Mastering chess takes a lot of training, experience, and dedication to learning. The reason why grandmasters are grandmasters is that they incorporate chess into their daily schedules. The same goes for any game or sport, the more practice equals the better skill.
Your first line of instinct is to learn the moves. Each chess piece has a distinct pattern of movement. A pawn can only move straight ahead, but can attack at an angle. A knight moves in an L-shaped pattern, making it one of the most strategic pieces. The queen is the dominant force in the game, able to move anywhere and attacking from every position.
Whether you open with a pawn or throw a knight out in front, understand your pieces as you figure out your opponent. Your path to victory starts with being knowledgeable about the game as well as being decisive at the right moments.