Chess, like any other activity, takes effort to excel at. There are different practice procedures to follow if you want to move up the ranks in chess. If you have a chess rating you can follow the recommended steps below. If you do not, find a FIDE or USCF rated tournament and get a chess rating.

Unrated to 500:

  • Solve puzzles – remember quality is better than quantity. Don't try to make moves on the computer before you have thought through the entire variation
  • Learn basic openings and follow these opening rules:
  • Control the center. To do so, play 1.e4 or 1.d4 as white, and try to put a pawn in the center to start the game as black.
  • Develop the minor pieces. Get all of your Knights and Bishops into the game.
  • Castle!! One of the most important steps of the opening. Castling your king gets him away from your opponent’s pieces’ attacks.
  • Develop your major pieces. Get your queen and rook out! Try to put your rooks on open files.
  • Attack!!!! Aim for your opponent’s king and remember, a checkmate ends the game.
  • Solve some basic puzzles on checkmate – mate in 1 puzzles and mate in 2 puzzles are recommended.
  • Learn the basic mates – 2 rooks and king vs. king, rook vs. king, and queen vs. king. Learn how to win a basic King and Pawn vs. King endgame as well.
  • Above all, concentrate while playing chess games in tournaments and avoid blunders.


  • Continue to solve puzzles (3 or 4 moves).
  • Strengthen your opening repertoire and learn some basic openings such as the Giuoco Piano for white and the Sicilian for black (against 1.e4) and the queen’s gambit declined (against 1.d4)
  • Learn more endgame positions, especially learn the concepts of opposition and fox in the chicken coup.


  • Continue to solve puzzles (4-5 moves).
  • Get a coach
  • Learn more complex openings such as the Queen’s gambit for white and the French (against 1.e4) and the nimzo-indian (against 1.d4) for black.
  • Learn the Lucena and Philidor endgame positions. Study the concepts of opposition.
  • View GM games at the website
  • To be more connected with the chess world, follow the articles on our page as well.


  • Solve puzzles – 4+ moves
  • Practice endgame concepts such as N, B, and K vs. K
  • Play games online
  • Do what your coach thinks is necessary
  • I also recommend buying the Silman Book. It has different chapters which target a particular rating range. Below is the book information (affiliate link).

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