♜♞♝♚ ♟ CHESS GUIDE ♙ ♕♗♘♖

♜♞♝♚ ♟ CHESS GUIDE ♙ ♕♗♘♖

Oct 21, 2013, 9:09 AM |

Chess is a game of strategy and tactics. Each player commands an army of 16 chessmen:  8 pawns, 1 king, 1 queen, 2 bishops, 2 knights, and 2 rooks.

A well-played chess game has three stages. In the opening, the players bring out their forces in preparation for combat. The middle-game begins as the players maneuver for position and carry out attacks and counter-attacks. The final stage is the end-game when, with fewer pawns and pieces left on the board, it is safer for the kings to come out and join the final battle.

As play proceeds, each player will capture some of the opponent's men; often, the capturing pieces are immediately recaptured. As long as the piece a player gives up is generally equal to the piece he gets in return, we say the players are exchanging. If you unintentionally place a piece where it can be captured without getting a piece of equal value in return, we say that you put that piece en prise. (This is a French term that literally means "in take.") Sometimes a player may place a piece en prise in order to trick an opponent. If the opponent captures the offered man, it may leave him open to attack.


The abbreviations of pieces are as follows. Bishop=B, Knight=N, Queen=Q, Rook=R, King=K and pawns have no letter but can be Pawns=P. If you want to say bishop goes to square b4 you would say Bb4. However if you wanted to say that a pawn goes to b4 you would merely say b4 in your notation. However, if the pawn is taking the bishop then you could say PxB. When one piece takes another piece it is marked with an x. When a pawn takes a piece it is marked with the file of the pawn and the square of the piece. If 2 of the same piece can move to the same square you should put the original square of the piece being moved. Check is marked with a +, and checkmate with a #.

Special Notation

Certain special moves have a special notation attached to them. En Passant is marked with e.p. after the move, a king-side castle is marked 0-0, and queen-side castle 0-0-0, and pawn promotion is = or () with the abbreviation of the piece promoted.

Notation is the record keeping of a chess game through each move. It depends on abbreviations and on the grid system of a chess board.

 Look at the edges of your chess board. You will notice that along one side it reads 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and on the other side a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h with this system squares or entire rows can be specified such as the 1st rank, 2nd rank, 3rd rank, 4th rank, 5th rank, 6th rank, 7th rank, and 8th rank. Files can also be specified; a file, b file, c file, d file, e file, f file, g file, and h file. Squares are referred to by their place in the grid. So if a square is in the e file and on the 4th rank, it is the square e4.

Piece Value

Pieces are usually valued as follows: Pawn=1 point, Bishop=3 points, Knights=3 points, Rooks=5 points, Queens=9 points, and Kings cannot be valued. Note: * A Bishop can be worth 3.5 points, because it can move further than a knight. A knight can be worth 3.25 points due to its ability to "jump" and attack from behind other pieces. And white can be said to have a .5 point advantage for going first.

Use the piece values to your advantage. For example, if an enemy pawn could either take your rook or a knight, move your rook instead of the knight.

 * Point values are only guidelines! In some positions, like in the opening, a bishop or knight is more valuable than a rook. You must assess the positional value of every move, and just because a move loses material doesn't mean you shouldn't consider it.

En Passant

It is common knowledge that on the first move pawns can move 2 spaces forward. En Passant is when your pawn is on the fourth space away from its original square. An opponent's pawn moves 2 spaces forward, next to your pawn. Oh No! Your entire strategy has been upset. That is what you might think, but En Passant allows you to take the opposing pawn next to yours as though it had moved only one square. Your pawn moves to where the opposing pawn would have been if it had moved only one space forward. Be aware that this move is not always useful and may lead to problems, so don't just do it because you know how. As with all moves, you must carefully assess the situation before moving.

Pawn Storms

A pawn storm is useful when you and your opponent have castled to opposite sides of the board. Unless the center is locked or static, a pawn storm will merely weaken your king. Use the pawns parallel to you opponent's king to charge in and weaken the king. Again, as with all moves, don't just charge in. There is no reason to lose 3 or 4 pawns when you could avoid losing even one. Support the storm with your other pieces, make your opponent pay dearly for each piece. Used correctly, a pawn storm is a deadly weapon, however, make sure that you are ahead of your opponent's pawn storm!


Castling is a defensive move where a King may move two spaces to the side and a Rook may hop over the King. To do this, there must be no pieces in between the Rook and the King. The Rook may not move more than one space past the King. Also, this can only be done if both pieces have yet to move. * The King cannot be in check & neither can any spaces between your King & Rook be under attack while attempting to castle.

Lifting A Rook

Lifting a rook is not so much a strategy as a fancy name for a move. Lifting a rook simply means that you bring your rook off of the back rank by first going up, and then to either side.


A pin is an incredibly powerful tactic, that ,when used correctly, can end a game. Pinning a piece is when your piece attacks 2 pieces of equal or greater value. The term pinning the bishop to the king, means that the bishop cannot move, or the king will be under attack. This is called an absolute pin, where moving the bishop is an illegal move, as it places the king in check. Another kind of pin is the familial pin. Instead of the king being behind the bishop, there may be a queen or a rook. In this case, the bishop can move, but it is only in rare cases a good idea, as it lays the more valuable piece behind it under attack.


