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Beginner Chess Strategies

In this post I will take you through basic chess strategies, assuming you are a beginner who already know names of all the chess pieces and how they move. If you do not know or you want to remind you self, check my previous post about chess pieces names and moves

If you are looking for beginner chess strategies, you are in the right place, I will provide you with very simple and easy strategies. In my previous post I explained how every piece starts in the board and the picture above shows how the pieces looks like at start of the game. In every game, player white pieces (light colored) is the one who starts the game.

Piece Value

Before we go any further, it is important to understand the value of every piece in the chess board, because if you don’t know then you will play carelessly, giving away important pieces which leads to losing the game. This will help you to know the importance of protecting you pieces from being captured by opponent. Below is the value of each chess piece starting with the least valuable to the most valuable

  • Pawn chess pieces are the least valuable with a value of 1 point
  • Knights and bishops have same value of 3
  • A rook have a value of 5
  • Queen is most valuable with a value 9
  • The king is infinitely valuable

Even though they do not have same value, each piece is valuable and it is important to avoid giving away pieces easily, especially at the beginning stages of the game. Knowing the value of pieces also helps you to make good decisions in the game.

Board Control

Best strategy of the game is to gain the control of the center of the board. You do this by making good opening moves, which are done by pawn pieces, that is you start by playing either e-pawn or d-pawn two squares to the center and at the same time opening pathways for pieces at the back.

At the center of the board there are 4 squares (e4, d4, e5, d5), this are the squares that defines the center of the board. When you pieces are located at the center they have more room to move on the board which makes it harder for the opponent. It is important ensure that you do not move lot of pawn pieces at early stages as it can weaken you pieces, develop you pieces wisely

Develop Your Pieces Effectively

Developing you pieces is another way of gaining control of the board, not developing you pieces quickly is a big mistake as it will allow you opponent to gain control of the board, not developing you pieces is like inviting attack to you pieces. It is important to develop you pieces quickly and effectively in the opening stages of the game as this will help you gain control of the board.

A good chess strategy is to avoid playing same piece multiple times in the opening stages of the game as this will delay developing you pieces and invite threat to you pieces because it gives opponent enough time to develop their pieces. Play each piece one time to its best square, developing them quickly and effectively making sure they make threat at the same time which will limit options for you opponent.

Developing pieces effectively means your pieces should make a threat and also they should be protecting each other, which will make them not to be attacked.

Protect The King

The King is the most valuable chess piece in the board, the whole idea of the game is to trap the king. When the king is trapped and cannot move anywhere the games is over, this is called checkmate. Good chess strategy is to keep you King safe, which is done by a special move called castling. Castling gets you king from the center to the corner of the board, behind the pawns, this makes it not easy to be attacked.

Castling does not only safeguard the King but it also brings you rook into play as it develops on of the rooks. The rooks are usually difficult to be developed into the game due to the horizontal and vertical movement, so by protecting the King with castling you also bring the rooks to the center.

Avoid Moving Queen Too Early

Most beginners like to play the “fools mate” strategy which releases queen early in the game, trying to make mating threats on square f7 or f7. This is not a very good strategy works and it only if you are playing against a total chess beginner. Always avoid this strategy because it can lead to you queen been trapped and captured early in the game or making you to playing one piece multiple times trying to track back, which also delays development of you pieces.

The queen is the most powerful piece in the game, if you lose it early in the game you may find it hard to win as the opponent will be having an advantage over you. Nevertheless, losing it early doesn’t mean it is the end of the game, you still can win without it or you can work on promoting you pawn pieces to get it back.

Pawn Promotion

Always think twice before moving the pawns, because the cannot move back. But do not worry a pawn moving until it reaches the other end of the board because it will “boost” you peaces. When a pawn reach the last row it is promoted into another piece: queen, rook, knight or bishop.

Promotion is a strategy, a rule of chess as well as one of the special moves alongside castling and en passant. Most often pawn is promoted into a queen because it is the strongest and this is called queening, but some players may promote any other piece based on the game plan or tactics, especially when a player wants to avoid a draw. The promotion to any other piece other than queen is referred to as underpromotion.

The choice of the piece to be promoted is not limited to previously captured piece, this means you can still promote to a queen even when you have queen in the board, in this case you will have two queens. If you have you queen in the board ad you want to promote to another queen, an upside-down rook is often used to represent another queen. Always analyze the situation well before you decide to have two queens in the board because the can result in a draw (stalemate).

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6 Comments

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