Look at the Whole Board

The chess board is an 8×8 square. But often we are too focused on one part, and forgetting to look at the WHOLE board.

In the diagram above, white is attacking on g7, but black protects it with the knight on e8.

Question of the Day: White to move and win material. Hint: Look on the queenside as well.

Undesired Two on One

In an earlier post, we talked about the favorable two on one.

But are all two on one captures good for us?

Question of the Day: Is the capture good in the diagram above? Why or why not?

Queen vs. Two Rooks

A queen is worth 10 points (some prefer 9 points). A rook is worth 5 points.

Hence roughly two rooks are equivalent to a queen.

Let’s show this with an example.

Can anyone make progress?

Hardly. There’s no way for white to win one of the black’s rooks, as all black has to do is use the rooks to protect each other.

Similarly, there’s no way for black to trap white’s queen.

Therefore, they are roughly equal.

Question of the Day: How do you can compare a Queen vs. a Rook and a Bishop?

Castle Early

The three opening strategies in chess are

The reason for castle early is to put our king in the safety soon.

Question of the Day: Which king is safer in the position above?

Develop Pieces

Pieces in chess are like solider on a battle field. We don’t want them sleep at home all the time.

That’s why we want to develop them as fast as possible.

Question of the Day: Which side is more developed in the position above?

Openings – Controlling the Center

This week we’ll talk about basic opening strategies.

Pieces in the center control more squares and can gain more space.

The most popular first move in chess is king’s pawn or queen’s pawn openings.

Question of the Day: What do you think are the most popular move for black against each of the positions above?

Knight Outpost

We’ve looked at rook and bishop’s role respectively. What about knight.

Knight is very powerful when it is protect by one or more of his own pieces, and it is hard for opponent to attack it.

We call this an outpost.

Here’s an example:

Nf3-e5 is a great square for white’s knight, it is well protected by the pawns, and there is absolutely no way for black to attack it.

Question of the Day: Which square is a great outpost for white’s knight?

Bishop likes Open Positions

Knight and bishop are both worth 3 points, but they have different tool set.

Bishop is a long range piece. Therefore, it usually likes open positions.

Question of the Day: In the two positions below, in which position do you like the bishop more?

Rooks on Open File

We’ll take a break from endgame knowledge this week and learn about a few pieces main role.

First off: the Rook.

Rooks belong to open files

White to Move

Re1-d1 is a good move in the position above, as it will then control the d-file. Afterward, it is very hard for black to fight for the file.

Question of the Day: What should black play if it is black to move in the above diagram?

Waiting Move

We know in rook’s checkmate, we need to force opposition and push king backward.

Black to move

If it’s black to move, he has to either move the king into opposition (Ka6-b6) which allows Rh5-Rh6. Or he has to move the king backward, then we want to restrict it even further by playing Rh6.

Question of the Day: What happens if it’s our turn in the position above? Hint: Look at the title of this blog post.