3 Ways To Improve Your Pieces

3 Ways To Improve Your Pieces‎

IM hellokostya
10 | For Beginners

When it comes to playing good positional chess, all strong players know the importance of improving the activity of your pieces. As the great Tarrasch once said, "One badly placed piece makes your whole position bad." Here are three tips for improving your pieces during gameplay. 

  • Identify the best possible square for each piece. Rooks and bishops are long-range pieces, which prefer open files and long diagonals. Knights are best when placed in the center, ideally on an outpost. Once you've found the best potential square for each of your pieces, try to see how to get them there in as few moves as possible.
  • Look for weaknesses in your opponent's position. Sometimes a piece may seem well-placed but is actually not doing very much. By looking for your opponent's weak pawns or squares, you can select specific targets for your pieces to attack. Spotting these weaknesses will also help you when it comes to coordinating your pieces.
  • Try to exchange your opponent's best pieces. One way to improve the power of your own pieces is to trade away your opponent's best piece, making your pieces more effective in the position that remains. For example, try to exchange your opponent's best defensive piece, which may be holding their position together. Once that piece is gone, the rest of your army can swoop in to decimate your opponent's camp.

For more detailed examples of improving pieces, check out this article by GM Gregory Serper and this video series by GM Dejan Bojkov

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