Everyone wants to be a champion, but it takes a supreme amount of practice and dedication (and a little bit of luck) to get there. That being said, a key strategy to becoming better at anything is conquering your fears and challenging the best and the brightest. No one ever got better by playing on easy!
While it may be daunting to face an opponent who has a higher rating than you or is a little more skilled, your greatest accomplishment will be to gain more knowledge and out-wit the competition. By using this method, good players have become great and chess enthusiasts have become champions!
Here's a basic how-to guide to beating a stronger player at the game of chess:
Step 1:A calm player is the best player. You should never be afraid of your opponent, even if they have a much higher rating than you. If you expect to win, you have to believe that you still have a chance to out-play your opponent. Very strong players are always calm and concentrated on the game so they can make the best moves possible. Step 2: Don't exchange pieces at the beginning of the game. This is a common misunderstanding that a lot of weaker players try to open up the board by sacrificing pieces when they're feeling overmatched. Despite popular belief, a draw at the end of the game will not help you defeat your opponent. In fact, the stronger player will rarely (if ever) allow it to happen. Trading active pieces for those less active will only increase the advantage of your opponent and will inevitably result in his/her winning the game. Step 3: Play to win, not to tie. Be confident in your strategy to come out on top and don't play for the draw. Your moves should be active, not passive. If your strategy is only to defend yourself, you will surely allow your opponent to activate all of their pieces and launch an unstoppable attack. Counter-attacks are much better than passively waiting for your opponent to overlook something. Make it very difficult for your opponent to gain any advantage. Never give up the control or back down from your opponent's move. You should take time to stop, think ahead, strategize, then proceed. Planning for the unexpected may also help you gain ground on the board, giving yourself more moves and opportunities to strike back. Ultimately, your opponent should be reacting to your strategy, not vice-versa. Step 4: Live in the Future. Foreseeing advantageous attacks later on in the game is difficult, even for the strongest players. Knowing that a strong attack could very well end the game, you should make the decision to sacrifice a couple of weaker pieces for the upper hand later on. But before you make that type of sacrifice, think about whether or not it will place you in a better position later on in the game. Calculate the outcome at least three times before you make the decision to sacrifice a piece. A miscalculation can cost you the game, the chance at a tournament, or a championship, so pay close attention. Deeper calculations are a vital part of the game on the master's level, so plan a very tactical strategy. For more information on great chess strategies, NYChessKids offers an interactive learning atmosphere for playing chess in NYC. Kids are encouraged to advance to new skill levels and also utilize the Learning Center and online chess resources to enhance their performance.