SOME BASIC CHESS PRINCIPLES

October 2014

Some Basic Chess Principles

  1. The beginning of the game (a.k.a. opening) should be viewed as a "race" with two goals:
    • to control as much of the board as possible
    • to develop most of the attacking pieces
  2. Avoid moving the same piece twice during the opening. Remember the "race" - try to save moves.
  3. Unless you really know what you're doing, and why, you should open the game, usually, with one of the center pawns (king's or queen's), moving forward 2 squares (that is, to d4 or e4). If you're playing Black and White has just opened with one of those moves, you should answer with the equivalent one (d5 or e5).
  4. Knights belong in the board's center. Move them there as soon as possible.
  5. Trying to attack with the queen early in the game is usually not a good idea. Your opponent will be able to attack her with less valuable, protected pieces, which will force you to move your queen again and again, preventing you from developing the rest of your pieces, while he will be developing his.
  6. After you have developed your bishops and knights, you should probably castle. Castling helps protect your king and develop a rook. For the same reason, avoid moving the king before castling, as you can't castle if he has already moved.
  7. Avoid having two or more pawns in the same column (which is very common if you capture a piece with a pawn). If capturing with a pawn (and with impunity) is the only way, by all means do so, but if you have several ways to do it, choose one that won't leave one pawn in front of another.
  8. If a column has no pieces at all (either yours or the opponent's), try to put a rook there.
  9. The f2 square (or f7 for Black) is, in the beginning of the game, a weak spot. Pay attention to it.
  10. Often, pawn chains are formed, where pawns protect one another, forming diagonals. That can make it difficult for you to "penetrate" your opponent's territory. The trick, usually, is to find an unprotected pawn, at the back of the chain - capturing it (probably with a knight) may be a good idea.
  11. Don't choose moves expecting your opponent to play badly, as in "let's see if he doesn't notice this". Always assume he will make the best possible move. If not, so much the better...

All Welcome!

No fees.
Sets and boards are provided.
Players of all skill levels are welcome.

Club Hours

Every Saturday Afternoon
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm for casual play

Location

North Durham Regional Library
221 Milton Road
Durham, NC 27701

Directions

Contact Us

Club Director
Conrad Conero
cconero@aol.com
919.479.7020