Chess is often called the “game of kings.” This ancient strategy game has been enjoyed for centuries by people of all ages and backgrounds. Many take up chess as beginners, learning the basic movements of the pieces and the fundamentals of capturing opponents’ pieces, achieving checkmate, and avoiding stalemate. But after the basics, where do you go from there? This is where an intermediate chess course can be immensely helpful for taking your skills to the next level.

  • Improving Tactical Skills

An intermediate-chess course focuses heavily on tactics. Tactics involve short-sequence moves that allow you to gain an advantage or achieve concrete goals like capturing pieces or delivering checkmate. Common tactical motifs covered in an intermediate chess course include pins, skewers, removal of the guard, decoys, overloading, double attacks, discovered attacks, fork tricks, x-ray attacks, windmill attacks, and more. An instructor will use chess problems and puzzles to train your eye to spot tactical opportunities and show you how to calculate variations properly so you can execute the right sequences over the board. Mastering tactics is critical before moving on to more advanced strategy and positioning play. 

  • Expanding and Opening Knowledge

As a beginner, you likely focused mostly on the basic opening principles—controlling the center, developing pieces, and casting early. In an intermediate chess course, you’ll substantially expand your knowledge of several main chess openings. Certain openings like the Ruy Lopez, Italian Game, Sicilian Defense, French Defense, Caro-Kann Defense, Pirc Defense, Queen’s Gambit Declined, Slav Defense, and English Opening are chess “must-knows” that any intermediate player should have experience with. An instructor will break down the goals, key positions, main variations, and ideas behind all the major openings so you understand the good setups to aim for and typical middlegame plans associated with different opening structures. This will give you more confidence in the opening phase. 

  • Improving Positional Play

While tactical opportunities frequently arise in chess games, much of the play at club level and above revolves around planning and maneuvering for long-term positional advantages. An intermediate chess course places great emphasis on teaching positional play concepts like pawn structures, weak squares, space advantage, control of open files and diagonals, imbalance versus equality of bishop vs. knight, activity of pieces, prophylaxis, and transformation of advantages into winning endgames. Lessons will enrich your understanding of positional play so you can steer games into favorable middlegame structures you will know how to maximize. Your calculation ability, one of the hallmarks of tactical skill, will also improve with the pattern recognition developed through deep positional training.


Progressing past the basics in chess requires reinforcing core concepts around tactical motifs, opening systems, positional play rules, fundamental endgames, and tournament skills—the foundations covered in an Intermediate Chess Classes curriculum. Such formal interactive chess instruction indelibly sharpens calculation ability, pattern recognition, technical precision, and the well-rounded knowledge required to advance towards expert level. Just as importantly, an intermediate chess course fuels inspiration to keep progressing on your long-term chess improvement journey. If you feel you’ve reached those initial milestones as a beginner, consider seeking out an intermediate chess course in your local area or an online offering. The instructors, structure, and community will all greatly aid your continued development in the royal game.

Related Post