Chess is known all over the world as the ultimate game of strategy. It may well be the most famous game in the world. The game had its origins several centuries ago, but its importance and relevance as a game that truly tests a person’s strategic thinking has only grown over the ages, and so has its popularity among people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures.
Chess is a tight game that can be played just about anywhere. All one requires to play chess is the amount of space for two people to be comfortably seated and sufficient space to place the chessboard. The compactness of a chessboard has made it possible for people to play chess in diverse locations, including but not limited to living rooms, dormitories, classrooms, libraries, public parks, plazas, playgrounds, and even on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet! The advancement of technology and the availability of high-speed internet services across the world has significantly contributed to the growth of online chess, with many people choosing to play chess online with their friends and family members and even real players from different countries.
Chess is a game that is not only intellectually challenging and stimulating but also endlessly thrilling and enormously fun. Playing chess engenders people, and it has been proven to be beneficial for a person’s overall brain health. However entertaining and enthralling as it may be, the paramount importance of strategy and strategic thinking is the one thing to keep in mind concerning the game of chess.
What is Chess Strategy?
In very general terms, chess strategy refers to the aspect of playing chess that is concerned with understanding and evaluating the positions of the pieces, as well as formulating plans for the upcoming course of play. In other words, chess strategy refers to all the activities involved with setting out a comprehensive plan to win the game.
Of course, it is practically impossible for every player to accurately calculate and predict how a chess game will play out from start to finish. Even computer programs – based on which chess games on electronic devices run – are not perfect. Even these programs can “predict” only a limited number of upcoming moves. That being said, strategic planning and tactical execution are what every player must follow to make the best moves throughout the game.
Chess strategy is a comprehensive concept. It is an all-encompassing term that deals with how the chess pieces are valued and how a position on the chessboard is evaluated. It is, therefore extremely important to develop a thorough understanding of the principles of chess strategy so that a player can move their pieces in a manner that gives them an advantage over their opponent with regard to both offence and defence.
Here are some chess tactics that every player needs to know before they start playing:
- Fool’s Mate
The Fool’s Mate tactic can be used to take advantage of significant mistakes that an opponent makes in the course of the game, and this tactic is also the quickest way to checkmate.
Knights are the best out of all the chess pieces for this strategy, as it is possible to take out two pieces of one’s opponent in a single move by playing one’s knight. However, it is essential to remember that it is possible to fork using every piece on the chessboard.
Pulling off this tactic requires using one’s queens, rooks, and bishops to pin the pieces of an opponent in. The pin is a compelling tactic in chess.
This tactic is the exact opposite of a pin. While playing a match, moving a valuable piece, so the opponent leaves a less powerful piece vulnerable to an attack move, is called a skewer.
Now that some of the basic chess tactics have been covered, here are some additional tips to keep in mind while playing chess:
- First Moves are Important
The importance of opening in chess cannot be overstated. Though there is no universal agreement on how players should make their opening moves, making the right moves at the beginning of the game are what could very well put you at an advantage over your opponent.
- Develop All Pieces
In chess, the development of pieces refers to moving your pieces out of the squares they are positioned in when the game begins. Developing all your pieces is the most important rule when it comes to opening your chess game.
- Try Not to Move the Same Piece Twice
In the game of chess, every single move is valuable. That being said, making the most out of all your moves is essential. Moving one piece around while your other pieces remain where they were will not only leave you with a minimal scope and consume valuable time in the process, resulting in many missed opportunities.
- Get Knights and Bishops Moving Early On
It is strongly recommended that you get your knights and bishops out early in the game and move them towards the centre of the chessboard. Remember to get these pieces out before you start moving your queen, king, or rooks. This will help you to start making your attacks.
- Minimise Pawn Moves as Far as Possible
It is well known that pawns are the weakest pieces in chess. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you keep your pawn moves to a practicable minimum.
- Take Your Time with the Game
As you would be well aware by now, chess is a game involving strategic decision-making. Moves that are calculated and well thought out are key to winning the game. Therefore, it is recommended that you resist the temptation to rush through the game. If you notice a potentially good move, take the time and look for a better one.
Chess is a game that hinges entirely on careful decision-making. To maximise your chances of defeating your opponent, keep these strategies and tips in mind. Stay alert and observant at all times to take full advantage of every move, but most importantly, enjoy the beauty and elegance of this timeless game!