Is Chess Hard To Learn? Everything Chess Explained

Chess Guides / By Andrew Hercules
is chess hard to learn

Chess is one of the most captivating and treacherous board games. The game is enjoyed by millions all over the world and its history dates back to over 1400 years ago. The game is authentic, classical and engages the human brain perfectly. However, everyone who is a pro in this game was once a novice. So how did the pros learn? How were they able to learn the ropes and grow into the world’s finest? Is chess hard to learn? In this article, we answer this question and explain everything you need to know as you start your journey towards stardom.

Is Chess Hard to Learn?

No, chess is not hard to learn. Apart from dedication and the urge to keep learning, all you need to do is to learn the basics, know how to move the pieces, learn to checkmate and a few tricks here and there. That said, you might find it a bit tricky to reach the mastery level because it requires special attention, investment and dedication to the game.

The Basics of Playing Chess

Chess appears to be very complicated and in most cases, people believe that only geniuses can manage it. The truth is anybody can play this game. Your dedication and passion for the game is what will distinguish you from other players. Here are the basics to start you off:

1. Learn how to move the chess pieces

Chess has 6 different pieces, namely; the king, queen, bishop, knight, rook, and pawn. Each piece moves differently within specific movement paths. The first step as a newbie is to learn how these pieces move and when you need to move them.

2. Learn the rules

Players all over the world are known to invent many house rules for most board games. However, chess has adopted some standard rules that are followed in any part of the world. Learn how to set up your chess board, who makes the first move, how many moves you can make per turn and when to take your opponent’s pieces. Plenty of materials on how to learn chess and its rules are available online.

3. Know when to checkmate

For every game, there has to be a winner or the person topping the leader boards. In chess, you claim your victory (or halfway there) by checkmating your opponent. As a beginner, it is important to learn this trick, it is the end goal. Whatever you do, make sure you are not checkmated.

The Myths about Learning Chess

Myths and misconceptions are part of the reasons why most people quit playing chess at the early stages. The most common myths include:

1. Chess is very complicated and heard to learn

While it is true that chess is not the easiest board game to learn, it is also true that it is not the hardest either. After learning the basics and grasping the rules, it is really up to you to take your game to the next level. This can be achieved by passion and willingness to learn from the players who have already established themselves in the game.

2. Chess is an old game

Yes, chess’s history dates back to over 1400 years ago. However, the fact that it has been able to withstand the test of time shows that it is a cool game that you should learn. There is definitely something about it that keeps gamers all over the world glued. It will definitely be passed to the next generation.

3. Chess is a game for geniuses only

To begin with, what makes a genius a genius? Does it mean that everyone who plays chess is a rocket scientist? Chess is for everybody. It does not discriminate against race, gender, or anything else. You want to learn chess? Go for it!

4. Only computers can solve chess

There are millions and millions of possible chess moves. This makes it extremely hard even for computers to come up with one sure way of solving chess. However, this is a very good thing because it makes the game open. You might be a newbie today but once you know the rules and learn the moves perfectly, it gives you a chance to challenge the masters. Chess is not a game that anyone plays while already knowing his moves and all. How you play depends on the opponent’s play.

5. There is nothing to gain from chess

Well, you are wrong! There is plenty to gain from chess. Apart from enhancing your mental sharpness and ability to make key decisions, chess can earn you money. Pro chess gamers have won plenty of cash money prizes and travel the world to participate in Grandmasters games. This should motivate you to start learning the game as soon as possible.

Why it is Challenging to Make it to the Top

As aforementioned, chess is an easy game to learn but making it to the very top is somewhat challenging. This can be attributed to the fact that there are very many ideas and possibilities with this game. There is no specific path to victory. You have to keep practicing and be a step ahead of your opponent.

Additionally, most people give up with the slightest of challenges. It is true that people are built differently, some learn quicker than others. However, whether quick or slow, giving up completely is a sure way of never getting to the top. If you love the game, you should be able to withstand the tests that come with it.

Finally, there is a lack of quality chess materials which beginners can use to learn. In most cases, new players have to rely on the information passed to them by the pro players around them. The materials available online are not in-depth enough while those that are resourceful are not available for free.


Chess is a very popular and intriguing sport. Learning it is very easy. The basics are straightforward and the rules are manageable. However, taking your game to the next level might prove to be a little bit difficult. Start by learning from the pro players around you or reading the chess materials that are available online. With determination and willingness to improve, you will get to the next level.

Andrew Hercules

Hercules Chess, launched in 2020, is a website that teaches you about chess. We started as a chess blog and became a chess training platform in early 2022.

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