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Chess - Basics


control center the center, avoid the edge where possible

knight on the rim is dim

control d4 e4,d5 and e5 with pawns

knights must protect the center

You can block your own pieces

castle early and castle often

Safety of king behind pawns…

You can’t castle out of check

Key is to make your pieces active…gradually making position greater.

Understand yout opponent. What seems obvious might be a red herring for other intentions.

Always look at your opponents move

When we are attacked, it’s easy to only think about defensive moves and overlook our own resources


  • Control the center
  • Get your pieces on active squares
  • Get your king to safety by castling

Assisted Checkmates#

Because the king can’t move into check it is often possible to checkmate by placing a queen next to the opponent’s king and having the queen defended by another one of your pieces

Rook roll - Using 2 rooks to checkmate

King cannot move into check

Situation of just the queen and king vs king. 1. Force other king into a corner by staying a knights distance away. 2. But not right into the corner otherwise that creates a stalemate. 3. Bring the king close to protect the queen and use the queen to checkmate

King +rook: 1. put king into a box (rook needs help from the king - as rook can be attacked diagonally) 2. whiteking must protect the rook 3. Can my rook safely shrink the box? Otherwise bring the king closer. There will be a case when you can do neither - so just move the king into a position that protects the rook. 4. when there are only 2 blocks the opposing king can move in - time to checkmate with the rook

Only the queen and rook can partner with a king to checkmate a long king

Value of Pieces#

Queen is the most valuable

Each piece has a value

1: pawn
3: knight, bishop (bishop usually better)
5: rooks
9: queen

know when to trade pieces

Find the cheapest option - capture with your least valuable piece first

when you are ahead in material it is good to trade pieces - when behind it is not so good

  • strategy - long term
  • tactics - short term

Hanging pieces - pieces that can be taken with no consequence. Always ask - is the square I am moving to a safe square>?

Counting captures - Make sure you have more attackers than opponent has defenders or vice versa When there is the same number - the defence usually has the advantage - the defence captures last