Intermediate

Make the Most of Your Pieces

Make the Most of Your Pieces

Explore the strengths and weaknesses of each piece

  • Using Your Bishops

    Bishops are most useful when controlling long, unblocked diagonals. Bishops are particularly useful when you have both of them, so they can control both light and dark squares.

    • 2 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Using Your Knights

    Knights are best in the center, where they can control up to eight squares. Knights work well with queens and also do a good job blocking pawns.

    • 3 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Using Your Rooks

    Put your rooks on open files, where they won't be blocked by pawns. Rooks are also good on semi-open files, attacking opposing pawns or defending your pawns. Rooks are effective in batteries, working together on an open rank or file, especially the 7th rank.

    • 1 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Using Your Queen

    Queens are very powerful, but you must be careful not to lose her for less valuable pieces. For that reason, queens often develop a little later than other pieces. The best use of a queen is to target the opposing king with help from other pieces,

    • 2 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Using Your King

    Early in the game you will want to castle the king to safety. In the endgame you want to use the king to help escort pawns up the board. When it can't be checkmated, the king can be a strong piece!

    • 4 min
    • 6 challenges
  • Using Your Pawns

    Pawns have four primary uses. 1. Pawns can control key squares, such as the center. If your pawns control the center the opponent won't be able to put pieces on good squares. 2. Pawns are also helpful protecting your own pieces so they cannot be captured. 3. Pawns are useful as battering rams to open a path to the opposing king. 4. Pawns are good for promoting into more powerful pieces.

    • 2 min
    • 5 challenges
  • Pieces Working Together

    Like in team sports, all of your pieces should work together for success in chess! One powerful piece will not be able to compete with many pieces working together.

    • 4 min
    • 5 challenges
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