Strategies & Tactics

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Things to Remember

  • A knight on the rim is grim!
  • Rooks belong on the open files.
  • Keep your good bishops, trade off your bad bishops.
  • When trading, count the defenders and the attackers.
  • Tempo means time. Try to play moves that gain time. For example developing while attacking.

In the Opening

  • Develop your pieces
  • Control the center
  • Play for the pawn center! The pawn center is mighty!
  • Try to do moves that satisfy more than one goal.
  • Develop with threats!
  • Castle often, castle early!
  • Make as few pawn moves as possible
  • Do not move the same piece twice
  • Do not bring your queen out early without good reason.
  • Try to do moves that achieve multiple goals.

In the Middle Game

  • Use of All your Weapons! Pins, Forks, Discovery Attacks
  • Pressure the pinned piece.
  • Always scan the board for hanging pieces!
  • All combinations start with a check or a piece capture.
  • Try to attack multiple targets with one move.
  • Coordinate your pieces.
  • When trading, count your attackers and count your defenders
  • Limit the movement of your opponent’s pieces.
  • Trade pieces when winning.

In the End Game

  • The king’s a fighting piece!
  • Once the queens come off, the king can go to the center.
  • The passed pawn must be pushed
  • If you don’t have a passed pawn, try to create one!
  • If your opponent has a passed pawn, blockade it!
  • Place your pieces in active positions.
  • Keep an eye out for Back Rank Mates.