GM Ben Finegold’s Message to Beginner Chess Players

Check out Ben’s Chessable courses here! Ben goes over the most common mistake new players make. [02-01-2022] !NordVPN

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45 Comments

  1. This really rings true to me. I tried teaching my nan some chess the other day but it quickly became clear that she just didn't share the same understanding of the game I did. I was trying to explain how the Knight can fork pieces and she admitted that she didn't see why it worked, even with the position on the board right in front of her.
    I realized I was starting waaay too high level and probably should've just stuck with how the pieces moved.
    At the same time, I remember a time when I was like my nan, and it's kinda crazy to think how much stronger I am now than then – I hardly feel like I'm a good player, but I can see I'm much stronger than I once was.

  2. It is really a rare and valuable thing to have a GM level player who struggled for a long time when he was young. It makes him uniquely able to understand what beginners are actually experiencing. Start slow and very basic, learn to move the pieces, then learn to not hang one every game. And that alone can be a long term, years long project, especially if you are young or have limited time.

  3. 0:28 "there were 2 kids who always lost every game"

    Me: So what happens when you match these two against each other? Checkmate, Ben.

  4. Ben's message to begginers:
    Ur not begginers, u just suck

  5. I love how Ben, even though he's a GM, really knows what a beginner is. Some 2000 ELOs on cc will go "oh, you're a beginner" after you play for like a year and can find some pretty nice tactics, even though they're not master level tactics.

  6. I would like to hear how Ben Finegold when he was a beginner, handled being bullied by stronger chessplayers, when there was an aspect he wasn´t an expert at. When he talks it sounds like it was expected that people were experts before even starting. Like it can´t be tolerated that you were a kid and had a childhood. Like meanness is the only way to progress. So the idea of creating a better world means nothing to him, except if he thinks it should become meaner? Or?

  7. Ben Finegold: " – Maybe I told him there were 6 possible moves and there were only 5 and took his money. MUHAHAHAHAHAAAA!" I wonder if the situation was the other way around and it was Mike Kummer who took Ben Finegold´s money. Longlife hatred and shame on Mike Kummer. Typical Finegold-strategy. Like when he talks about for example Garri Kasparov being mean like it´s the most admirable personal character-trait in the world and yet says that he doesn´t like Kasparov because he knows him. Makes so much sense these contradictions.

  8. I remember my first tournament. I had prepared a bit, learned the basic opening and a few tactics. I was in a round robin of three games. I lost the first two games and I played against someone else from my club that also lost their first two games. She played a weird reaction to king pawn opening and I think I had a checkmate at move 6, the king was smothered and couldn't get out of my queen's diagonal. I had to ask a tournament official if it was checkmate.

    After that, I knew that I would win in chess as long as I fought through the losses and kept learning. I read the books my club had during my classes, I played during lunch, I was obsessed. I started winning a lot more.

    I ended up 1100 USCF after two years which I was proud of. Chess club moved to mornings so I stopped going but I play online sometimes. It's a life long journey.

  9. "..basically we live in a world thats mean"

    fact

  10. As someone that teaches kids chess in a school setting I really appreciate this. I do tend to start off with how do the pieces move and a few things like this but I tend to want to get into stuff like back rank mate, ladder mate a little bit too early probably.

  11. proud I solved the legal moves puzzel then remembers it's for players that think bishops can move straight forward through pawns

  12. "everything is very difficult if you don't know it"
    "you get very good at chess if you play a lot of it. That's how you get good at anything"

    This guy isn't only a chess genius, he should talk to 16 year old kids in schools. I wish I had someone tell me these things when I was that age.

  13. "So basically we live in a world where everybody is mean."

  14. Thank you so much, I learn chess for 3 days, and I'm very frustrated, your video is the only video I really understand.

  15. Do you have any advice for parents/grandparents playing their children/grandchildren? For example my grandson aged 9 is really keen on chess. I can easily beat him playing without my queen and he makes multiple mistakes. But how should I approach this? Let him win sometimes, gently point out his mistakes, let him take moves back, suggest moves? I'm not sure of the best approach.

  16. I played when i was a kid a bit. Then i played again as a teen for a bit online. I did alright. Got a little bit past the "beginner" lvl as far as that site was concerned. Then i didnt play for a few years. Going back to it. I felt i was worse than i used to be. Felt like i should have been better than i was. Then i realized, like yeah ive played before but ive never actually learned anything about chess. So ok. People learn openings and memorize moves. Thats why im bad. No. At a beginner lvl they will never play anything youve studied so gotta start with basic tactics and mates and principles.

