Rules Of Thumb

Rules Of Thumb

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While cleaning out excess papers the other day, I ran accross this list. I do not know the source, but it all seems very good advice. It is worth further study to me, thus I feel it is worth passing on.

  1. Use the center pawns to gain space in the opening.
  2. Invade only with support.
  3. Do not lock in bishops.
  4. Exchange relieve cramped positions.
  5. Control the center of the board.
  6. Counter a wing attack with a center attack.
  7. After you control a square in enemy territory, occupy it with a knight.
  8. When ahead in material, force exchanges.
  9. Secure your King early.
  10. Try to keep your pawn structure intact.
  11. Try to keep pawns mobile or in duos.
  12. If a pawn becomes locked, to to use others to pry it free.
  13. Create passed pawns, especially protected passed pawns.
  14. Push passed pawns.
  15. Attack backwards pawns with heavy pieces.
  16. try to provoke a hanging pawn into advance then blockade.
  17. Avoid stacking your pawns, and try to force your opponent to stack his pawns.
  18. Try to exchange your stacked pawns.
  19. Attack pawn chains at their base.
  20. Look for pins, forks and skewers.
  21. Avoid the "good knight, bad bishop" end game by checking pawn structure.
  22. Do not move an already developed piece unless all pieces are developed, or you have good reason.
  23. If you have more pawns, exchange pieces, not pawns.
  24. If you have fewer pawns, exchange pawns, not pieces.
  25. When capturing with pawns, try to push your pawns to the center.
  26. Protect your pawns.
  27. Don't bring your queen out early.
  28. Use your king for end-game play.
  29. In pawn endings, put your king in front of, or beside your pawns.
  30. If your opponent has a bishop, keep you pawn chains on its color. If you have a bishop, keep your pawns on its opposite color, regardless of what your opponent has.
  31. In end game play, use your King to control the movement of your opponent's King.
  32. When facing a king and pawn after you have lost your material, try to keep your king in fron of your opponent's king. You may be able to force a stalemate.
  33. When your pawn and king are facing only an opponent's king, lead with your king and move the pawn only when necessary for its safety.
  34. Push pawns that are not obstructed by other pawns.
  35. Capture hanging pieces.
  36. Create hanging pieces by taking advantage of overburdened pieces.
  37. The one who captures last gets the most active piece.
  38. Don't start a wing attack if the control of center is in question.