To be successful in the game of chess, you must constantly be thinking several steps ahead in your tactics and decision making. From deciding where a pawn can be sacrificed to gain better position, to how you want to defend your back line, there are a wide variety of elements that factor into thinking your way through a chess game. There are also different ways of thinking that you must focus on during the course of a game. Psychological as well as tactical thinking must balance with one another as you try and find the best moves to gain an advantage on your opponent.
Psychological thinking may be the most difficult part when thinking your way through a game of chess. Nothing is more important than keeping your focus as games can go for hours on end. One of the best ways to boost your ability to focus is by keeping your body in healthy condition heading into tournaments. If you are physically fit, this will transfer to being mentally fit as well, heightening your focus and ability to think through more difficult situations.
It can be very easy to get rattled by your opponent during a game for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are taking too long to make a move, or you are playing a sloppy and inexperienced player that doesn't seem to have much focus themselves. When you find yourself in this kind of situation, the best thing to do is simply focus on your game. By focusing on your game and thinking about how your opponent's last move will dictate your next two moves. By doing this, you will find that you make smarter and more sound moves throughout the game and will win far more than you lose or draw.
Patience is arguably the most important aspect of any chess game. You are typically not going to win a game within the first several moves. Not attacking too early and setting up your pieces is essential to your long game. Don't rush into your attacks and make sure you are always defending. While you may want to rush into winning a game, this will usually turn into you making an unforced blunder and losing a game quickly. By simply being patient and playing quality defense, you will get your opponent on the ropes and find yourself in closeout situations.
When you do find yourself getting into a winning position, it is important to think several moves ahead. By doing this, you can predict which pieces you may need to sacrifice to get your opponents king out in the open. The more you are able to think ahead and process the movement of the pieces, the more sound decisions you will make.
By following a few of these simple tips and tricks, you can find yourself winning more and more games and improving as an all around chess player.
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