which positively contributes to improving yourself across various aspects of life.
  3. Chess is a Social Game: while it is true that you do play against an opponent, since chess matches are so silent, many people believe that chess isn't social at all. However, since you are trying to win against your competitor, you will spend a lot of time reading them and putting yourself in their shoes.
  4. Chess Improves Self-Confidence: as you see yourself get better at the game and win matches against your opponent, you will drastically enhance your self-confidence and feel more positive about your playing techniques.
  5. Chess Makes You a Better Planner: chess matches are notorious for the fact that they feature long pauses, and they have the player consider each move which increases a person's planning skills and makes them better at making decisions.

Even though the previously mentioned reasons are fantastic, we could go on and on about more motives that make learning and studying chess a worthy endeavour. Still, you'll have to start playing ASAP and see for yourself!

The "DO NOT's" of Playing Chess

While there are many valid points about things you should be doing when learning how to play chess to perfect your skills and hone your abilities, there is also a long list of things that you should avoid doing. The DO NOTs of chess are essential to learn and keep in mind since they will prevent you from developing bad habits that could result in losing every match you play against an opponent.

Since no one who has invested so much energy in learning wants to lose a chess match, we'll look at the most common moves to avoid when playing chess.

Don't...Make Impulsive Moves

If you aren't participating in speed matches that have a time limit, it's worth mentioning that most chess games are not rushed, and opponents can take all the time that they need before moving one of their pieces on the board. Therefore, impulsive moves should be avoided by all means possible because, in chess, one movement may be the difference between losing or winning a match.

Also, suppose you make impulsive moves as a beginner and don't shake that habit. In that case, you'll be tempted to continue doing so which will result in your opponent consistently besting you. How's that? Well, since they have taken longer to analyse the board, your pieces, and their pieces to make a move that puts you in a comprising situation.

So, the bottom line is to take your time and avoid any rash movements. Remember, chess is a game of patience and time. If you an activity that moves faster, you might consider playing tic-tac-toe!

Don't...Throw in the Towel When You're Losing

quitting the game
Even if you feel you will lose, don't quit and give up since there are still chances you can win. (Source: Unsplash)

One of the greatest mistakes that beginner chess players commit is giving up when things are getting hard, and they sense losing. Not only is that poor sportsmanship, but it's a terrible game strategy. How's that?

Well, it's important to state that even though it may look like you're going down like a sack of potatoes, chess is sometimes unpredictable, and you can easily take back the game with a well planned out move that confuses your opponent and leaves them in the dust.

Therefore, play seriously and passionately throughout the entire chess match and never, never, ever give up!

Don't...Let Your Mind Wander While Playing

While it isn't the worst thing in the world if your mind wanders for a few seconds when you're practising with a friend and waiting for your opponent to play, during competitive matches, you need to fully concentrate on the board in front of you and avoid all types of distractions.

It's highly recommended to treat practice sessions like serious competitions; therefore, try not to let your mind wander at all when practising chess. 

Having a sharp mind during the entire match will allow you to anticipate the next moves in front of you and victory.

Don't...Underestimate Your Opponent

competition in chess
Seasoned chess players are skilled at reading their competitors; however, they don't distract them from underestimating their opponent. (Source: Unsplash)

No matter how many years you've been playing chess and how well you know how to read your opponent, don't ever underestimate your challenger's skills and playing ability. Why's that? Most talented chess players don't look like professional chess practitioners. Therefore, remember that looks can be deceiving, and you should bring your A-game against all chess opponents.

Also, it's worth mentioning that by never underestimating your opponent, you are keeping things fresh and avoiding the fact of getting too familiar with your abilities.

Don't...Assume that Past Victories Secure Future Wins

Since the chess game is unpredictable and changes from one moment to the next, don't assume that since you've won a few matches and that you're on a winning streak, this equates to future victories. Once a winner doesn't mean that you'll always be a winner.

Therefore, to continuously become a better chess player, keep in mind that you will always be a learner with room for improvement and that your skills will only get better once you realise this fact. So, revise chess strategies, practice with your playing partner ahead of time, and keep up to date on all things chess.

Don't...Be a Lazy Chess Player

tired and lazy
One of the DO NOTs of chess is to play lazily like you don't care at all about the outcome. (Source: Unsplash)

After you've passed a beginner chess playing level, you might fall back into the same strategies you've learned and plateau without improving any more; this can cause you to become a lazy chess player. By all means, try to avoid being a lazy chess player because, if you do, you most definitely won't win any chess matches!

To avoid falling into the trap of being a lazy chess player, try to learn new methods, watch helpful YouTube videos, join a chess club with friends, and read information about the most up-to-date rules of chess.

Don't...Keep Your Pieces Undefended

Another common mistake that chess experts see beginners commit is to leave their chess pieces undefended on the board against their opponents in the middlegame; this has to be avoided! Why's that? Well, when your chess pieces aren't correctly positioned and exposed, it is much easier to be attacked by your competitor and eventually lose the game.

While it could be impossible to defend all of your pieces at all times, you need to strive to do your best and keep things together!

Don't...Think that the Quantity of Moves Equates to Quality

In the beginning, most chess players think that to win chess games; you need to move as many pawns and pieces as possible. Is that correct? Absolutely not! Try to recall that the quantity of your moves doesn't mean quality and that you might waste a lot of time moving a variety of pieces on the board rather than strategise.

Think about your moves, especially when it comes to the pawns, and try to recall that some chess games that are well planned may be won in two, three, or four moves; that's all!

In conclusion, by considering all of the eight previously mentioned things you should not do when playing chess, you will become a more seasoned practitioner and more effectively learn the game from the beginning without any hiccups.

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Brentyn

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