Chess is a very old game
which involves strategy.
Because of that, tactics and openings have
been developed for optimal benefit from all the pieces.
I will show you some of the tactics and
moves to look for during the game. Also, I'm going to teach you some tips for a good
opening. Finally, I will teach you how to value your pieces and chess notation.
I was the 2nd place winner in the
Qatari Open Chess Tournament '92
- I. Development
- At the beginning of the game, all of your powerful pieces
are trapped behind a wall of
- pawns. To attack your opponent, you need to get your pieces
out from behind your
- pawns. You want to get your pieces developed onto good
squares in as few moves as
- possible. In the diagram, the player with the white pieces
has developed his knights
- and bishops and is ready to castle. Black, on the other
hand, has neglected
- development. His pieces are blocked in by pawns. It will be
several moves before he
- can castle or begin an attack.
II. The Center
- The second principle of good opening strategy is control of
the center. Because
- pieces posted in the center of the board can attack deep
into enemy territory, the
- player who owns the center can claim a big advantage. The
easiest way to control
- the center is to occupy the center with pawns. In the
diagram below, white's first
- two moves take control of the center, while blacks two moves
ignore the center.
- These center pawns will be a big advantage for white.
III. Move each piece once
- A mistake many beginners make is to try to attack with only
one or two pieces. These
- attacks almost always fail. You must use your whole army to
attack. A good rule to
- remember is: Move each piece once before you move any
piece twice. In the diagram
- below, white has just moved his knight to attack. Black will
not ignore this attack. He
- will castle, and the weak pawn will be protected twice.
White has wasted a move
- forcing black to do something he wanted to do anyway. Soon
black will force the
- knight to retreat wasting another move.
IV. Castle early
- When both players are using their pawns to fight for the
center, some of these pawns
- are certain to be exchanged. This means that there will be
open columns in the center
- of the board. You must get your king out of these central
columns and get your rooks
- into them. The best way to do this is by castling. If you
fail to castle early, you may
- be the victim of an early checkmate.
V. Don't Make Early Queen Moves
- The queen is the most powerful piece on the board, but it is
also the most vulnerable.
- When a less powerful piece attacks the queen, she must
retreat. If you bring your
- queen out too early, your opponent will attack it while
developing his own pieces. In
- the diagram below, black has just moved his queen to attack.
White will develop his
- knight and black will have to retreat the queen. White is
bringing out more pieces and
- black is wasting time.
I. The knight fork
- A fork is when one piece attacks two enemy pieces at the
same time. In the diagram
- below, the white knight forks the black king and queen. The
king must move out of
- check and white takes the queen.
II. The pin
- A pin is where a piece that moves in a straight line stops
an enemy piece from moving
- because of what is behind it. Here is an example. The white
bishop pins the black
- knight to the black king. The knight cannot move because
that would put the king in
- check. If it is white's turn to play, he can win the knight
by pushing the pawn one step
III. The skewer
- A skewer is when a piece that moves in a straight line
forces an enemy piece to
- move, winning what was behind it. In the diagram below, the
white rook checks the
- black king. After the king moves, the rook wins the black
IV. Double Check
- A double check occurs when both the moving piece and the
uncovered piece attack
- the enemy king. There is only one way out of a double check,
you must move your
- king because you cannot block or capture both of the enemy
pieces. If the white
- knight in the diagram below makes a check the result is
The Value of Each Piece
- Each of the game pieces has a value. In other words, each is
worth a number of
- points. This points system will help you assist your
situation. The order of the pieces
- is as follows:
- Queen: 9 points
- Rook: 4.5 points
- Bishop: 3.25 points
- Knight: 3 points
- Pawn: 1 point
- Let's say that you have a Queen and two Pawns. This would
add up to 11 points.
- Let's say that your opponent has two Rooks and a Knight
which would add up to 12
- points. Now, you can see that your opponent has the
advantage over you.
- There is a symbol for each piece except pawns. K for king, Q
for queen, R for rook, B
- for bishop, and N for knight. When you write d4, it means
that the pawn moved to that
- square, marked below. When you write Ne5, it means that the
knight moved to that
- square, marked below, and so on.
Practice makes perfect, and I'm going to help you by
posting positions for you to solve. I will leave each position a week before I post the
solution. Submit your solution to me and I will
post the name of the first one to solve it in this page.
Last Week Position :
- Winner: Brendan Cummings
- 1. Qh3 Kg8 2. Qh7 Kf8 3. Qg7
This Week Position : White to move and win in three moves.
- Finally, chess masters know at a glance if a position is likely to yield a
combination, or if a more strategic approach is better. How do they know? When
masters see two or more of the following items in the enemy position, they know to look
for a combination.
- exposed king
- unprotected (or underprotected) pieces
- trapped pieces
- pieces on same row, column or diagonal
(c) 1998 Jassim Alhor.
All Rights Reserved.