Is chess hard to learn?

Are you finding it challenging to learn chess? Maybe you are thinking your age is going to become a big problem in understanding this great game.

Or maybe you are just intimidated with the looks of the chess pieces… 🙂

Kidding aside, chess is a fun and easy game to play – of course, if you want to become good at it, I mean becoming a professional player will need a ton of learning and an excellent strategic way to practice learning chess.

In this article, we are going to learn if chess is hard to understand.

Is it really hard to learn chess?

Chess is not hard to learn. That is one of the most common myths associated with this wonderful game. When one asks the question, is chess hard to learn, one expects a resounding yes, but that isn’t the case. The game itself is simple, you have to checkmate the King of your opposition. 

If you are totally new to chess and still unfamiliar with the pieces, we will take a really quick time here to explain how they work and cover some basics. 

Chess is a board game between two opponents. Each one of them has a set of 16 figures or pieces. He or she will use those pieces to advance towards the King of his or her opposition. 

If your chess pieces advance in such a fashion so that the opposition King has nowhere to move, you have won the game. Everyone of those pieces has a designated role and way to move around the eight by eight checkerboard (no, this is not checkers, lol)

So, what are the chess pieces?

The Pawn – when you see a full chessboard before a game, the pawns are the figures on the second rank. 

Every player gets eight of them. 

A pawn can only move forward. It can move by one square, but it can also move by two if it is the first time that you are moving one specific pawn. 

Pawns have a nifty little trick or special move to them. If you manage to move your pawn to the opposite side of the board, it can transform into any other piece (Queen, Bishop, or Knight). 

This is called a pawn promotion. In the majority of cases, the pawn is promoted into the Queen, the most powerful piece on the board.

I made a helpful guide on pawn promotion in this article where you are going to learn rules and avoid some common mistakes in promoting a pawn.

The Rook – Each player gets two rooks. They are usually shaped like a cannon or a tower and are on the edges of the board. 

The rook can move vertically or horizontally for as many squares as possible.

The Knight – Situated between the Rook and the Bishop you will find the Knight. 

In most cases, they are represented as the head of a horse. The knight is the only piece besides the pawn that can be moved on your first move. 

The Knight moves around the board in an L-shape fashion. The unique ability of the Knight compared to other pieces is that it can jump over other pieces.

The Bishops– Next to the King and Queen, you will find their corresponding bishops. 

The bishop’s can, like the rooks, move as many squares as it is possible, but they move on a diagonal. 

One of the bishops is a light square bishop, and the other one is a dark-squared bishop. They can only move on either the dark or light squares.

The Queen – This is the most potent, powerful piece on the chessboard. Losing the Queen is often something that you can’t recover from. 

The Queen can move in many ways. It combines the power of the Rook, which means it can move horizontally and vertically at will, and also the bishop’s move, it can move on either the light squares and black squares diagonally.

The King – This piece must be protected at all costs. While the King can move by one square in any direction, the less you use it, the better.

Now that you have the basic idea about the chess pieces, It’s time we answer if chess is going to be harder if we are a little bit older or at an advanced age?

Is chess hard to learn at an advanced age?

It is not any harder or easier than at an earlier age. But, it could be a bit more challenging as well as humbling. A lot of people start playing chess at a very young age before they even go to school. For example, a lot of chess grandmasters started to play when they were 4 or 5. 

There are examples of teenagers beating current or former world champions. 

For example, the current world champion Magnus Carlsen won a game against one of the greatest chess players of all time, Garry Kasparov, when he was only 13 years old. 

So you could be playing someone who is 5 times younger than you, and they could defeat you soundly.

But no, at any age – Chess, the very basics of it are easy to learn. 

5 Things you really need to consider if you find it hard to learn chess!

  • The issue is learning to play it well. 
  • There is a lot of studying to do. 
  • The chess game is divided into three parts, the openings, the middle game, and the end game. 
  • You will need to know some of the most famous or some of the played openings most often. 
  • The same goes for end games. There are a few endgames that everyone should know. 

An adult might not have the time to learn all that. There are many obligations every adult has, like their job, spending time with their kids or spouse. 

Chess matches take both time and concentration. 

For an adult who has a life full of obligations, those two things (time and concentrations) are hard to do altogether.

Is The Theory of Chess Hard to Learn?

Again the answer is no, but mastering it is difficult, very difficult. What you have on your side is our modern age. It was never easier to learn to play chess than it is today. There are many sites where you can both learn to chess and play against people all over the world. 

For example, on Chess.com, you can work on your theory, your openings, and tactics and challenge people to different kinds of matches.

In most cases, people play games that are faster than the traditional forms of the game. 

Some people prefer very fast bullet or blitz games where you have only a single minute to perform your moves. There are also games where each player is given a total of five or ten minutes. 

On chess.com and similar websites, you can also play matches where you have a day or two to decide your next move (never tried that yet, but I think that would be fun)!

Some options on those sites are free, and for some, you have to pay. In the past, you would need to buy expensive chess books. 

Still, now you can browse Wikipedia or Youtube if you want to improve your knowledge of a particular endgame or an opening like the Italian game or the Ruy Lopez. 

Chess was never hard to learn, but it has never been easier to learn about it and play it as it is today, all thanks to the Internet’s wonders.

Wrapping Up

So, what do you think? Still, think chess is hard to learn?

Well, to tell you frankly, I too am learning chess, and I am enjoying the process of learning online.

The best app that I have seen and used for several months now is with this website.

You will learn a lot of lessons that are being taught by Grandmasters and a ton of content that you can access free. And if you don’t have a wifi or internet, you can still play with the application on your mobile phone! 

You can select the computer’s level, and if you are still learning or new to chess, I would not suggest increasing the level of your computer opponent. Just take it slow and learn both from your wins and losses!

Also, check out this article to find all the apps that you can use to play and learn chess! Enjoy learning chess!

Gary Flores

Hi there! I'm a dad with kids who loves to learn how to play chess by learning online - also, this is my way of refreshing my knowledge about this game of tactics & strategy. I created chessdelights.com to inspire people who are also learning, re-learning or teaching their kids the game of chess.

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