Strategy tips for teams

Martin0

If you have ever tried teams you should know that the variant is very different than FFA. Here are some tips on the teams variant. Note that I am also still learning this variant, so my opinion on some things might change over time.

 

1. Communicate with your partner!

Since you are in a team it is really important to play as a team. You can draw arrows by right-clicking and dragging. Clear arrows by left-clicking. Using chat and arrows for communication with your partner will greatly improve your teams overall play.

 

2. Play actively!

It is really important to play actively with your pieces. Not only will this make it easier to create tactics with your partner, but you will also be able to help your partner if he is attacked.

 

3. Always look for tactics!

This is a very tactical variant and you constantly want to create tactics with your partner and avoid tactics from your opponents. Look for forcing moves, which are checks, captures and threats. Be very careful of checks. If you get double checked by 2 queens, then you are quite likely to get mated soon if you are not mated already. Also note that I really mean to always look for tactics. This includes the first moves made in the game (you can blunder on move 1!).

 

4. Develop your queens early!

This might sound a bit controversial. Haven't you been taught not to develop your queen early in classical chess? Well there are a lot of squares on the 4 player chess board and the queens tend to find squares where they can stand safely and aggressively at the same time. There are also usually no easy way for your opponents to harass the queens to get ahead in development and they constantly need to watch out for tactics (especially double checks by both queens tend to be deadly). There might be other good approaches where you don't develop your queens early, but you do not want to end up playing a middlegame with an inactive queen.

As a side note it is certainly possible to move your queen too many times in the opening when you do end up behind in development because you were just trying to checkmate early. When it is good/bad to move your queen several times in the opening is a very complicated topic that I will not cover here, but I hope you put your queen on a better square if you move it several times.

 

5. Don't be afraid to trade!

It is important not to misinterpret this advice. You should not be afraid of trading pieces when both teams looses the same amount of material. However, being on the receiving end of a trade where you have to recapture can often be quite risky since it might be possible for the one initiating the trades partner to create a tactic against you when you want to recapture on your next move. So make sure your move is tactically safe before offering a trade.

 

Finally I want to mention that this is a very tactical variant and new players will have a hard time to survive the first 10 moves against experienced players. Don't be ashamed of falling for early checkmates, everyone does that at the start. Also for those wondering how you can blunder on move 1, see this topic:

https://www.chess.com/clubs/forum/view/share-your-quickest-checkmate-or-your-favourite-one

BabYagun

Very good, Martin0. Thanks!

 

I would just add this:

 

6. It is a Team game. If you lose your teammate loses too. So, if you do not have enough time to play a game (which can be long), just do not start it. If you have a bad Internet connection, just do not start a game until you fix it.

 

7. If your teammate draws an arrow, it is not an order. You should think yourself if his suggestion is good or not. Do not make an "auto-move" just because you see an arrow!

 

Martin0

@BabYagun, thanks. I agree with your points. What the arrows mean can sometimes be hard to understand, they are certainly used for more than telling your partner what to do. I like when my partner points out "obvious" stuff, like my queen is attacked or I should watch out for a check. You never know, sometimes I might be stupid like walk a pawn forward to threaten a knight and then forget to capture the knight.

The-Lone-Wolf

very much appreciated! 

I would add:

8) time management is also very important, don't be afraid to use more time in the opening, sometimes you might get a decisive advantage there! but also you don't want to play all the game with 1 second on the clock (like it happens too many times to me). So opening preparation is quite important, you'll save a lot of time knowing already what to do: when out of your preparation, you better think a bit more, getting mated with 1 minute on the clock is not the best option. Still save 20-30 seconds for the middlegame/endgame. the endgame in particular is full of tricks and traps with (almost) equal material

spacebar

thanks martin0 great advice

would you (all) share some opening knowledge? what is the best move 1 for red? h3? i would like some advice for move 1, best for blue after h3? yellow? also the no-no's. and especially green, as he can very easily go very very wrong..

 

 

BabYagun

@_-__-__-___-, no one knows what moves are the best. Even in classic chess there are e2-e4, d2-d4, c2-c4 lovers and nobody can tell you that one of those moves is the best.

