5 Ways to Stop Losing at Chess

Yury Markushin

Everyone hates losing games. Oddly enough many players think that playing a lot is the only way to start playing better chess. There is some truth in that. However, there are many players that play for years and don’t improve. Today I will tell you about the 5 very effective ways to stop losing at chess.

How to stop losing in chess 1. Stop Hanging Pieces

The number one reason why most games are lost is because of hanging pieces. These are generally blunder moves, when a player leaves his pieces unprotected or moves it to a square where they can be captured by enemy pieces with little or no compensation. Material disadvantage is the most common and easy way to get in trouble, for chess players of any level.

It is not possible to stop blundering whatsoever, but it is possible to significantly reduce the blunder rate. I have just two pieces of advice here. Solve tactics and double check your moves. Solving tactics will improve your overall board awareness, while double checking the moves will help you in avoiding leaving your pieces undefended.

How to stop losing in chess 2. Stop Missing Simple Checkmates

Missing checkmates in one and in two is another very common problem that causes lost games. You’d be surprised to know how many players lose games because of these simple slips. How hard is it to spot a mate in one? Apparently it is not always as simple as it sounds. Even elite GMs become victims of simple checkmates like that.

The solution to fight this problem is very similar to the one from the previous point: solving tactics and double checking the lines. The only difference is that you should focus on picking tactics related to checkmates, rather than on forks, pins and skewers.

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How to stop losing in chess 3. Stop Exchanging into Lost Positions

This is another important thing to keep in mind. Many chess players under pressure prefer to “release the tension” by exchanging pieces. The truth is, oftentimes, it is not a good idea, especially when you are down in material, or have to exchange your good pieces for the bad pieces of your opponent. This is an easy way to arrive from a complex looking but playable position to a clearly losing one.

4. Stop Playing Without a Plan

Playing without a plan is a first step to disaster. if you don’t have a plan it means you have to wait for your opponent to come up with one. And if that happens you will most likely be on the defensing side. And that’s not what we recommend doing.

At chess, it is much harder to defend, than to attack. Whoever checkmates first wins. It doesn’t mean that you don’t need to know how to play defensively. It means you should have a clear plan and try your best to realize it.

How to stop losing in chess 5. Stop Playing Fast

Playing fast, without enough thought is one of the reasons why players drop pieces, miss simple checkmates and make moves just to make a move. To stay out of trouble, I suggest taking time to think about the moves you are about to make. The point of the game is to play high quality moves in reasonable amount of time, not low quality moves in minimum time. Don’t rush, take your time and play the best moves you can.

If you want to improve your chess level, you need to have a clear study plan. If you aim for a dramatic improvement at chess you need to work on all of the elements of the game in a systematic way:

  • tactics
  • positional play
  • attacking skills
  • endgame technique
  • classical games analysis
  • psychological preparation
  • and much more

That seems to be like a lot of things, and that is. But no worries, we have made it easy for you. Our comprehensive training course covers it all and much more. Sign up for 21 Day Training right now!

Now you know how to stop losing in chess.

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Updated 12.07.2023


You are right. But my oppoment : rating = 2000 and I'm 1200