Chess is a game that requires mental stamina, quick analytical and strategic thinking skills with the clock ticking against you. It is a game that is played all over the world for leisure as well as competitively.
The sixty-four squares on a chessboard represent a world of itself! It is where you have to play your piece wisely so as to arrive at a conclusion where you either leave your opponent’s king with no places to go, or your own king is trapped.
If you are just acquainting yourself with a chessboard, there are some things that you must keep in mind.
Let us show you some tips that will give you an upper hand in the game leaving your opponent with no moves. And when you play a game the next time, you can put these tips into action and see for yourself!
Develop your pieces early in the game:
Developing your pieces means getting them out from their starting squares into the arena where they can be actively involved in the game. The only army you have on a chessboard is your army of pieces.
If you do not get them ready for battle soon, they will serve no purpose from their starting positions. Moreover, if you leave them sitting there, you are giving your opponent all the room on the chessboard to conquer.
So always remember to develop your pieces early in the game so that you can dominate the most.
The power of pawns:
As a beginner, you probably discount the importance of pawns but let us debunk that right here. Your pawn structure could make or break you.
It is important that you get your pawns in a good structure.
A good pawn structure is characterized by the following:
- Most of the pawns support and are connected to each other
- The pawns occupy a central position
- The pawns are almost encroaching the middle where they are causing pressure on your opponent’s pieces and restricting their movement
- There are no holes or weak squares from where the opponent can gain entry.
Gain control over the centre of the board:
The centre is the most important section of the board. It is from where you can manipulate and gain an upper hand over your opponent. It needs to be under your command.
From the centre, your pieces are in a position from where they can access pretty much all the squares of the board (or at least the squares where the majority of the game is centred).
Don’t bring out the queen too early:
For a beginner, it is easy to give in to the pull of taking out your queen too soon. It’s because you just like how freely it can move around. Maybe you just learnt some mating threats on f7 or f2. But that is not going to bode well for you further in the game and your opponent probably knows how to counter the mating threats.
If you get your queen out in the open too soon, your opponent will try every move to capture it and chances are, you will have exposed your queen to many dangers. Even getting your queen back to a safe square invites trouble if your opponent has trapped you.
So, think of your queen as a treasure and only bring it out in the middle game or when the situation demands.
Place your rooks on open columns:
Because of their corner most position, rooks are the hardest pieces to develop. And the fact that they only move horizontally and vertically doesn’t help much either.
So, you want to make sure you open up columns for them soon in the game so that they can get activated. Castling early is one way you can immediately bring one of your rooks closer to the centre.
Always be on the lookout for open columns. Columns that are likely to get open later so that you can place your rooks favourably.
Exchange the bad pieces without delay:
For beginners, it would be difficult to anticipate the utility of a piece before it is too late. You should develop a keen eye to check for bad pieces and exchange them for a piece of equal value at the right time.
A bad piece is any piece that does not have a bright future and is bound to get sacrificed later. So you might as well exchange it for a piece of your opponent lest they gain an upper hand and ultimately defeat you.