# Knowing Your Board is Like Knowing How to Breathe Part 1

One of the most difficult, yet vital, tasks of becoming an experienced player in the game of chess is learning how to read the chessboard.

While the board itself is a simple composition of squares within a one large square with checkered colors to distinguish one square from another, knowing the mathematics and strategies of the chessboard is a learned skill within itself.

Mastering this one talent in chess can make or break you while playing. Creative thoughts are not enough when your opponent has an entire battle and "battlefield" operating in his brain.

### Chess - A "Numbers and Letters" Game

I'm sure you've heard the common saying of salesmen, "It's a numbers game." Although not used in the same way as sales, chess is a "numbers and letters" game. Think of each square as a location of a soldier or potential location for a soldier on a battlefield.

### Sending Forth to Battle

Pretend for a moment that you're the commanding officer of the front lines of a battle, and you must call all the shots. You will try to move your men to locations where they will be most effective. You have the locations in your mind, however, the only way your soldier will know exactly which location is to call out a number and letter that each meet at this particular spot. The locations were studied ahead of time (before going to battle) to develop different strategies. So, your soldier will immediately know where to go at your simple command.

The locations had to be memorized beforehand, and carefully examined to find out which would be the most effective for different situations. It may not seem important, but it could mean life or death. You wouldn't want to send your soldier into the enemy's territory by accident.

### Chess "Battle" Preparation

This is not a very good comparison for the offense in chess because you will be moving your own men to the exact location where you'll need them to be. You won't command your pieces from a distant location to move on their own. So, no need to worry there.

You will, however, use the "numbers and letters" system to create potential strategies in your mind before a game begins through careful examination and study of the chessboard.

Imagine if every move your opponent makes, you have a counteract already in your mind of exactly the spot you need to move to next. Developing this talent will tremendously improve your game while giving you a possible advantage over your opponents.