Chess Strategy Lesson – Sacrificing Your Chess Pieces
I just played a game on chess.com that had a few valuable chess lessons. One of which involves doing something many chess beginners would never dare: sacrificing your own chess pieces to achieve checkmate.
As covered in the video below, there are a few lessons here, and we’ll break them down. If you prefer to watch the video, just scroll down and click play.
52 Seconds: The Trapped Rook
My opponent’s bishop moves in position to capture my rook, which I do not see. As it would turn out later in the game, this move would actually help me achieve checkmate. This results in 2 valuable lessons:
- Make sure to not allow bishops to capture your cornered rooks.
- Even if you make a mistake, turn a broken egg into an omelet.
4:40 Seconds: Capitalizing On Your Opponent’s Mistakes
After some back and forth between my opponent and I, moving our high ranking pieces throughout the chessboard, it was only a matter of time before one of us slipped and made a mistake. In this match, it was my opponent, mistakenly allowing for his knight to be open to capture. I capitalize on this, and it became the turning point in the chess match.
5:25 Focusing On Checkmate, Not Capturing Pieces
As covered in the video, at this point, checkmate is a simple possibility, so long as I can move my queen into position. What’s important to takeaway is while some beginner chess players will focus on capturing more of their opponent’s pieces, when checkmate is possible, it’s best to focus on checkmate, rather than capturing your opponent’s chess pieces.
5:45 Sacrificing My Own Chess Pieces
I sacrifice my knight and bishop in order to be in a position to checkmate my opponent. Being able to strategically sacrifice chess pieces will come with time, as it can be very easy to miscalculate this and just end up losing your chess pieces for no reason. In this scenario however, it works out for the best, and results in allowing me to checkmate my opponent with my queen.
Chess Match Lesson Recap:
- Protect Your Rooks – While it turned out to work out that this happened, as my bishop positioned in the corner allowed to have my opponent’s queen move, it does not always work out this way.
- Keep Your Pieces Protected/Capture Unprotected Pieces – The big advantage came when my opponent and I were moving our pieces around, until finally, my opponent’s knight was in a position to be captured. As covered in how to play chess, most chess matches are usually determined by just 1 or 2 mistakes like this. Be sure to look out for them, and be sure not to be making them yourself.
- Focus on Checkmate – By focusing on checkmate, instead of being concerned with protecting my knight, I instead was able to sacrifice the knight (and bishop) and instead win the game. Remember, as covered in chess strategy 101, the end goal is checkmate, not capturing chess pieces.