Does anyone play chess?

Lets go with the short version first and then if you wish to read the longer version of my chess journey you can. I am playing chess at the moment and am enjoying it, do you play? any hints or tips for a relative beginner? What openings do you play?

So I used to be really bad at chess, like very bad, I knew how to play and how to the pieces moved but I very rarely played and and when I did play I just moved and took pieces with no strategy or tactics. During the pandemic when I was working from home I had a thought that I should try and improve on something and people seemed to always think I should be good at tactical games like chess (not sure why, it might go along with that some people thinking I am smart [but that is also not really true, I think the glasses are just selling it a bit more that they should]) so I thought that could be something to work on. Now before anyone asks if the Queen’s Gambit got me to start trying chess the answer is no (though I did watch it a fair while after it came out and it’s good), I started at the end of last year before it came out, just to challenge myself and keep my brain ticking. I looked at some basic strategies and went for it and as I predicted I sucked, but I was enjoying it and stuck with it. I was playing 5 min per side (bullet) games but found them too short, so I switched to 10 min per side (rapid) games, this also started shaky but I found it much better, more time to think and calculate the best move, think some moves ahead and set up some tactics. Initially my rating rose but I got frustrated with it when my rating dipped back down and I got hit with sneaky checkmates and stuff I didn’t know how to counter after a few weeks and stopped playing. But I felt that was not good enough and after a few months off I went back to it again, this time playing Again I started from the bottom but am slowly getting there, I am still not great at the game but much better than where I was, I started at about 600 rating and am now over 1000 but I think I am hitting my limits without actually studying some more and am not sure I actually want to go down that road. I have a couple of openings under my belt though I am running the London at the moment if I am white and I see where the game takes me if I am black but usually I just run the standard defence if they open with kings pawn. So that’s ally I really have to say, let me know if you play chess, tell me how you are doing with it and hints or tips, any openings or defences you run etc.
Oh and here is my stats


I had a co-worker once who were really into chess, ran the town’s chess club even and he tried to teach me to play during lunch breaks now and then. I was and still am in the position you were in, as in knowing the basics of the game but never bothering to delve any deeper into it.

I got reasonably good at the early stages of the game, building up pressure or defense and setting things up but never grasped at which point you should start actually sacrificing and taking pieces or how to progress into the midgame. Calculating piece and position value for the end game never really became clear for me.

In the end I was mostly playing to humour him and didn’t actually have much of an interest to learn the game proper. I hope you’re having fun with it though and find success in the endeavor.


Also where you are Prince Pete. I know the basics but not strategies. Found a good website to study the latter, but got lonely and stopped trying. Will try to find it again for you.

Also, I’d love to learn along with you. Chess is something I find appealing - maybe because it’s a sort of complex puzzle. Hm.


Enjoy the game, but last game of chess I played was about 2008 or so, when a friend wanted to play, we played with the 5 minute timers for a few games, and felt that with the time constraint it was more like just trying to move the pieces somewhat reasonably as quickly as possible, led to a lot of unexpected outcomes. He beat me a lot.

We did the 10-15 minute timers and those were a lot better for me.

I have never played enough to be any good, never really learned any strategy, just like most other people, just move the pieces around and try to do my best, no planning ahead or anything. Usually I did play better than my friends when I was really young. But it was something that became easily replaced by other interests, such as reading and video games… :scream:

By the way Pete, what is this place you are playing at?



I was playing chess with my friend and he said, “Let’s make things interesting.”

So we stopped playing chess.



I used to be in chess club a long long time ago. I haven’t played chess since that time. I normally lost but I had fun making them take their time.

Tips that I can remember…Since I lost all the time I probably shouldn’t give tips! But I was told a few things. The 4 squares in the center of the board are the most important for controlling the board. Don’t waste a single move, meaning don’t move a piece with no purpose ( I did that quite often since I didn’t understand greater strategies). Get the pawns out of the way of the good pieces and also pawns are good for setting up strategies.

Story time. Whenever I had the off chance of playing a random stranger, I would always try the 4 move checkmate with the queen and bishop. I did it and it was fun. If it doesn’t work it wastes a lot of moves and sets you back from setting up. It also might annoy the opponent that you tried it on. Hah! But if you do pull it off, its very satisfying and they will demand a rematch that you must never do or else they will realize that you had a cheap win.


Until no one will play with you…

I am in the same boat as most the others. I like chess but I am awful at it.


hahahaha. Don’t worry that never happened. The chess community was so small that they played anyone that knew the rules.


Oh yeah, the three move checkmate, lolz :rofl:

Me: knows the rules, not that great at it…


Once you know how to defend against the 4 move checkmate it’s not to bad to go against and it actually puts the person who does it into a worse position as you can pressure their queen and you get piece development while they are stuck moving the one piece. There is also a 2 move checkmate for black, but it does requires specific moves from white.


This looks like the screen of that Zen games bundle on Fanatical right now. The Hidden Gems thingie.


That’s exactly right.

It had only worked 2 times in my whole life. Not worth doing if you’re serious about chess. But! You will never win with it if you never use it!

I do the same thing in poker. How do I do the same in poker you may wonder? I always aim for a Royal Flush. Crasy? It sure is. And I only got it once in my life. Totally worth it. It’s about having fun for me. And these little gimmicks I add for myself make it more interesting.


I ended up buying them, figured I could learn some chess through those games, and not have to put myself out there to compete with anyone else… lol.


Those games look like the puzzles you can do on which you can do a certain amount for free every day and it actually caters the puzzles to your skill level which is helpful. also has a similar puzzles feature but its free, I haven’t got an account on there but I have used the puzzle feature, I believe there it will also cater the puzzles to you level if you have an account, but otherwise it will give you random ones.


On a very mediocre level i do play some online chess.

My ‘greatest achievement’ so far is beating Intermediate AI of 1200 skill ( not even sure what is this number supposed to refer to ) on