Stealthy Pieces

Spike_Mason
Spike_Mason
Oct 7, 2007, 12:00 AM |
7 | Strategy

    In many of the games of chess that I have played, the ones where the opponent cannot see your true intentions are among the best and most satisfying. I remember playing one game against a fairly equal opponent. My queen was hiding on c7 (I was playing black) and had a clear diagonal shot at the h2 pawn. At the time, my knight on g4 was also attacking that pawn (that much was obvious,) but the pawn was defended by a white knight on f3. The beauty of the thing was that my opponent did not see my queen hiding in that corner, especially since there were so many pawns around her that it was like trying to see a spy in the woods. Finally the time came when he decided to move that knight to set himself up to checkmate me in the next move. The second that knight was out of the way, I shot my queen clear across the diagonal and checkmated him. He had no idea what hit him.

    The art of stealth is a very useful thing in chess if you can take advantage of it. The most stealthy pieces in the game, at least in my opinion, are the bishops and the knights. In rare cases, the queen can be tricky, but your opponent will tend to see her, especially on an actual chessboard. Keep in mind that diagonals on the board do not always impede each other. In many cases where your opponent has an echelon of pawns, it is easy to slip through the cracks to the other side. I recently took advantage of that method in one of my games. Be careful when you set up your pawns to defend each other. For one thing, it leaves wide open spaces for diagonally traveling pieces, and from what I have seen, it tends to weaken the structure quite a bit.

    Remember also that knights can jump. It does not matter what may lie in their paths. When used effectively, knights can intrude on enemy territory and tear it apart from the inside. Also, it is often difficult to tell when a knight might fork two pieces, which is another commonly used strategy. When playing a game of chess, remember where every bishop and knight is on the board. If you are not aware, it is going to sting when the snake finally strikes. Also pay attention to parts of the board where there are a bunch of pieces clumped together. Clusters like that are perfect places to set up an ambush, so you want to be ready. 


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