Remember the Past, Challenge the Future
10 Opening Rules:
1. Open with a center pawn
2. Develop with threats
3. Develop knights before bishops
4. Don’t move the same piece twice if you can help it
5. Make as few pawn moves as possible
6. Don’t bring your queen out too early
7. Castle as soon as possible, preferably on the kingside
8. Play to gain control of the center
9. Try to maintain at least one pawn in the center
10. Don’t sacrifice without a clear and adequate reason. For a sacrificed pawn, you must: A) Prevent enemy castling (two –three moves); B) Deflect the enemy queen; C) Gain three tempi; D) Build up a strong attack; or E) a combination of the above.
10 Middle Game rules:
1. Have all your moves fit into a definite plan. A Plan must be flexible, specific, and short. Some feature of the position must suggest a plan. A Plan must be based on the principles.
(a) Enemy Threats
(b) Piece Mobility
(d) Pawn Structure
(e) King Safety
2. When you are ahead in material, exchange as many pieces as possible, especially queens.
3. Avoid isolated, doubled, and backward pawns.
4. In cramped positions, free yourself by exchanging.
5. Don’t expose your king while the enemy queen is still on the board.
6. All combinations are based on double attack.
7. When your opponent has one or more pieces exposed, look for a combination.
8. To attack the enemy king, you must first open a file (or less often a diagonal) to gain access for the heavy pieces.
9. Centralize the action of all your pieces
10. The best defense is a counter attack.
10 Endgame Rules:
1. To win without pawns, you must be a rook or two minor pieces a head in material (two knights excepted).
2. The king must be active in the endgame.
3. Passed pawns must be pushed.
4. The easiest endings to win are pure pawn endings.
5. When one pawn ahead, exchange pieces, not pawns.
6. Don’t put your pawns on the same colored squares as your bishop.
7. Bishops are better than knights in all but blocked pawn positions.
8. It is worth a pawn to put a rook on the seventh rank (comprised of four or more pawns).
9. Rooks belong behind passed pawns.
10. Blockade passed pawns with the king.