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The Top Five Chess Strategies for Beginners

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Many people feel intimidated by the game of chess. They feel that it is a game for intellectuals; however, chess is one of the fairest games out there. There is no dice used to leave the game up to “chance,” and there is no referee involved to possibly “throw” the game. Yes, chess is a thinKing person’s game, but you do not need to have a Calculus degree to master chess. You are the one that calls the shots of your chess pieces. You are the one that can learn various approaches and tactics. The chess game itself is very easy to learn, and could possibly take a lifetime to master with all of the different strategy books available. As a beginning chess player, follow these five simple strategy steps. These steps will provide you with techniques to help the player win the game.

  • 1.Slow down your moves by thinKing things through. Often times, beginners are in such a hurry during their turn, they often overlook better vantage points. Also they can overlook obvious mistakes and could quite possibly lose the piece that they just moved.


  • 2.Castle your King wherever possible. When you ‘castle’ your King, the unmoved King will either move two places to the right or move two places to the left. Immediately following the King’s move, the unmoved Rook closest to the moved King will then “jump” over the King and will land on the immediate open space next to the King. When you castle your King, you must make sure that there are no pieces, either yours or your opponents, on any square between your King and your Rook. Also, once the King has moved, that piece can no longer castle the rest of the game. That is why you are only allowed one time during the chess game to castle the King.


  • 3.Plan your strategy and tactics by at least three moves in advance. Doing so will open up more strategies for you in the long run. By planning ahead during the chess match, this tactic will also help you anticipate your opponent’s next sequential moves and will then possible lead you to a decisive victory.


  • 4.Do not attack your opponent prematurely. Doing so may have you losing a few key pieces you will need later on in the game. Always think before you act; weigh out all of your options that are available to you. By avoiding these types of attacks, time will be on your side for the overall long term strategy of the chess game.


  • 5.Never sacrifice a piece worth more than one of your lower pieces. Many times beginners will think it is natural to sacrifice a Queen for a Knight. Will that sacrifice of a higher piece really give the upper hand in the chess match?

These top five beginning chess strategies and tactics should be taken as sound advice to build your chess game on. There are plenty of other more advanced tactics available, but for the beginning chess player, these five are the most beneficial for them.

How To Avoid Premature Attacks In Chess

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You are new to the game chess, and you have been taught that the game is about attacking your opponent any chance you get. You forget that it is a tricky game and you need to analyze every move. You go ahead and act hastily and in a few rounds your opponent corners your queen or you hear checkmate and wander what happened. The act of seeing a small opening and rushing for it before thinking the move through, is a premature attack.

A chess beginner believes that it is better to have many small wins that one big one. They do not look at the game from a bird’s eye view and as a result lose. He/ she will leap for any available chance to get rid of the opponents’ piece without thinking of the next move or if he/she will lose a valuable piece like queen. Jumping at every chance without careful thought will distract you from the overall aim of the game. You will find yourself playing something like draft instead of chess.

Other beginners think that it is possible to capture the queen in the early stages of the game. Therefore all his/ her moves will center on capturing the queen forgetting that the opponent is watching him/ her and will attack and kill right after that hasty move. Therefore if you are a beginner to avoid this premature attack from happening keep a few things in mind.

Since chess is a tricky game, you will need to see the overall picture of the game. This can mean that you leave some good opportunities for better ones in the future. When you see a chance to take out your opponents’ piece, ask yourself what your opponents’ next move will be. This way you can anticipate future attacks on your valuable pieces.

Play chess in your mind by laying out an overall picture of your opponents’ future moves. If you notice that your opponent will be ahead of you by you moving a certain way, then stay put or move another piece. Slow and sure moves can get you far in this game, compared to attacking without thought.

When playing, your main aim should be to advance all your pieces. Concentrate on getting your queen on the opposite side of the board. Only when you feel confident that an attack will be a great move, can you carry on with it. If you opponent knows that you are a beginner, do not give him the benefit of the doubt by expecting you to carry out hasty moves, surprise him by taking it slow and attacking when he / she least expects. An expert in any game has to be analytical in every move to be able to shout out checkmate.

Just because you haven’t played the game before does not mean you have to lose. Keep this beginner tips in mind and avoid premature attacks. Remember your opponent is busy thinking of how to corner you or capture your pieces.
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Tips On How To Play Better Chess

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Playing a good game of chess is gratifying, and winning while playing a worthy opponent makes it even better. There are several methods trainers and coaches have recommended for use to help players become better at their game. The best tip is to play more often and practice on a daily basis. This gives players more experience in the game. Practicing helps exercise your skill and puts your knowledge into a more practical situation, which means you are able to react better in a real game.

Plan to practice for longer periods by playing an hour’s long game. This maximizes your skills in thinking, solving problems, and planning how to use and execute your game within a given time.

Studying is equally important in improving your game. You can opt to have a collection of some of your favorite players. This guides in studying their maneuvers, how they planned their game, and their style of execution and ending the game. This helps you refine your skills by using similar moves in trial games and practice sessions. Games that can be useful to improve your skills include long and blitz games.

