519 ( +1 | -1 ) Guidelines for openings, middlegames, and endgamesI've copied and pasted the following chess guidelines from another website. They are purportedly from Reuben Fine's "Chess the Easy Way," but the validity of this claim, as with most claims made on the Internet, may be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, these guidelines might well be worthy of consideration. * A. The Three Basic Principles of Chess 1. The Principle of Force. The player who is ahead in material should win. 2. The Principle of Mobility. The player who has more room for his pieces to move about has an advantage. 3. The Principle of Safety. The safety of the King is of primary importance. * B. Ten Fundamental Rules of the Opening 1. Open with either the e-pawn or d-pawn. 2. Wherever possible, make a good developing move which threatens something. 3. Develop knights before bishops. 4. Pick the most suitable square for a piece and develop it there once and for all. A few important warnings: a. Don’t move a piece twice in the opening. b. Don’t exchange a piece that is developed for one that is not developed. c. Don’t exchange without good reason. d. Don’t block the path of development of your pieces. e. Don’t block either center pawn. 5. Make one or two pawn moves in the opening, not more. 6. Do not bring your queen out early. 7. Castle as soon as possible, preferably on the king’s side. 8. Play to get control of the center. 9. Always try to maintain at least one pawn in the center. 10. Do not sacrifice without a clear and adequate reason. For a sacrifice there must be one of four reasons: a. Secure a tangible advantage in development. b. Deflect the enemy queen. c. Prevent the opponent from castling, either permanently, or temporarily (2-3 moves). d. Build up a strong attack. * C. Ten Rules for the Middle Game 1. Have all your moves fit into definite plans. Do not play aimlessly. Planning a. A plan is made for a few moves only, not for the whole game. b. Plans are made for specific purposes only. c. Keep your plans flexible. d. The plan must be based on sound strategical principles. e. The plan must be suggested by some feature in the position. How to Analyze a Position a. Am I ahead, behind, or even in material? (Material) b. Are my pawns well placed and how do they compare with my opponent’s? (Pawn structure) c. How much freedom of action do my pieces have, and is my degree of mobility greater than my opponent’s? (Mobility) d. Are the kings safe or exposed to attack? (King safety) e. What is the threat? (Combinations) In all cases we go on to ask: What am I going to do about it? 2. When you are ahead in material, exchange as many pieces as possible, especially queens. 3. Avoid doubled, isolated and backward pawns. 4. In cramped positions free yourself by exchanging. 5. Do not expose your own king while the queens are still on the board. 6. All combinations are based on double attack. There are five basic types of double attack. a. Forking two undefended units, or two units of higher value – this is a power which all pieces possess. b. Checking and threatening an undefended piece or one of higher value – all pieces but the King. c. Pinning an undefended piece – bishop, rook and queen. d. Attacking an undefended piece and threatening mate – rook and queen. e. Threatening to capture or advance – pawn. 7. If your opponent has one or more pieces exposed look for a combination. Compound Combinations a. The Pin: The poor piece must sit tight and suffer anything done to it because it is either against the law to get it out of the way or it has to sacrifice itself for more important units. b. Discovered Check: The piece which gets out of the way may go anywhere it pleases because it uncovers a check to which the opponent must give his undivided attention. c. Discoveries in General: The principle here is the same as that for a discovered check: one of the attacks uncovered is far more vital than the other. 8. To attack the king you must open a file (or less often a diagonal) to gain access for your heavy pieces (queens and rooks). 9. Centralize the action of all the pieces. 10. The best defense is a counter-attack. * D. Ten Rules for the Ending 1. To win without pawns you must be at least a rook or two pieces ahead. 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. Three important practical conclusions: a. If you have two connected passed pawns, advance them carefully until the opponent must give up a piece to prevent queening. b. If you have two disconnected passed pawns, defend one with the king until they are so far forward that one queens. If there are pieces exchange as many as possible. Once your pieces are well placed, straightforward advancing will be sufficient. c. With an outside passed pawn, the winning scheme is to use that pawn to deflect the enemy king to one side, and then to penetrate to the other wing with one’s own king. There two extra pawns, or one which queens by force, will decide. 5. If you are only one pawn ahead, exchange pieces, but not pawns. 6. Do not place your pawns on the same color as your bishop. 7. A bishop is better than a knight in all but blocked pawn positions. 8. It is worth giving up a pawn to get a rook on the seventh rank 9. Rooks belong behind passed pawns. 10. Blockade passed pawns with the king.
