Chess is the art and science of mind strategy. It’s almost 90% mental and 10% a physical game of sorts. Knowing how each piece moves and the rules of engagement is just the tip of the iceberg when playing chess. You have to learn to strategize and control the chess board from that very first move. Nothing on chess is carved on wood – there are no specific strings of movements that you have to memorize to be the next Kasparov or Carlsen. It’s all about how you control the game both visually and mentally.
Here are 6 popular chess tips and tricks that you can try for your next chess game:
- Focus on the center. You have to take control of the center squares in the chess board. Take a look at the four (4) squares located right at the middle of the chessboard. You need to focus on these four (4) squares to dominate the game. The center is crucial (even in Geometry) in order to maximize mobility of your pieces. It is important to take central occupation and control to get the most of the board when you attack, decapitate the other pieces, and capture the opponent’s King.
- Start strong and dictate the game. You need to take a strong lead to intimidate. Get each of your pieces into the game in a rapid but systematic fashion. Play each piece into its best squares when opening. This will help you easily dominate the central squares. Keep each piece on the defensive to block attacks from the opponent side. Initiate threats when moving your pieces, limit the movement of your opponent; and you will get to dictate the course of the game.
- Castle your King. Once the King is captured, that’s the end of it. Be sure to protect your King by castling him at the onset of the game. Get the King behind the wing pawns even at the early phase of the game. The goal is to keep him away from the central squares to avoid capture or checkmate. This tactic also helps develop your rookies while you’re out safeguarding the King. You can capture the King at an early stage especially if the opponent fails to castle the King early on.
- Open the game with a pawn. Maximize the function of the pawn by moving it in the opening phase wherein the pawn is allowed to move 2 squares. This can open the gates for the Queen and bishops to take over the central squares. Limit the movement of your pawns and make each move count because this can also weaken your defenses when done in the wrong way. Do take note that the pawn cannot retract its moves.
- Figure out the right swaps or losses. You win some and lose some while battling wits on the chessboard. You have to know the points for each piece to determine which are worth losing and saving.
- Finish strong. The pawns took the lead at the opening phase, stage a strong finish by letting it advance to the farthest row that will make it a Queen. Let the King and Queen play the endgame but be sure to protect the King from capture.
There you go – these tips and tricks will surely come handy for retaliating on a lost game. In the game of chess, it is important to toggle rapid moves but it also pays to think on your toes. Timing is everything – hack into the mental state of your opponent and make your every move count at the time and place where it matters – right under his nose.