Chess is one of the oldest board games known to man. For centuries, chess players have always tried to improve their games through various methods. However, in the process of learning the game, players tend to make some mistakes. These mistakes tend to stunt the growth of chess players, trigger bad form, and prevent them from attaining significant heights in chess. But if managed effectively, mistakes in chess can be like jet fuel in an aircraft.
1. Developing The Queen Too Early
The Queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard. For amateur chess players or beginners, usually, their default tactic is to develop the queen as early as possible, and why not? If it’s the most powerful piece, then surely it should be the one leading the attack line.
However, with chess, it is not that simple, the queen might be the most powerful piece, but when she is developed too early, she can quickly become the target for enemy attacks.
Why Does The Queen Become A Target When Developed Early?
The reason why the queen can become a target early on in the game is simple. In chess, pieces are ranked according to their level of importance, and this ranking goes thus: the king is the most important, and the pawn the least important.
On the scale of importance and value, the queen comes after the king. She has a point value of 9 points, 3 points higher than the rook, 6 points higher than the bishop and knight, and 8 points higher than the pawn.
Therefore, a player who loses his queen in the early stages of a game will, more often than not, lose the game.
So how do you prevent your queen from coming under attack early on in the game?
The best way to ensure your queen stays safe and is ready to come into action when the time is right is to focus on developing minor pieces first. Pieces like pawns, knights, and bishops should be developed first. The queen can come into the action later.
2. Overlooking Castling
Castling is a special move usually executed in the opening phase of a chess game. To castle, a player moves their king two squares on the board toward a rook on the same rank and moves the rook to the king’s other side.
This is done to ensure the king’s safety. One of the biggest mistakes in chess is to be lax with the safety of your king, which usually happens when a player overlooks castling. When one doesn’t castle early or castle at all, they give their opponent chances to go after their king, which almost always ends badly. /
3. Playing Without A Clear Plan
One of the costliest mistakes in chess is to play without a defined plan. Chess is a logical game, and the moves must be based on a clear strategic plan. When a player just moves pieces and hopes everything works out, bad things are sure to happen.
Therefore, for a player that wants to improve and avoid mistakes in chess, planning is crucial.
4. Neglecting Endgame Study
Another one on the list of common mistakes in chess is neglecting endgame study. This mistake is usually made by people who are new to the game, but before we explain further, it is essential to know what the endgame is all about.
What Is The Endgame?
A chess game is divided into 3 phases. The Opening, the Middlegame, and the Endgame. The Endgame is the third and final part of a chess game. It is also the most crucial part of any chess game as this stage is usually where the game is decided, whether it would end in a win, loss, or draw.
Masters of chess have stressed the importance of studying the endgame.
Former world champion Jose Raul Capablanca once said: “In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else, for whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame.” By carefully going through Capablanca’s words, we can see that endgame study is crucial to developing your chess ability.
Most amateur and beginner players neglect endgame study and focus more on openings. While studying openings is an essential aspect of chess, neglecting endgame study will, more often than not, render your opening knowledge useless. This is because opening knowledge will only take you so far. When the endgame phase starts, a player with weak endgame knowledge will play wrong and inaccurate moves.
5. Getting Frustrated At Slow Progress
One reason the game of chess remains the ultimate board game is the fact that it is an accurate depiction of the phrase “easy to learn, hard to master.” Chess is such a complex game that although many people have played it for centuries, there are still new things for even elite chess players to learn.
When a beginner starts the game of chess, they are taught the basics that include the names of pieces, how they move, how to checkmate, and so on. However, when they start to get acquainted with chess, they begin to learn that it is not as easy as it seems.
There are multiple rules guiding various aspects of the game. These rules range from simple to somewhat confusing ones. Getting frustrated at slow progress is one of the common mistakes in chess. Beginners usually start learning the game with enthusiasm, but this enthusiasm can quickly turn into frustration when they start to encounter difficulties.
As someone that’s new to chess, you should understand that learning to play the game well takes time and dedication. To become a very strong chess player with good rating or a grandmaster, a player has to be willing to face difficulties head-on without getting frustrated and giving up.
To help boost your progress, you should study chess books and develop a training plan that will be geared toward your success in the field of chess.
And there you have it, a list of 5 common mistakes chess players make.