147 ( +1 | -1 ) Very sound advice...... you won't often go wrong following it. I do have one caveat, though: The bishop can all too easily be overrated against the knight, and the the bishop pair compared with B+N or 2N. As a general rule, Fine's pronouncement in this regard is sensible and good, but it is one that I think is susceptible to reappraisal in the light of any given position. In one game on GK over a year ago, I was so engrossed in my attack I didn't even notice when my opponent acquired a bishop pair against my 2 knights (it dawned on me playing through the game subsequently). In that particular game, possession of the bishop pair (as an asset) was irrelevant. I've had several games in which my 2 knights have beaten the 2 bishops, hardly any in which the reverse has happened. However, given free scope for the bishops, and little in the way of good squares for the knights the bishop pair can be devastating. Even the prospect of one side acquiring 2B vs N+R has always to be evaluated carefully, if the former are in a position to cooperate closely. (I did have one game this year in which I "sacrificed" the exchange, leaving the piece configuration 2R+2B vs R+B+2N, but with my having a pawn extra, and a strong central pawn majority into the bargain. That my opponent retained the bishop pair certainly added spice to the game!) You will notice that many openings seem to be fairly indifferent to exchanges of B for N. I guess that when thinking about such exchanges, one needs just to remind oneself: "Now, what is the reason for this exchange, again?" Cheers, Ion
222 ( +1 | -1 ) I love the Bishop pair !But have to agree completely with you ionadowman , it Is very position dependent! I've always felt that they best come to their own with pawnless centers present ... also seem a stronger force when Rooks are ON the board, when harrassment of the Rooks can become a key ingredient in the game. (As he mentions R+N vs 2B. While the threat is not so great with 2B vs 2R since the leading side can afford to sac back an exchange; not so if the 2 Rooks on the other side compose part of making even material, when their potential trade for a B could be devastating. And the Rooks can easily then become a liability. Position dependent...of course. Isn't everything, really? ) Otherwise, there is still a factor of their influence that the other side need strive to AVOID producing a GOOD BishopPairPosition. Yet so must the side with them try to avoid making it a closed "knight's position"! Also, even tho the B-Pair often gets stronger in the endgame, and especially with opposite pawn wings ... at the same time the knight can conceivably win out there as well if the pawns become sufficiently immobile to make good targets for them, even better for the knight if multiple pawn targets exist. Since they Can hop from one to another and alter the concentration of their force. I think the mobility of the pawns involved becomes a major consideration. Also if the knights can be outposted, as per Ion ... then it might end up with one permanently in a great outpost as the Bishops can only eliminate one per particular color if is on. I can recall being on the winning side and the losing side each ... of a multiwing pawn position, and having a knight on the winning side vs a losing Bishop. In the one I lost, to an FM, I foolishly traded into the ending on principle and was surprised to find my situation pretty much hopeless. :( Which was likely what happened in the winning effort too ... tho perhaps he (also an A player) also thought his B would do well "guarding" the pawns since it was on the same color ... a traditional 'Bad Bishop' from his French Defense. Part of the reason I was so surprised in the other was I had a 'GOOD Bishop' ... that Wasn't good for DOING enough tho! }8-)
69 ( +1 | -1 ) IT just occurred to me ...Like medicine, and IQ, and so many things, Chess too can be translated to auto-mechanics it appears ... :) If force(aka material or usable material anyway) is like Torque (Indeed) then mobility is like RPM, and the two together make the Horsepower to run your game. So maybe King safety is maybe like ... your Petrol supply?! You might have more gas or less gas, but if you run OUT of it, you're pretty much done, eh? *** [This is my approach to the world you see. 1)Watch where the money flows thru/to. (B) Convert your observations to automechanics, and (3) Nothing gets by you . . . . . Now you can become a presidential advisor, Chess Master, or well yes, even an automechanic; But there is still no guarantee of being Good at it, for that last one. ] }8-)
179 ( +1 | -1 ) Capablanca's "Last Lectures"......has a chapter that discusses the B vs N endgame. In this position, with all the pawns on one side, the knight has the edge:
w (Actually it is immaterial who has the move). In this particular position, White doesn't have enough of an edge to win, but if Black's g-pawn were on g5 instead of g7, White's advantage, owing to the additional Black weaknesses at f5, f6 and h6, ought to be decisive.
Contrast that with this kind of thing: w Capablanca assesses this is dead even owing to the balanced pawn position. But suppose one were to evaluate the successive positions arrived at by each side removing his left-most pawn (i.e White starting with the a=pawn, Black with the h-pawn) With each removal, the bishop's mobility becomes more the decisive factor, able to switch from attack on the flank where White has the majority, to defend against Black's majority much more rapidly than can the Black knight. With just Black's f-pawn and White's c-pawn remaining (the opposite triplets also remaining on the board), the knight's changes against the bishop become very problematical. Finally, by removing the centre pawn of the remaining triplets, to yield this position w The bishop's advantage in this very unbalanced and open position seems obvious. Capablanca put it this way: "In an ending with an unbalanced Pawn position, other factors being equal, the bishop has a manifest advantage against the knight. The less the equilibrium, the greater the advantage."