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Chess Tips for Intermediates and Beginners

Updated on June 21, 2012

See the images below.

The encircled position of pieces resembles a fianchetto.
The encircled position of pieces resembles a fianchetto.
Black's bishop have an open diagonal file while white rook has an open d file.
Black's bishop have an open diagonal file while white rook has an open d file.
This is a pin. The black's bishop is giving a threat to the white's queen.
This is a pin. The black's bishop is giving a threat to the white's queen.

This article contains useful chess tips and pointers.

Chess is one of the most commonly played boardgames in the world, it requires strategy, tactics, stealth and mental toughness to be able to extract a win or force a draw against stronger opponents. Here are some tips that will surely enhance your chances of winning in a chess game.

1. A versatile chess player must be equipped with different opening repertoire for this will give a player a solid start. Widely used openings like Sicilian Defense, Queen's Indian Defense, Queen's Gambit Opening, English Opening, Ruy Lopez Opening, French Defense, Nimzo Indian Defense, King's Indian Defense and Dutch Opening must be studied carefully to know how to mobilize and position your pieces well, to control the center squares and have a concrete pawn structures. Try to get familiarized with these openings because these will surely spring surprises on your opponents. Once you're familiar with these openings already try to learn new as well like gambits, Irregular opening, and among others. Download chess games in the internet like in to enhance your knowledge in different chess openings.

2. Pawns are often not given importance by novice players, but plays an important role in the game. You can control the center using pawns and you can promote them to other pieces like queen, rook, bishop or knight when protected well (if pawns are all promoted in a game you can have as many 9 queens including your original queen hehehe, but this rarely happens but not impossible). Pawns can be used to support other pieces as well. To maximize the strength of pawns always make sure that you have pawns connected to each other and avoid your pawns in forming an island or isolated pawns. The more your pawns advances to your opponent's territory the weaker it becomes. Always look for the opportunity of pass pawns, if these arises, you can gobble your opponents pawn or ignore it, depending which decision will favor you a bit, position wise.


3. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your pieces. Your Queen is the strongest piece in the board it can move in straight motion (backward of forward) and diagonal squares. Usually not active during the first few moves but capable of doing a lot of damage when played well. Rooks are strong if they're in the same column or in a same row and can also be equally powerful when it is positioned in an open file.The two bishops must be well positioned and its aimed toward the center or to the side where opponent's king is situated. Bishops can are capable of wreaking havoc during end games and open diagonal squares, but can be stagnant and useless when crucial squares blocks its path. Knights on the other hand are relatively good during opening and in middle games for they are agile in can pose threats anytime. Opponents knight must be repelled or defended well by your pawns to avoid them in controlling the crucial squares especially the center squares. They are strong when positioned well and the same time controls the center. The knight is capable of making surprises in a game. King is the most precious piece of all your pieces without it you lose the game automatically. They can move to one adjacent square at a time and can be potent fighting piece during the endgame.

4. Always ensure the safety of your king by castling as soon as possible. For beginners it is safe not to move pawns adjacent to king for this will create problems and will make your opponent's bishop very strong. Make sure your pawns are well connected .

5. Mobilize your pieces in controlling the center, position your pieces well and your pawns must be well connected. If there is the opportunity to attack, your pieces are readily available.

6. Avoid getting pinned this will immobilize your pieces, what you will do is to neutralize it by maneuvering the pinned piece to a safe square or defend well. Use pin on the other hand to paralyze your opponents pieces.

7. Avoid exchange if you are down materially avoid any exchanges this will not favor you in the end game. Here are consequences of series of exchanges that might favor you or not. If you exchange two rooks with a queen, you might have some edge but in reality you're not because queen is theoretically better than a pair of rook. With the exchange of bishop with a knight its even but most chess experts prefers bishop because these are better than knight in end game because it can work well with leftover pawns. Three pawns are better than a knight or a bishop, theoretically. A queen for a minor piece (bishop or knight) and a rook is a disaster.

8. Fianchetto is a combination of moves which is used to create a sort of a fortress or defensive wall giving the bishop a better position of defending the king or ready for an attack if position will call so.


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    • GeneralHowitzer profile image

      Gener Geminiano 8 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Yeah your right Plants and oil...

      Thanks sggdwi and plants and oil for dropping by...

    • Plants and Oils profile image

      Plants and Oils 8 years ago from England

      I think one of the most important ways to improve at chess is to learn to read and write proper chess notation.

    • sggdwi profile image

      sggdwi 8 years ago from Indonesia

      i like chess

      and play long time

    • GeneralHowitzer profile image

      Gener Geminiano 8 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Thanks paraglider, hehehe, I consider it an honor having such a comment from you. Bon Voyage and safe trip Paraglider when you'll leave the gulf.

      Thanks to bgamall as well for the very nice remarks, I'm looking forward reading your hubs as well.

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Nice hub. Rejoining my old chess club is on my list of projects for when I finally leave the Middle East.

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      In old age I don't play much chess but it is a great game and your ideas are wonderful. Nicely written.