Half of the blunders and mistakes in chess are avoidable if you think about the outcome of placing a piece on a certain square before moving it. It’s simple as that.
But sometimes playing the simple moves is the most difficult thing to do.
Beginner and intermediate level players do think before moving their pieces, but that thinking is not always conscious. It lacks the vision of what’s coming next.
Creativity is good for them but if it exceeds the level of play, it’s a blunder most of the times.
Modern chess demands a more solid base of thinking before moving a piece and this blog is all about improving your chess thinking.
How to Improve your chess thinking and become a better player?
Beginner and Intermediate players need to work on strategy and tactics. This is where most of your chess thinking should go. Plus you need to play a lot of games. Only studying will not help.
When you play games, you make good and bad moves, even after a lot of thinking. Those games are your gold mines, if you analyse them with a chess engine and improve on a few of your errors every time, not all of them, you will see a lot of improvement in your chess.
What should we think while playing chess?
Every chess game has 3 phases. The opening, middle game and end game. The type of thinking involved in each phase of the game is different.
Opening is more about development, middle game is strategy while end game mostly is theory.
But nothing in chess is fixed. All your development and strategy can vary depending on what your opponent is playing. For example, an early queen attack can be easily avoided by bullying the opponent’s queen away. How? Check out the video below:
Similarly, if your opponent is playing too passive, not developing his pieces or playing a bad opening like the Englund Gambit, you can refute their lines by simply playing the known refuted moves.
In short, if you have the knowledge of chess, you can plan better. Your chess style also matters in how you deal with different situations.
How much time should be spent thinking about your moves in Chess?
Generally, for players rated below 2000, 20/40/40 is the recommended rule. Spend 20% of your time in the opening, 40% in the middlegame and 40% in the endgame.
But that’s just a recommendation. Better practice it in your practice matches.
In an actual game, focus more on what is happening on the board. Don’t divide your focus on other things and try to plan your every move right after the opening phase.
A bad plan is always better than no plan at all.
Also, it is important to know that the game doesn’t end at a point where you gain an advantage over your opponent. Keep your focus till the end.
Sometimes the game most difficult to win is a won game.
Tips to Improve your Chess Thinking
- play a lot of games
- analyze those games and make small improvements
- solve puzzles
- study the chess studies
That’s all in how to improve your chess thinking.