A skewer is similar to a pin, but instead of the bishop being in front of the king, the king is in front of the bishop. A skewer is when you put the king in check, forcing it to move, and forcing it to expose the bishop.


A fork is when one of your pieces attacks 2 of your opponents pieces. (Note, a pawn is not considered a piece in this scenario). An example of a fork is if a knight attacks both the opposing king and queen at the same time. Unless the knight can be taken, the king is forced to move, as it is in check, and the queen can be taken, at little to no expense.

Discovered Checks and Double Checks

A discovered check (or check uncovered) is when a pawn or a piece moves somewhere else so that a piece behind it can attack the enemy king. Sometimes these attacks won't be very useful, but if a knight is in front of the major piece, be on the lookout for a serious attack on the queen.

A double is a more dangerous form of discovered check in where not only the piece behind it attacks the enemy king; the moving piece attacks as well. Double checks force the king to move because capturing or blocking one piece doesn't work because the other piece also attacks the king. Masters love to set up double checks because of their awesome attacking power and can lead to dangerous tactics on the rooks, queen, and king.

Stages of the Game

Chess is broken into 3 major stages. The Opening, The Middle-Game, and The End-Game

The Opening

The goal in the opening is to develop, or take out, pieces.

Here are 2 openings: the King's Gambit for white, and the Sicilian Dragon Defense for black.

The King's Gambit

The King's Gambit Generally proceeds as follows. 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4, Note that your opponent does not have to take, but there is no advantage to not taking the piece. 3. Nf3. After this point the opening can go in any direction, but white will eventually seek to play d4, resulting in the complete control of the center of the board. Note that this is a very brief explanation of the King's Gambit.

The Sicilian Dragon

The Sicilian Dragon generally begins as follows: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6. From here there are many different paths that white could take, but black will likely play Nc6 and 0-0, waiting to see how white develops.

The Middle-Game

The main strategy in the middle game is "Coordination of pieces" (Jose Raul Capablanca). By Following certain guidelines it may be easier to gain the upper hand.

Always retain control of the center, preferably using pawns as the core pieces.

Seek ways to undermine your opponents defense, whether with a sacrifice or a pin.

Do not develop your queen too early.

Do not open your king to attack when you have a choice.

Always keep your king guarded behind pawns, bishops will sometimes work as well.

Look for tactics to attack opposing king, and learn how to attack the king if it is castled either queenside or kingside.

When ahead in material, simplify by exchanging pieces and go for an all pawn end-game.

The End-Game

The end-game is a delicate part of a chess game where every pawn matters. Checkmate can be achieved with these pieces, which are commonly available in the end-game: 2 Bishops and a King, 1 Knight, 1 Bishop and a King, A Rook and A King, and A Queen and A King. Note that these checkmates are only possible while the opponent has no other pieces. The Knight, Bishop and King vs King checkmate is complicated, and some Masters don't even know it, but the other mentioned checkmates are simple.

Rook and King

The key to all checkmates is to keep the opponent's king confined. Do not be over-anxious to check the king, as it will not work. First move the rook to the rank ahead of the enemy king. This will confine the king to a certain amount of squares. Advance the king to obtain opposition, when your king is in front of the opponent's. When he moves away, you will need to make a waiting move, just move the rook one square over. He will move the king away from your king. When The kings are opposite each other, check him with the rook, and then repeat the process until he is on the back rank, where check becomes checkmate. The Queen checkmate is identical, but you must be careful not to stalemate.

Nimzovitch said that passed pawns must be pushed. A passed pawn is one that is not opposed by an opponent's pawn and can become a queen easier than a pawn that is opposed. The rule is not to advance too early or the pawn will be subject to attack. You must learn to advance pawns together so that they support one another, making them free from attack by your opponent's pieces.

Try to avoid moving a piece twice in the opening, unless necessary.

Every pawn counts. Do not throw away pawns, as they are very valuable in the end-game.

Look at the whole board before you make your move. Make sure a piece cannot be taken before you move it.

This is a very short summarization of Advanced Chess, if you wish to become serious about chess you should study a chess book; there are some very good ones out there. * Of course this is good advice tho I have learned more from doing than reading which is why I rarely follow standard book moves & have developed a unique style of my own which pays off big in some games but leaves me vulnerable in others depending on how focused my opponent is at the time.  Tho I have not studied a lot I have read over tips & strategy quite a bit which has only reinforced & given official terminology to what I had already learned simply by playing the game.

Never, ever move a pawn on the sides in the opening unless necessary. For example, the Grob Attack or the Orangutan will enable you to move the B and G pawns. They can lead to counter attacks, but can be stopped easily by black.

Take your time! This cannot be stressed enough, grandmasters have lost games because they moved too quickly. Even in blitz games, the few extra seconds taken to calculate moves further can be the difference between winning, and losing.

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