Winning Tactics

If you have designs on becoming a chess champion, you’ll have to be realistic enough to realise that it won’t happen overnight. You’ll need to prepare to get your head down and invest lots of time into practising and learning. Here are 6 tips you can use in the early stages of your learning development.

Learn what each piece can and can’t do

Each piece is limited to moving in only one direction. A pawn, for example, moves forwards but has to be on an angle in order to attack and at only one square in a single move. A knight moves in the shape of an L. The bishop also moves at an angle but isn’t restricted to moving one square in one move. The rook is forced to move straight but can move either backwards, forwards, or sideways. The queen is the piece with the most power. It has the ability to move any way and over as many squares as it wishes. It’s only allowed to move in a single direction per move, however. The king can also move in any direction but, like the pawn, at only one square in a single move.

Use a pawn to start with

Position the pawn two squares ahead of the queen or the king. A pawn can only move by two squares on its first move. This opens up avenues for your queen and bishops to make their first move. Should pawns be stood in their way, they’re unable to come into the game, as they can only move on an angle.

Look behind you

And in front of you. When it’s time to make your move, always think back to what your opponent did in his last move. Try to work out his gameplay and if he’s setting traps to take your pieces. Next, it’s time to make a decision on what you plan to do. Look at every single possibility open to you. Consider if there are any moves that you could make that would allow you to threaten to attack your opponent’s king or take his pieces. And always reconsider every move you make before you make it. Ensure that it doesn’t leave any of your pieces unprotected.

Castle early in the game

Castling enables you to introduce your rook while moving your king to a safe position on the board. When each square between your king and your rook are empty, you can take your king and move it two squares in the direction of the rook with the latter moving to the other side of the king. Should your opponent fail to castle, then you could potentially attack his king. Castling is the one move where multiple pieces can be moved during a single turn.

Attack in the middlegame

Once all your bishops and knights are in the game and have been castled, you’re in the middlegame. Here is where you’ll always be looking out for ways to take your opponent’s pieces. Take any of his men that he fails to protect while also ensuring that you assess what will happen to your own piece if you take his.