Chess - Play & Learn


FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store


Counter Play?

  • #1

    I'm new to chess and hear this term a lot.  Could someone tell me what it means?



  • #2

    Often times in chess especially when playing the black pieces you cannot get the initiative or in plain english, you don't have any real activity and don't have any chances to stir up trouble at the momemnt. Counter play is that chance you get to "fight back" and start stirring up trouble for your opponent later on. Depending on when you see the term used it could mean a variaty of things. But almost in any case it will refer to someone who is considered to be "losing", "has a worse position" or has a more "passive position" is going to try to stir up some trouble for the opponent.

  • #3

    No, it is usually used to refer to the Black player having, or attempting to obtain active play, assuming that the White probably has it. It doesn't imply that they are losing, nor that they are worse off necessarily.

  • #4

    Well the side that gets counter play doesn't have to necessarily be losing I guess, but they're getting play to make up for some sort of disadvantage, even if it's just a very solid but passive position.  That's basically what it means, you have one type of disadvantage, but something else that makes up for it is your counter play.

    There are different types of advantages in chess, having more pieces (material) is just one of them.  Counter play may mean you gave up a few pawns for an initiative... and maybe that's not how it always is but I usually think of it as having a static disadvantage (less material, poor pawns) but also gained a dynamic advantage (initiative, development) which makes up for it.

  • #5

    Well I think counter play is an active plan, often coming from the inferior side, but it can be very slight. It can but does not have to make up for some sort of disadvantage, like bad pawn structure for example. Usually it's white who first shows he has "play" or an active plan and black says he has "counter play".

    Or there's the counter play that means one side is dead lost but has lots of tactical ideas that the winning side has to weather through in order to actually win.

  • #6

    I'm not thinking of it in terms of an opening... something like in the KID black has play on the kingside and white on the queenside -- play and counter play, something like this.  When not speaking of general ideas like this I think it's fair to say counter play makes up for some kind of disadvantage... otherwise it's just plain play Tongue out

  • #7

    counter play is activity against another side assumed to have some sort of intiative

  • #8
    jerry2468 wrote:

    counter play is activity against another side assumed to have some sort of intiative

    Yeah I like this one. I often refer to it as the guy who has play that you notice second (to the first player you notice with an active plan) if that makes any sense Tongue out.

    Like "Ok, I have some more space, but my opponent has counterplay on the dark squares".

  • #9
    swansodb wrote:

    I'm new to chess and hear this term a lot.  Could someone tell me what it means?



    Thanks for asking, I had the same question ;p

  • #10

    When under attack or pressure in chess, there is often a choice to be made.  One may defend the threats, fending off attacks while holding the position, or one may defend with threats of one's own, seeking active play and paying partial or no attention to direct defense. 

    This latter approach is counterplay.  It is not always an option, but seeking to create counterplay is the only way to find it.


    Notice also that counterplay isn't always successful or the best option in a given position.

  • #11

    words like 'centre control', 'counter play', 'strong square' etc are used to confuse the beginner. You will see many video in which a GM will be saying "yeah, from this move he gets some coounter play and post his KNight on a good square..." and he will never explain you what are the meaning of these terms actually

  • #12

    counter play is just an attack carried out by the opponent of the side who is annotating.

  • #13

    The counterplay is the attack you make when your opponent is already attacking you, so you say that your opponent let's you have COUNTER PLAY.


Online Now