Tips to Learn to Play Chess Online and Improve Your Skills
Playing Chess. Photo: MakeUseOf

From AI-powered apps to YouTube lessons from grandmasters, you can learn how to play chess online for free, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned player.

A new mini-series, The Queen's Gambit, has sparked interest online in learning how to play chess. If you're a complete beginner, these apps and sites will teach you the basics of chess and great opening moves. If you already know your way around the 64 squares, they'll teach you to level-up your skills and find entertaining new ways to play the game.

Aimchess (Android, iOS): AI Powered Chess Reports and Lessons

Aimchess is a cool new app to learn how to play chess or get better at the game. Every day, the app makes you go through a few lessons and tactics, through which you'll earn points or credits. You can spend those credits to unlock additional lessons.

The two most popular free chess apps online are or Lichess. Aimchess works with both of them, creating an AI-powered analysis of your playing patterns. Just key in your username and it'll take data from your last few games to present a report that shows your strengths and weaknesses, and how you can improve.

You'll also get daily lessons that incorporate your playing style and historical games. Sometimes, the app will challenge you to win games that you lost, and analyze it for you. It's a creative way to supercharge your chess training.

Chess Vision (Web, Chrome, Firefox): Analyze Chess Boards On-Screen and Search YouTube for Chess Videos

Chess Vision is an incredible set of AI-powered tools for the game. There are three main parts, with the extension for Chrome and Firefox being the spotlight for regular folks.

After installing the Chess Vision extension, it can analyze any chess board on your screen. For example, if you're trying to solve tactics in an app or watching a live-streamed chess match, just fire up the extension. In a few minutes, it'll scan and replicate the board, and offer the best moves and tactics. It's an excellent way to learn the game, and especially figure out where you're making mistakes.

The second part of Chess Vision is the powerful chess-based YouTube search engine. The search includes filters for opening positions, game phase, position openness, and pawn structure. You can also filter by overall themes like pawn sacrifice or opposition side castling. Set what you want, and you'll get a list of YouTube videos at the perfect timestamp.

The third and final part is an AI-based ebook reader, which turns classic chess books into interactive pages. So the diagrams from a book can now be played like an online game. This is a limited feature for free users, and you'll have to pay to unlock full books, according to Makeuseof.

Chess Tactics and Chess Problems (Web): Free Ebook to Learn Chess Online

Ward Farnsworth's acclaimed 2011 book "Predator at the Chessboard: A Field Guide to Chess Tactics" is now available for free online. The team has turned the book into a website, with each chapter reprinted in full. Simply head to the site and you can read the 20 chapters across 700 pages worth of chess insights.

Then there's the accompanying site, Chess Problems, where you can test Farnsworth's teachings. Each problem lays out a board position and asks you to find the best move. You can ask for a hint or reveal the solution, which links back to one of the lessons from Farnsworth.

3 Ways to Improve Your Chess

Tips to Learn to Play Chess Online and Improve Your Skills
Photo: Chess

Make a Schedule

Schedule how much time you will allocate for chess every day. I usually allocate 3 hours for chess every day during the quarantine. Maybe your time differs, but it is always good to manage your time and use your chess time wisely. There are many different ways that you can make a schedule, but make one that gives you sufficient time to satisfy yourself. Puzzles are always good for improvement, so here are a few. Take your time.

This puzzle, known as Plaskett's puzzle, is said to be one of the hardest puzzles in history. James Plaskett (hence the puzzle's name) presented this puzzle to the public in 1987. White to move and win.

Puzzles (especially these ones) are tough and exercise your brain. Give yourself a pat on the back if you got both of them right. Puzzles, alongside with playing live games and game analysis should form your schedule. Personally, I need to add in some time for writing these articles for all of you reading.

Making a schedule is extremely important when you are at home and trying to improve your chess. Time management is key. Learn to manage your time and you will have an improvement path carved out for you.

Think of What is Good For Your Chess

It might seem easy to understand at first, but it is best for you to schedule time for things you want to do and what you should do. We still play chess for fun after all. However, when your tactics brain is not sharp enough, or maybe you are on a tilt, you should avoid doing tactics and playing games for a short time and decide to analyse some games.

Your schedule does not have to be fixed. I just needs the flexibility to satisfy what you need to do. A lot of people do the thing that they are worse at temporarily to improve their chess, like doing tactics when your tactics brain can't work, as reported by Chess.

Your brain is a muscle. It needs a workout, but after it is tired, it just can't work anymore. Instead of lifting your weaknesses up, concentrate on what your brain thinks is less tiring. I have done this multiple times; I've been on tilts, couldn't solve puzzles and just got tired for some time. With the outbreak in place, many people have so much more time to spend on their hobbies.

Analyse Openings

This is something that is hard to do unless you have massive amounts of time, like now. Because of the outbreak, many people that used to struggle with opening preparation now have the time to start analysing openings. Here is one piece of my analysis that I did during the outbreak.

If you make sure that you spend your time wisely during the outbreak, your chess skills will improve drastically. Make sure that you will follow a schedule and figure out when is the time to do what. Play your best, have fun, and hope your chess improves!

Deep Practice Make Perfect

If you wanted to increase your chess skills, deep practice is the best way to improve your chess ability over time.

Playing with the coach or the expert many times and get lost is frustrating. However, if you consider those losses are a beautiful experience to play with the master those opportunities is the best advantage for your chess skills.

Your chess ability will increase fast because playing for the hard level is helping you to think hard, discover new techniques, and different ideas that you had been never thought of.

Play It Fast or Play It Slow

As you learn how to play chess, you realize it is a unique game in terms of speed. You can play a timed blitz which finishes the whole game within five minutes. Or you can take it slow, giving each other days to make a move. Heck, people used to even play chess via mail, sending a letter back and forth with their latest move.

It's a wonderful game to pick up during the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdowns. You can safely stay at home and play it with your housemates, or play it online with friends and strangers, and even hop into live video sessions for chess. Win some games and people will start thinking you're the smartest person in the room.

For more interesting "CHESS ONLINE FOR FREE", please check out our KnowInisders!

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