Always review your game as a follow up to how you last executed your game plan. This is important in evaluating your progress. Going through your games is helpful in improving on your weaknesses. You get to learn from mistakes made in your previous games which can be avoided in the future.

Quality and meaningful evaluation from a more experienced player is even better as they may get to make better analyses of your game than a personal analysis. Playing computer chess programs is helpful in improving your skills. Having chess coach trainer practice with you regularly helps to build your confidence and give you the support you need along your quest. It doesn’t have to be expensive; some one who plays much better than you and has experience in the game can be helpful. Other resources you can use to get good training and support are online lessons.

Lessons are useful in reviewing and evaluating your skills and should be done constantly for their effect to have a positive impact on your game. Trainers can help design games to work specific areas in your skills as they see fit.

To help you execute your game easily to guarantee you a win, you have to develop your own set of good tactics. This is only possible by practicing constantly and applying your tactics whenever you can during trial games to see how they work. This involves learning how to scheme your opponent’s game, polishing up your intuition and playing up your opponent’s mistakes.

Resources that can be used to improve your tactics include books that give tactical exercises and use of online chess program software; some are available for free. Make a point of constantly learning different and new tactics. Use acquired tactics as often as possible when practicing your game; it builds up your confidence to use them in a real game situation.

Morning shows the day?

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In 1979, in a category IX tournament (average elo rating 2451-2475) held in (the then) Yugoslavia, there were 16 players. There was one player who was 16 year old and did not even have any FIDE rating in a field of 14 Grandmasters (including a former World Champion) and one IM. Reportedly, a mistake on the part of Russian Chess Federation (they thought it was a junior tournament!) enabled him to participate (or were they trying to groom him in an underhand way?)

Whatever may be the truth, that player did not lose a single game  winning 8 and drawing 7 and won the tournament with a lead of 2 points over the player who came second. This was the first Grandmaster norm for the player as he earned a rating of 2595! I read about this in a syndicated column of Michael Stean in a sports magazine of those times and he predicted World Championship for that young player. Garry Kasparov vindicated him by winning the world championship six years later in 1985.

 

How far deep can you analyze?

Unlike what you may think, even players of GM caliber are said to go only about 4-5 moves deep in middle games. With a still crowded board, the sheer number of possibilities go beyond the capability of human brain. In end game it is different as there are not many pieces and only a handful may be active in a position.

With this background, you will definitely find it very interesting to play through the moves of the 1956 game between Bobby Fischer and Donald Byrne (available at many sites). Fischer was a 12 year old kid and was playing with Black pieces. Byrne was 26 year old and had won the US championhip three years earlier. By his 17th move, Fischer offered his queen to White to get two minor pieces in exchange and a good attack! But the point of his queen sacrifice became clear with his 24th move, after which Fischer gained decisive material compensation. A few moves later, it was apparent that White had a losing position and could as well resign. But Byrne played on quite sportingly to allow the kid the satisfaction of delivering a checkmate, which Fischer did on move 41. You will not find Byrne making any serious error but the way Black played between his 17th and 24th moves, we are bound to think that Fischer had seen to a depth of 7 moves!

 

Is this how chess games are won?

If you ever feel miserable after losing a game through your blunder, please don’t and take heart that you may be in a very enviable company! Samuel Reshevsky was a child prodigy, a US champion, a Grandmaster in 1950, a strong contender for world championship and author of several books including “How Chess Games Are Won”! In 1973, he had a game as White against Vladimir Savon who became a GM in 1971 and was never a contender for World Championship. Just take a look at the board position after 39 moves.

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The following set of moves gives White a forced win.

40. g5+ Kxg5   40. … Bxg5 allows 41. Rh8#
 
41. h4+ Kxh4   41. … Kh6 allows 42. Rh8#
42. Qf4#  

 

What does Reshevsky do? He played 40. Qxg6+?? and Black gratefully accepted the queen by 40. … Bxg6. What a way to lose a winning position!

 

Is this how world champions adopt winning strategy?

Take a look at the 1993 game Karpov played as Black against Christiansen. The game went:

1. d4 Nf6  
2. c4 e6  
3. Nf3 b6  
4. a3 Ba6  
5. Qc2 Bb7  
6. Nc3 c5  
7. e4 cxd4  
8. Nxd4 Nc6  
9. Nxc6 Bxc6  
10. Bf4 Nh5  
11. Be3  

 

Position after 11. Be3:

grandmasterly way to gift a piece?

11. Bd6??  
12. Qd1 Resigns  

 

Black cannot avoid losing either the bishop or the knight getting only a pawn in exchange. Karpov must have felt disgusted with himself and resigned forthwith.

How many violations did Karpov make regarding the winning strategies we discussed? Losing tempo by moving same piece twice, retarded pawn development, backward Queens pawn blocked by an unsupported bishop, knight placed on the edge of board, no coordination among pieces …