Niko Shefer is an academic who is currently teaching English literature to college students in Oslo, Norway at the university. One of his favorite ways to get to know his students is over the chess board in between classes. Here are some tips for the beginner to chess.
First and foremost, pay attention to your opponent. You need to keep a watchful eye on your opponent because his or her moves have the power to change your strategy completely. Unlike checkers, chess involves a variety of pieces, moves, and locations that can all do different things; pay attention to your opponent to see which pieces he moves the most, and get a feel for his overall strategy as a player.
Secondly, make sure you’re making the best possible move, considering all the options, each time. Ask yourself questions like, is the piece I’m moving work better for me in its new spot? Can I effectively improve my position with this move? Does this move not only advance on my opponent, but defend against attacks as well? These are questions you need to ask each time you move.
Third, always stick to a strategy. Don’t move pieces with only a single move in mind; you need to be able to figure out how to get your pieces to work together in order to achieve a common goal. It’s not about how many pieces you have standing at the end or how many you’ve taken away.
Niko Shefer enjoys playing chess with his students because it allows him to get inside their minds for a brief moment, and see how they think.