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Expert: Strategy

IM Bryan Smith Avg Rating: 1320 Expert

In this course we will be looking deeper at the concept of strategy in chess. In particular, we will be seeing examples of how to turn strategical factors into an attack and favorable tactics.

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  • Preventing Castling

    Preventing castling is a strategic method which can lead to an attack. Not only does it keep the enemy king in the firing line, but it also prevents coordination of his pieces (especially the rooks). Normally a king that has been prevented from castling due to positional or strategical reasons, will soon come under tactical fire!
  • Playing Against a King in the Center

    A king in the center is a significant strategic disadvantage. Not only is the king itself vulnerable, but the need to take care of the king can lead to problems for the position as a whole. Learning to take advantage of these factors is very important.
  • Opposite-Sides Castling 1

    When the kings are castled on opposite sides of the board, a special kind of game develops. Because it becomes possible to make a pawn storm without exposing one's own king, the speed of the opposing attacks becomes crucial.
  • Opposite-Sides Castling 2

    As we saw in the preceding example, positions where the kings are castled on opposite sides of the board often come down to who is faster in the respective attacks. However, it is important not to forget about the center. For any attack to succeed, the center must be sufficiently controlled. Often if you are behind in the flank attacks, a central counterattack can change the nature of the position.
  • Opening Lines

    The majority of pieces in chess are linear, and thus the concept of OPENING LINES is fundamental to the way the pawns and pieces interact.
  • Keep a Line Closed

    As a corollary to the idea of opening lines for one's own pieces, there is the concept of keeping lines closed. If you see that your opponent's pieces could benefit from a certain line being opened, you should try to keep that line closed.
  • Controlling Open Lines

    The control of an open file can be very important in chess. In particular, if all else is equal, control of an open file could be decisive - giving you a way to enter your opponent's position.
  • Building Strength

    Pawns and pieces should work together. It is not enough to just develop your pieces to active-looking places as fast as possible. You you need to coordinate their position with that of the pawns, so that a plan will be possible.
  • Using a Space Advantage

    It's intuitive that having more space than your opponent constitutes an advantage. One of the most important aspects of a space advantage is that you have more room than your opponent to maneuver; the player with a space disadvantage finds his pieces cramped and unable to keep up with his opponent's maneuvers.
  • Exploiting an Outpost Square

    The ability to find a good outpost square and guide a piece to it is crucial for mastery in chess. Here we will see an example in which White vastly improves his position by a strong maneuver.

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