Chess Strategy: The basic rules of deployment – Part 2

Filed under Beginner Chess Tips, Chess Basics, Chess lessons, Chess Strategy, Chess Tutorials
Tagged as

continued from Chess Strategy Guide Part 1

In this second part of a two-part series, we consider the minor pieces and pawns.

Piece Opening Middle-Game End-Game
Bishop * Develop early
* Try not to block your pawns
* Preferred squares:
d2, e3, f4 or b2 (fianchetto) for QB
e2, d3, c4 or g2 (fianchetto) for KB
g5 for QB and b5 for KB (only if pinning enemy Knight, but use caution)
* Each Bishop can cover only half the squares, so they work best as a pair
* They also work best from a distance and on relatively open board
* Try to occupy long open diagonals
* Avoid obstructing them with your own pawns
* They are very effective in creating pins, particularly on Knights
* They can be used effectively for sacrificial attacks to break open enemy castle
* In Bishop and Pawn endings, if you and your opponent hold bishops of opposite color, draw is the most likely result even with a difference of one or two pawns
* With disadvantageous pawn position, try to retain opposite colored bishop
* With better pawn position, retain bishop of same color
* Bishop of same color as the queening square for your pawn is a great advantage
* Try to keep your pawns such that your Bishop movement is not obstructed
* Bishops work better than Knight if you have pawn groups on both sides of the board
Knight * Develop early
* Preferred squares:
c3 and f3 are best
d2 and e2 can do provided Bishops are not locked
* Edge of board are normally bad positions for Knight
* They are most effective in crowded positions
* They are good defensive pieces for your castle
* They are deadly in creating fork on major enemy pieces as they remain out of sight of those pieces
* They can also be used for sacrificial attack to open up enemy positions
When used in conjunction, they work best operating from opposite colored squares
* Knights are slow-moving and hence become inferior to Bishop
* They are better only when pawns are grouped at one side of the board
Pawn * Think carefully before pushing any pawn (they cannot backtrack!)
* Try to stick to d,e, c and f pawns (to rank 3 or 4) except f3 (exposes King and takes away the best square for KN)
* b2 and g2 only if you prefer fianchettoed Bishop
* They are battering rams creating space for your pieces to move in
* They are very effective when supported by pieces in both attack and defense
* Try for strong formations and avoid weak ones
Each pawn is a potential Queen, so a pawn majority becomes very strong feature when other pieces are exchanged
* Analyze pawn positions to plan end-game strategy
* They are the prime factors in this phase
* Rook pawn is most difficult to promote, so exchange pawns with this in mind
* With only Kings on board, pawns at two sides are more advantageous compared to pawns grouped in the middle
* Plan pawn exchanges depending on your minor pieces (Bishop or Knight) in line with what was said for Bishop and Knight
* Since two knights or a single Bishop cannot deliver mate, keep the possibility of sacrifice of such pieces by both sides to remove pawns
* When moving pawns, consider the one farthest from enemy King
* Keep in mind that a pawn sacrifice to push enemy King outside ‘the Square’ for a distant pawn will help its promotion