Chess Strategy 101:
7 Basic Principles for Improving Your Chess Game
While everyone has their own style when it comes to the game of chess. There are a basic set of principles most chess players agree upon. While these do not always have to be followed, they generally help improve someone’s chess game.
For those just learning how to play chess or improve their chess game, some of these chess principles, or perhaps all, will help improve your game. For those brand new to chess, be sure to check out some of these articles as well:
Basic Chess Principles & Chess Strategies
1. Control The Center
It’s said whoever controls the center of the chessboard controls the game. While there are always exceptions to this, this is generally the case in a standard game of chess. Focus on moving your pawns and knights near the center of the board.
2. Keep Your Chess Pieces Protected
Make sure not to leave your chess pieces open for capture without another one of your pieces backing it up. This means if your opponent captures one of your chess pieces, you will capture that opponent’s piece in the next move.
3. Every Move Should Have a Purpose
Don’t just move a chess piece to move it. Move each piece with the intention of either protecting a chess piece of your own, capturing an opponent’s chess piece, or capturing the King.
4. Don’t Rush/Check the Board
There will be times when an opponent will set you up to capture one of their chess pieces, only to open up the board and capture a higher value piece of yours on the next turn. Be sure to check the following result’s of your moves before making them.
As you can see below, while it may be tempting to take the bishop with the pawn, this would allow your opponent to capture your queen without being captured in return.
5. Capture Your Opponent’s Unprotected Pieces
This ties into keeping your own pieces protected. Anytime you have the opportunity to capture an opponent’s piece, even a pawn, without one of your own being captured, make sure you do it. These capture’s tend to make the difference in the game when it’s nearing the end.
6. Don’t Underestimate Your Pawns (Or Your Opponent’s)
For those just gaining experience in chess, it’s easy to assume the pawns have little value. For those more experienced, pawns play a critical aspect in the strategy of chess. Whether it’s protecting one of your own chess pieces, assisting in the capture of your opponent’s chess pieces, becoming a queen by reaching the opposite end of the chessboard, or even helping to checkmate the king, the pawns can make all the difference in the game of chess.
Click here to see a video of checkmating a King with 2 bishops and a pawn. You’ll notice in the video it is because of the pawn checkmate was possible.
Don’t underestimate the power for pawns. They could very well end up being the difference at the end of the game.
7. Keep the Focus in Mind: Capture the King
Remember, the point of the game is to capture the king. This means you could capture nearly every one of your opponent’s pieces and still lose the game. For those just beginning, focus on just learning the basic’s.
For those who have more experience, it’s not always necessary to capture every piece. After all, the game can be won in 2 moves without capturing a single of your opponent’s pieces.
You can watch below a video of a fairly poorly played chess match by light player, but despite this, light still managed to checkmate the King and win.
7 Basic Principles for Improving Your Chess Game Recap
Follow these 7 principles and you will notice a dramatic improvement in your chess game. Remember
- Control The Center
- Keep Your Chess Pieces Protected
- Every Move Should Have A Purpose
- Don’t Rush/ Check The Board
- Capture Your Opponent’s Unprotected Pieces
- Don’t Underestimate Your Pawn’s (Or Your Opponent’s)
- Keep The Focus In Mind: Capture The King