Second Chess Lesson (8/5)

Aug 5, 2015, 4:36 PM |

1. There are six ways to defend:

  • Run! Move the piece out of the way of the attacker.
  • Take the attacking piece.
  • Block. Move another piece "in front of" the attacking piece.
  • Defend. Bring in another piece to guard the piece being attacked.
  • Pin*. Force the attacking piece to defend or block for another piece.
  • Counterattack. Make a more compelling, powerful threat against another piece. 

2. Six ways to attack:

  • Capture a piece.
  • Check the King.
  • Pin*. See #1.
  • Fork. Attack more than one piece, forcing your opponent to multitask or make a Sophie's Choice.
  • Pawn tactics/tricks. We will go over this at another time.
  • Set-up moves for a future attack. We will go over this at another time.

3. In an ideal world...

  • 1-2 pawn moves to control center
  • Knights before bishops
  • King's side before Queen's side
  • Castle quickly and connect the Rooks

4. *Absolute versus Relative Pins

Absolute pins involve the King, where it is illegal for a player to move the pinned piece away. Relative pins are legal to move out of, but possibly undesireable (for instance, opening your Queen up for capture).


5. Useful mobile apps for learning chess: Shredder Chess ($3.99 on iPhone), Chess Genius ($5.99 on iPhone).

6. Attacking values of the pieces:

  • Queen: 9
  • Rook: 5
  • Bishop: 3.5
  • Knight: 3.25
  • King: 2 (but dangerous to have in play)
  • Pawn: 1

Jeffrey did note that the two bishops have such powerful synergy, on the right board (one with a lot of space to move), the two of them add up to 8, not 7.

He also told me that all else being equal, always use the cheapest piece you can to accomplish something.

7. Homework: do more tactics. Do as many tactics as you can and only stop when you go cross-eyed.

(Bit frustrated at today's lesson. Jeffrey's having me play actual games against a mobile app called Shredder which adjusts itself to your play level... but I've literally never played an actual chess game before, and I don't know what he wants from me. He's telling me to look at all the moves on the board and to pick the best one, but I have no resources for evaluating that. Maybe he's trying to throw me in the deep end to sink or swim, but I've never gone swimming in my life! Does this get easier? I feel like I'm making stabs in the dark right now.)