1. OPEN with a CENTER PAWN.
  2. DEVELOP with threats.
  3. KNIGHTS before BISHOPS.
  4. DON'T move the same piece twice.
  5. Make as FEW PAWN MOVES as possible in the opening.
  6. DON'T bring out your QUEEN too early.
  7. CASTLE as soon as possible, preferably on the KING SIDE.
  9. Try to maintain at least ONE PAWN in the center.
  10. DON'T SACRIFICE without a clear and adequate reason.


I would like to improve (?) on some of them:

1. Make moves which look to control the centre with a pawn at some point.

4. Don't move the same piece twice without a good reason

6.........without a good reason

7. Get your king safe with adequate pawn cover.


Good rules to follow anyway, well done!


i play 1.nf3 :x


I think number 4 is one that too many people violate and do not realize they made a mistake.  This is a very good list for someone starting out in chess and also as a reminder for some fairly good players. 


Yea, every Ruy Lopez player violates #4. After 3...a6, they erroneously move their bishop for a second time. Patzers, them!

But seriously: in chess, there are more exceptions than rules, In order to become a good player you have to know when to break which rule.


I don't think we need more than six general rules:

1. Control the center

2. Develop the pieces democratically

3. Protect the King (this doesn't necessarily mean castling)

4. Analyse forcing moves first

5. When your opponent makes an unexpected move in the opening, THINK! Don't rely on general principles to get you through this!

6. Trust yourself


Disagree. There are a lot of good openings, which not start with e4 or d4 or c4. So, that is very good to begin with a center pawn, but not only that way is correct. You just need to control the center.
"CASTLE as soon as possible, preferably on the KING SIDE."
It is not correct as well. Depend on the position when have to castle to the king, or to the queen side, and sometimes you dont need to castle.

So general opening rules.
1. Take control over the center, (with minor pieces and pawns) or place your pawn in the center. Both ways are good.
2.Develop your pieces, first at least one knight. Then develop the other minor pieces, then queen, rooks,
3. The king have to be in safety. It usually means castling, but not always.

Oh, I already see that I made a mistake on the board. But it just wanted to show that, when your opponent exchanges the bishop for the knight, on the f6, and you have to take back by the pawn, then it is better to stay with the king in the middle.


There are exceptions to all these rules. My favorite is 1. e4  d5 2. exd5 Qxd5


They're more guidelines than rules, certainly, but beginners would do well to learn them and try to follow them, and by the time they've figured out when they can disregard them, they'll have learned a good deal about chess.


GMema remember who taught u those rules!


The weaker you are, the more you tend to follow the rules to the letter.

Crawl before you walk!

The stronger you get, the more you need to be aware of the exceptions.   If the OP's intention was to broadcast to players brand new to chess, these TEN rules are quite golden! 


Those look a lot like Rueben Fine's from Chess the Easy Way.  Several lists of the "rules" from great players and writers are at the Exeter Chess Club page on the subject.  These are good for beginning and improving players to live by.

Certainly there are playable opening which don't begin with a center pawn, but beginners have no business playing them and are probably better off not knowing about them for a while.  Wink


Thanks for the link, Estragon!

I like this from the Exeter Chess club page:


  1. With White, exploit the advantage of having the first move and try to gain the initiative. With Black, try to organize counterplay.

This last point is worth particular attention, for, although it contains much wisdom, it is not always applied in current tournament practice. Unfortunately, we belong to a time when White usually tries to gain only a minimal advantage, because to try for more entails the taking of risks. Black, having no sure method of developing counterplay without risk, usually tries to minimise White's attacking possibilities. The game thus proceeds towards an endgame in which neither side has real winning chances."


I wonder what Hort would say about Magnus Carlsen's handling of the opening as White. It seems that he has shown that white does indeed have real winning chances in those very endgames!


Yes, for sure,  1. e4 d5 2. exd4 Qxd5 3. Nc3  Qa5  4. a3 is an exception to the rules! 


But before a player needs to begin learning the exceptions, he needs to learn the rules!  AND stop dropping pieces to simple one- or two-move tactics. 

It is silly to be thinking about whether or not moving a piece a second time is a permissible exception when you should be thinking about whether or not your Queen is threatened.


This thread makes me wanna play the Grob. 


1. Play an opening that suits your style.  If you like wild, tactical shootouts, play e4, maybe even a King's Gambit.  If you like slower, positional games, play d4 or c4.


Yes, the 10 basic rules as given are just fine for someone starting out.

It would be hard just to follow all ten rules and harder not to just drop a piece for nothing.

No need to elaborate on these ten for a novice