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„You can't think when you're in a hurry.“ Plato 

"Enjoying chess is one of the primary prerequisites for improvement." Alex Colovic

“Buying chess books and putting them on a bookshelf won‘t improve your play - it‘s necessary to read them.“ John Saunders

Opening Principles:

  1. Control the center squares – d4-e4-d5-e5
  2. Develop your minor pieces toward the center – piece activity is the key
  3. Castle
  4. Connect your rooks

Tactics...tactics...tactics...

The objective of development is about improving the value of your pieces by increasing the importance of their roles. Well-developed pieces have more fire-power than undeveloped pieces and they do more in helping you gain control.

Now we will look at 5 practical things you can do to help you achieve your development objective.

They are:

  1. Give priority to your least active pieces.
  • Which piece needs to be developed (which piece is the least active)
  • Where should it go (where can its role be maximized)
  1. Exchange your least active pieces for your opponent’s active pieces.
  2. Restrict the development of your opponent’s pieces.
  3. Neutralize your opponent’s best piece.
  4. Secure strong squares for your pieces.

 

Don’t help your opponent develop.

There are 2 common mistakes whereby you will simply be helping your opponent to develop:

  1. Making a weak threat that can easily be blocked
  2. Making an exchange that helps your opponent to develop a piece

 

Pre Move Checklist:

  1. Make sure all your pieces are safe.
  2. Look for forcing moves: Checks, captures, threats. You want to look at ALL forcing moves (even the bad ones) as this will force you look at, and see the entire board.
  3. If there are no forcing moves, you then want to remove any of your opponent’s pieces from your side of the board.
  4. If your opponent doesn’t have any of his pieces on your side of the board, then you want to improve the position of your least active piece.
  5. After each move by your opponent, ask yourself: "What is my opponent trying to do?"