 

We can discuss what is popular now in 4 Player Chess. But I think it is better to do in a separate topic. And leave this one for more general advice.

Martin0

There are some interesting things that can be said about opening theory, but too specific to talk about here without going too off topic

spacebar

i meant what you, and other good players, are currently opening with as red. will start seperate topic tho

GSSD

I would definitely like to see this separate topic. I am also looking forward to hearing about opening theory in 4 Player Chess. 

The-Lone-Wolf

I am preparing some videos on opening theory and analysis, but 

1) I need some time to analyse myself before

2) theory is so vast that it' very difficult to cover it all

Bill13Cooper

Good advices,  also:   being aware of  position is very important.  A check from the player on your right is usually harmless unless you needed the tempo to recapture  piece.  but a check from the player on your left is usually a killer check since the other  player will get a free move on you.   so for that reason, the general strategy in team play can be summed up this way:  give check to the player to your right,  and be ready to exploit a check to the player on your left by your partner.  Allll the crazy tactics arise from this understanding.

Bill13Cooper

As for opening theory, well  on the one end you have to put pressure on your opponents as quick as possible and on the other, you have to prevent checks and double captures that the player on your left could initiate.  And so far,  all good players stick to 2 basic setups:  the light setup and the dark setup. 

 

R/Y will usully play e3-Qg4  and G/B will play d3-Qd2,  So both sides quickly put their queens on a open lines, knights go on their natural squares on c3 and f3,  and all aisdes usually play a4/h4,  since this is the first point of contact with the ennemy  and hence it is where you need a pawn presence,   it alsp prepares the activation of the rooks. Rooks are very powerful  and must be put to use.  I could go on  and on,  but so far this is clearly what all good players play,  and if you dont play that you will get punished by strong players.

Once these moves have been made then the game starts, and it doesnt end in a few moves because each sides has a solid position, with no weaknesses whatsoever.   

 

 

Renegade_Yoda

I have not watched a lot of the highest level games but is it wrong or safe to say that a (currently) big difference from FVF and teams is FVF you may spend initial time developing your base and castling etc. vs in Teams it is less development of base and more attack even often no castling at all?

Lincher1000

Nice material Martin, I always try to use them in my own games.

By the way, B/G in my opinion must always try to trade their pieces, expecially Queens and expecially if you play the Classical line with 'e3'. I am also introducing my own tips in my blog, so you might check it out. happy.png

The-Lone-Wolf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvj4Q0TeKuU&list=PL7tg4ey1RLMEoYxKGSAQPKKBtSb1FHphC

here I will upload my videos on teams theory

spacebar

great videos, especially the teams one, ty!

MarshmallowQueen2

Can someone help me!? I always follow this advice, but my rating is still below 1200. 

MarshmallowQueen2
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Berenjena_Mortal

Hi. Sorry for arriving late to the discussion (and for my bad English) I have two questions:

 

1) Sometimes in teams my companion asks before the first move who we shoud attack first. Is this something we should decide that early? I feel more comfortable being cautious and watching how things develop after a couple of rounds, paying attention for threats and opening the way for the bishops and queen.

 

2) I have serioius difficulties when teaming very low ranked players. I have myself a very low rating (1300? I didn't play for a couple of weeks), but I noticed that is very common that players between 1100 and 1200 don't even communicate, be it through arrows or chat. With higher rated players you can win or lose, but there is some actual coordination (and fun). This modality is a bit frustrating to me because I feel that there is an important proportion of games that I lose because of coordination problems. I guess is  also my fault because lots of players achieve higher ratings. Maybe there are some tips on the topic?

 

Cheers!

Bill13Cooper

@Berenjena_Mortal

1: You are right,  it's non-sens to decide which player you are going to attack beforethe game even started.  Even when your opponents are completely mismatched ( a 1100 with a 1700 for instance )   sometimes you will end up attacking the 1700 anyway, exploiting the fact that the 1100 is  making random pointless moves that do no help his  partner. So the question ' who do we attack first' is complete non-sens.

 

2: Yes, uncooperative players are low rated and are a big P.I.T.A. ( pain in the ...)  and the solution to this is to get a membership and only play with people that you know.