Chess is one of the popular games and hobbies worldwide, played by two people against each other.
However, if you have a chess set and yearn to play chess but don’t have a person to play with, you can play chess against yourself.
But you probably wonder if it’s beneficial to play chess solo.
So, Is It Beneficial to Play Chess Against Yourself?
Yes! It can be extremely beneficial to play chess against yourself and even discover the type of player you are. Yes, even strong players do this a lot, with some chess legends, such as Bobby Fischer, regularly honing their chess skills against themselves.
However, you should consider what you do when deciding what move to make when playing against an opponent other than yourself. Scrutinize your next move as best as possible before you proceed.
This means that you will first need to figure out the available possibilities to both players to establish the truth of the position.
In essence, you will be playing some portion of a chess game against yourself, starting from the position you are at.
Nevertheless, you should not just play conventionally; you should contemplate the sidelines and possible drawbacks and ideas that might originate in the course of the game.
With this being a fundamental part of playing the game, analyzing the entire game or positions on your own, exploring your ideas and moves freely while trying to establish the best play is a remarkable way of improving your chess skills.
This way, you will open your mind to more ideas and positions and provide you with the practice of the type of thought process that you continuously require to engage internally during the game.
While you can analyze existing games, whether your own past game or grandmaster games, playing against yourself on the spot serves you better in providing new positions in which you need to think out how to play for every side.
Hence, when playing solo, don’t just simply play sporadic moves until you have a winner on one side.
Instead, always take your time before making a move to do some overall meandering, backtracking, and digging deeper to analyze how and why things can proceed differently.
This way, you will improve your analysis skills in chess, and it can prove beneficial.
Seven Tips On How To Play Chess Against Yourself
To help you hone your skills by playing chess against yourself, here are some tips to follow;
1. Find A Comfortable And Quiet Place To Play
The basics of getting the best out of playing chess against yourself is starting by finding a nice, comfortable, quiet, and convenient place ideal for taking all the time you need to play
. You may also want to leave the chess game and come back later because you should not play in a hurry. By finding a good spot, you can find your game intact when you come back.
Generally, you should look for a quiet area where your chess game will not be disturbed, or you carefully thought out moves lost.
2. Use A Decent Quality Chess Set
While the quality of the chess set you use when playing alone is not vital, it is recommendable to use a chess set with a relative weight to the chess pieces to reduce the possibility of the pieces being knocked out of position.
It will certainly make the entire experience more enjoyable and alleviate the probability that you keep practicing. A quality marble or wooden chess set would most definitely fit your budget.
3. Set Up Your Chessboard
The next thing is setting up your chessboard. You should start by placing the white pieces, as this is normally how your chess game will begin.
You can begin by either setting up the board to simulate the start of the game or putting it up as if you are part way through.
However, the latter should be left until you advance your skills and are looking to practice getting out of certain situations you may encounter during a game.
4. Take Time And Carefully Consider Your Moves
Regardless of the chess set you are using, the key to playing solo chess is developing your game.
When gaming against yourself, you have the advantage of time.
Therefore, take this chance to carefully deliberate on your next move as well as the consequences of doing so.
Going off, standing up, doing other things between the moves, and sitting on the opposite side of the board every time will make you feel like you are playing against another person.
5. Use A Marker For Keeping Your Place
Losing your place on which side should make the next move can ruin your solo chess efforts.
This is very easy to happen when you leave the chessboard for some time because you are playing the game yourself.
Regardless of the marker you use to mark your place, ensure you can conveniently remember the side of your next move.
However, most solo chess players use a coin or bottle cap to mark the side that made the last move.
6. Avoid Replicating Your Moves
One of the things that can result in a stalemate when playing against yourself is mirroring or copying your own moves.
Although you are making moves on both sides, you should think like two separate opponents for the game to be worthwhile.
Therefore, you should have a different strategy for the black pieces and white pieces.
Copying often occurs when you rush and don’t take your time to analyze your openings, which will make you end up not getting a lot out of playing chess solo.
7. Maintain An Open Mind About Who Will Win
When playing chess solo, bias can be a significant issue.
This is because you might have predetermined ideas about the side that will win depending on where every chess set piece is located on the board.
Being biased against one side might affect the amount of time you will spend deliberating on the losing side moves.
Therefore, it is best to avoid it to help you get all the benefits of playing chess against yourself.
Wherever possible, you should maintain the thought that you are playing an opponent on each side and maintain the intensity throughout regardless of which side you think is winning.
Five Benefits Of Playing Chess Against Yourself
Whether a beginner or already a master in chess, there are several benefits of playing chess yourself.
- It helps you in thinking outside the box. You will need to develop a strategy to beat yourself, which might be tricky if you know all your moves.
- It allows you to test out new strategies in a hypothetical situation.
- It helps to expand your imagination.
- You don’t to seek out an opponent to play against.
- It improves your cognitive, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills fantastically.
Generally, playing chess against yourself can be useful in helping you develop your game, and it is especially useful when your opponent is relatively thin on the ground.
By following the tips reviewed above, you can get the best out of solo chess.
Pick up a chessboard, play several games against yourself, and you will be surprised by the outcome!