Beginners often are overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of “helpful” pointers, tips, tricks, lessons, and the like which they will find in chess books, computer programs, and on the Internet. In order to help you formulate a framework for learning chess and improving your chess playing skills at various levels, here is my suggested framework from very basic to more advanced. The listed order only is reflective of my own relative importance. However, I should like to note the last one listed is a very important one and should be worked on throughout learning, studying, and playing chess.
Laws and Rules (formal rules of chess)
How is the chess board setup?
What is meant by material/value of pieces and pawn?
How do pieces move and pawns advance?
-The Castle Move or Castling
Checking and Checkmating-Basics
Basic Principles and Guidelines
Positional Superiority and Inferiority
Combinations-Practical Visualization Training and Development
of Framework for Understanding
Open and Closed Games-Basics Considerations
Tactics and Puzzle/Problem Solving
Concentration on Strategies:
-Defensive Structures and Positions
-Endgames (complex positions and considerations)
Time Management, Use of Time Clocks
Analysis and Evaluation Skills
Physical Conditioning/Sleep/Nutrition/Health Aspects
Each player will come to understand that learning chess and improving chess playing skills chess need to be at his or her own speed in their own unqiue way. It is best to develop a framework for yourself which is suited to your learning capabilities. Do not rush and try to overdo things. It is very tempting to say for example, “Wow, that player must be dumb because I can capture his or her Queen!” Yet, many a beginner and even more advanced players who are not playing close enough attention learn the sad reality that sometimes leaving major pieces open to being captured, or breaking down a pawn or defensive structure, often are simply setting (or already have set!) a trap or mating net.