Chess Playing Guide

| 18 | For Beginners

Coach Leopold’s Chess Playing Guide


Opening Play:


3 Goals

1.      Develop Pieces

2.      Castle your King

3.      Control the Centre



1.      Move only 2-3 pawns in the opening

2.      Touch every piece (not pawns), once before touching one piece twice. Remember, if you touch a piece, you have to move it.

3.      Knights before Bishops; Knights and Bishops before the Queen and Rooks

4.      Don't hang pieces; Make sure your pieces are protected. Don't give away pieces for free, If you’re going to loose a piece then get SOMETHING for it.



Middle Game Play:


Use the Action Moves:

1.      Checks: A). Can your King be checked and can you protect it? B). Can you check your opponent's king?

2.      Captures: Can you capture any of your opponent's pieces?

3.      Piece Attacks: Can you attack any of your opponent's pieces?

4.      Mate Threats: Can you threaten mate in 1?

5.      If none of the above, then you need to improve the position of your pieces.


Remember to Look for Tactics:

1.      Pins

2.      Skewers

3.      Forks

4.      Double Attacks

5.      Discover Attacks/Discover Checks

6.      Overloaded Piece

7.      Removal of the Guard/Defender

8.      Decoys

9.      Deflection

10.  Double Checks

Keep in mind that almost all combinations start with a double attack


End Game Play:


1.      Take your time

2.      If winning, trade pieces

3.      If losing, trade pawns


3 Ways to Get Out of Check


1.      Capture the piece attacking your king

2.      Block the check by placing a piece between the attacking piece and your king.

3.      Move the king, (RUN AWAY!)


Know your Mate Patterns:


1.      Fool's Mate

2.      Scholar's Mate

3.      Legal's Mate

4.      Anastasia's Mate

5.      Boden's Mate

6.      Arabian Mate

7.      Morphy's Mate

8.      Pillsbury’s Mate

9.      Blackburn’s Mate

10.  Greco's Mate

11.  Back Rank or Corridor Mate

12.  Smothered Mate

13.  Epaulet Mate

14.  Mate with the Heavy Pieces

15.  Mate with the Minor Pieces

16.  Mate with pawns.


Know All King + pawn vs King Positions


Practice King + Rook vs King + pawn




Practical Play:

1.      Play slowly, but manage your time.

2.      Develop your pieces to their best squares: Remember Tactics flow from a superior position!

3.      Use the Action Moves to find good moves and create plans of attack in the middle game.

4.      Don't expect your opponent will play badly, but look for their mistakes! Believe me, they will make a mistake. It’s up to you to figure out how to capitalize on it.

5.      When in doubt, play simple moves and don't try to play complicated positions, its way too easy to make a mistake in a complicated position.

6.      Don't be afraid of your opponent, no matter his/her rating. If they are playing you then you both have the same score.


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