  17. New subscriber here! Great video that helped me realize I don't suck as bad as I thought I did lol. Thanks Ben

  18. Wow! Great lesson in empathy for any teacher, not just of chess. I've heard the same thing from music teachers, math teachers, et. al…–at least the good ones. Patience with one's self is not an easy thing.

    It's a shame that Ben isn't teaching any longer: empathy is an extremely undervalued skill.

  19. The message is this: The Truth Hurts!

  20. You are defining beginner as an actual beginner, so they don't remember how the pieces move or recognise checkmate . But mostly beginner is just used as a euphemism for rubbish player.

  21. The main income for grandmasters is betting people $5 they can't find all the legal moves in a mundane position.

  22. 16:44 “All I remember is I got five bucks. Maybe I told him there were six (legal moves) but there were only five and I took his money.” I’m dead 😂

    Excellent video. I can’t tell if I learned more or laughed more, but both definitely happened

  23. Ben’s a winner after been a loser 👏👏👏

  24. I’m 50 n just got back into chess. CPU is shit n memory just as bad if not worse. Can’t rely on memory but rather think of moves of each minor n attack n attack all the time.
    No ideas about developing my pieces or the centre etc but Was able to beat a cocky competition player using the art of war tactics 👍👍. I played unconventional chess n was able to distract n confuse him…😂😂😂😂

  25. Ben is such a great coach. If I'd had a coach like Ben when I was younger I'd be a grandmaster now. True story.

  26. my boys never had these problems when I taught them. Once they knew how to move the pieces they started using their pieces in combinations and in one summer (their first) they skyrocketed to 1300 to 1500. The younger one beat Hikaru N. In a 3 minute blitz online before winning the Jr. High Natural Blitz Championship in 2007 in Sacramento.

  27. Honestly if a kid isn't learning after blundering scholars mate 3 times they should just do something else chess isn't for them

  28. Thank you so much for this! My son has been begging me to play chess with him. I just started playing this week. This lesson helped me a ton! Now I don’t feel so dumb when my son beats me over and over 😂

    I need to catch one of your streams soon 😊

    Thanks so much!

  29. My plan to get better at chess is to play 10,000 games. When I've played 10,000 games I'll probably be better.

  30. Such a great advice. Not only in chess but generally.

  31. Yay, apparently I'm not a beginner!

    2..Bf7 to defend the check was my favourite part of the video

  32. Sometimes the learning curve gets better if you play a game in a cooperative way. Just change the rules so that both are allowed to return back one move and trying another move. Like … "Oh, if I would know that you are doing this, maybe I better played that". "Okay, but then I'm playing this".

  33. That Tombstone quote at the start 👌👌👌

  34. I got scholar mated only once, it was the reason I obsessed over chess the years after, it was in a mall kids tournament final where the first price would have been a super nintendo and the guy that won only did the scholars mate, so I was intrigued.

  35. 19:18 I see 9 potential checks. Qb5, Qc4, Qd3, Qe6, Qe5, Qe4 (checkmate), Qf3, Qh5, and Bg4. Am I missing anything?

    Edit: I did in fact miss Qd2.

  36. The move that was missing in both examples was resigning. 😉

  37. Great video.

    A good way to help yourself empathize with / understand that absolute-beginner mindset is to spend a bit of time learning another chess, like shogi or xiangqi. When you do that, you remember that even keeping track of the names of the pieces is hard at first, never mind how they move.

  38. Beginners don't take pieces maybe 'cause they are only thinking about moving to empty squares.

  39. It seems that your students are morrons… 🙂

  40. honestly an enlightening video; if i ever have to teach someone the basics, i'll keep this in mind

  41. This just made me realize that the only thing I’m missing from getting myself to a good elo is playing more people with more focus. I’ve never had a problem seeing any of this. I’ve only had a problem thinking long enough to see it.

  42. i was really amazed by how low he can go with explaining stuff, but to get best advice to people at that level = play a lot and dont look at result is not good imo.. that is equivalent to say the famous ''a monkey will arrive in a million years ….if trained….. to compose the 9th symphony on its own.. that is not the idea to lose a lot and improve that way ONLY, there are many other ways to improve much faster than losing a million matches and learn by that route…… by the way STINKY TITLE OF A VIDEO for those concerened by the subject

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