Keeping these principles in mind, check out the list of opening moves used by Grandmasters at modern tournaments. Think moves in advance, using each move to set up more complicated attacks. To win at chess, you need to be constantly thinking a few moves in advance, setting up longer, more complicated attacks to outfox your opponent. Your first move is about setting up the rest of the game, leading to your first attack or controlling certain sections of the board.
The best way for a beginner to learn how to plan ahead is to practice some common opening combinations: The Ruy Lopez is a classic opening to get bishops out and attacking. Move your King's Pawn up two spaces, then your Knight up F3 as white. Finish by pushing your King's Bishop all the way until it is one space in front of the opponent's pawn.
Move the C2 pawn up 1, then follow with the G2 Pawn to free your King's Bishop if black moves to the center or the Queen's Knight, if black moves along the sides. Used by Grandmasters from Bobby Fisher onward, this exciting opening can put beginners off-balance early. Black will frequently attack early, feeling like they have you opened up, but your pawn wall will quickly cause them problems. This maneuver brings the game out to the center and opens up the lanes for your Queen and Bishop to move.
You can now move your Bishop to b4, pinning the Knight. Try out the four move "Scholar's Mate" to win the game almost instantly. This trick only works once per player, as a savvy chess player will spot the move and get out of the way. That said, Scholar's Mate is a great way to catch a beginner opponent off guard and snag the game from them quickly.
The other option is to use a nearly identical move, but instead of pushing your Queen up, leave her back on E7, in front of your King. Control the center squares to control the game.
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Your biggest concern when playing chess is controlling the center tiles, specifically the four in the very middle. This is because you can attack anywhere from the center of the board, allowing you to control the pace and direction of the game. The Knight, for example, has eight potential moves in the center of the board, but only on the edges. There are two general ways to do this. Supported Middle is when you move slowly into the center of the board with several pieces.
Knights and Bishops support from the fringes, able to move in and take pieces if you get under attack. In general, this slow development is more common. Using the Flanks is a very modern style of play that controls the middle from the outsides. Your Rooks, Queen, and Knights run up both sides of the board, making it impossible for your opponent to move into the middle without being taken. Develop your pieces one at a time. You want to give each of your pieces the best possible square to move to, getting pieces off of the starting squares.
Learn to castle. Castling is when your hop the King over a Rook, effectively using the Rook to form a wall against attack.
Above the King you still have a line of pawns protecting you as well. This is an incredibly effective tactic, especially for beginners learning the game. Try to keep as many pawns as you can in place. You can do this on either side. In the same turn, move the Rook and King together, where they meet, swap their positions.
If they do, the move is no longer allowed. Part of what helps you to win at chess is your ability to read your opponent without letting him read you. You want to be thinking several moves ahead at all times. This means knowing where each of your pieces can move in any situation and being able to predict how your opponent will react to your moves. Watch your opponent's moves carefully. What pieces are they developing, and what sides of the board are they favoring? If you were them, what sort of long-term strategy would you be planning?
Once you have the basics of your own play down, you should be constantly adjusting to your opponent's. If she's holding back, setting up pieces near her side for an attack, ask yourself what her end-goal is. Are there ways you can disrupt or put her plan on hold? Does he have the advantage, and do you need to fall back and defend some units to prevent a serious loss of material, or can you put some pressure on him?
Know when to trade pieces. Trading pieces is obvious when you end up with the material advantage, such as giving up a Knight in order to get their Queen, but it is much trickier when you're trading off similar pieces. In general, you do not want to trade pieces when: You have the advantage in position, center control, and development.
The fewer pieces are on the board in total, the less of an advantage you have and the easier you are to defend against. The opponent is cramped or stuck in a corner. When you have them locked in it is more difficult for them to move or maneuver many pieces, but fewer pieces can get them out of the jam and free again. You have fewer pieces than your opponent. If you have more pieces than them and the advantages are otherwise similar, start taking pieces.
You'll open up new attacking lanes. You would double up pawns. A doubled pawn is when you have one pawn in front of the other. This makes them both much less useful and clogs up your side of the board. However, if you can make your opponent double pawns as a side-effect of an even trade then this could be useful move. Develop moves in advance every time.
It is easier said than done, but you need to be thinking long-term in order to win chess games with any regularity. Each piece you move should be done with three common goals in mind. If you keep these points in your head, you'll find you can easily start improvising multi-move plans to win the game: Develop multiple pieces Rooks, Knights, Queen, Bishop early and often. Get them out of their starting spots to open up your options. Control the center. The center of the board is where the action happens. Protect the King.
You can have the best offense in the world, but leaving your King open is a sure-fire way to lose at the last minute. Hold your advantage until you can get the most out of it instead of rushing in. Chess is about momentum, and if you have it, you need to keep it.
From Beginner to Chess Expert in 12 Steps
If your opponent is purely reacting to you, moving pieces out of the way frequently and unable to mount any attack, take your time and whittle them down. Remember, you can win a match-up and still lose the game. Don't move in if you're opening up to a counter attack. Instead, pick off their defending pieces, take full control of the middle of the board, and wait to hit them until it really hurts.
1. d4 d5 - Queen's pawn openings
Learn to pin pieces. Pinning is when you trap a piece such that it cannot move without leaving a more valuable piece open to attack. This passive sort of warfare is a great way to control the game, and it will help you master your opponents. To do it, look where a piece can move. Usually, pieces with limited options are your best bet. Then, instead of attacking, position your piece so that you could take them no matter where the move, effectively making the piece useless for a period of time.
Taking hostages is when you give your opponent the opportunity to take your piece. The only catch is knowing that you can take their piece right back. They may take it, they may not -- the important thing is that you're in control. Learn to fork pieces.
A fork is a move in which a piece attacks two or more piece at once . Planning and executing a fork is a great way to win material and put yourself at an advantage. For example, if you fork the king and the queen, the opponent will have no choose but to give up their queen, giving you an advantage that is normally enough to win the game.
When attempting a fork, keep the following things in mind: Forking is most easily done with the knight, as its unusual movement lets it attack multiple pieces that are hidden behind others. Try to fork the most valuable pieces. The best possible fork is a fork of the king and queen.
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This is called a royal fork. A fork is most effective when it forces your opponent to react to it immediately, such as attacking the queen or putting the king in check. Evaluate each move objectively. You need to be looking at the entire board, evaluating every possible move you have. Don't make a move just because you have to -- take the time instead to look for the best possible move every turn.