To be a
good chess player, the basic requirement is to understand the importance
of chess strategy. The game of chess is not just about moving a single
piece on the board. It is the development of position of strength on the
board by the combined placement of all the pieces. Each and every move has
to be evaluated to get an edge over the opponent and to check mate his
chess strategy also requires short term adjustments called tactics. These
moves are essential to make adjustments to the overall game plan in
relation to opponent’s performance. To achieve this, one should evaluate
each and every move made by the opponent, analyze its implication on the
chess strategy and make necessary changes, if warranted.
Phases of chess game
Chess can be classified into three distinct stages as given below. Good
chess strategy should address all these stages.
In the opening game
The chess strategy in the opening game is to achieving a position of
strength by trying to place the pieces in the best possible positions on
The best possible position aims at achieving the following essential
position on the board:
1.Safeguard the king from
exposure to opponent attacks
2.Achieving decent mobility
to all the pieces on the board that can help to make offensive moves in
the middle game
3.Sound pawn structure on
the board without restricting movement of other pieces
The middle game in chess develops when the actual attack on the
opponent is initiated after gaining positional advantage on the board
through the opening game chess strategy. Trading off of pieces, sacrifice
of pieces to get advantage on the board, pinning the opponent mobility are
some of the motives of the middle game chess strategy.
game involves lot of tactical adjustments to counter opponent’s moves.
Every move of the opponent has to be watched to understand his chess
strategy for effective counter action.
The player who has more power and better positional advantage on the
board will have distinctive advantage in the end game. The basic objective
of the end game is to immobilize the opponent king and gain victory. This
is the primary motive of any chess strategy.
strategy in the end game can take different options depending on the
position of strength obtained in the middle game. Two such situations are:
1.To score a win for the
position of power
2.To salvage a game into a
draw from a position of weakness, thus scoring a moral victory
requires lot of home work and planning before the commencement of the
actual game. Formulating an effective and flexible chess strategy and
implementing it on the board in relation to the opponent’s response and
reactions are crucial for success in a game of chess.
game is a judicious mixture of strategy and tactics.
is an overall game plan to achieve victory over the opponent in the game
of chess. A strategy is generally formulated from a series of games played
against an opponent. Thus it has significance over a longer period.
tactics, on the other hand is concerned with the immediate task on hand on
the board. It is a short sequence of moves planned by a player for getting
tangible results that are favorable over the opponent. It thus has a short
may be fixed or marginal changes in the series played. On the other hand
tactics keep changing many times within a single game.
A novice to the game of
chess will find it difficult to understand the sequence of moves made by
good chess players. Without clear understanding of Chess tactics used by
players, novices will not cherish the game Serious beginners of chess
should understand that most of chess tactics are general concepts and
ideas skillfully used by good players. These players adjust and adopt
their chess tactics to suit specific situations on the chess board. The
general concepts and ideas are introduced here for learners of chess so
that they can understand chess tactics and play the game better.
threat is the most fundamental and important of chess tactics. Double
threat is a single move made by a player on the chess board to present his
opponent with two dangers.
opponent is forced to make his next move to overcome one danger that is
perceived by him as the one of higher order. The net result is that the
first player can make his next move to execute the second threat.
threat is a chess tactic that generally involves two moves.
the player moves his piece to keep a check on the king, threatening at the
same time to conquer another important piece. The opponent in his next
move has to safeguard his king. In this process he is forced to lose one
of his major pieces.
Double threat types
variations of double threat chess tactic that are used by chess players
When one of your pieces
is used for double threat it is called forking
Most commonly used double
threat chess tactic
Fork acquires name on the
basis of the piece you use for forking
Knight fork is quite
common and confusing to novice opponents as its move is difficult to
Queen fork, bishop fork,
rook fork and pawn fork are other variations
Double threat chess
tactic develops when a piece is moved out of the way of the other
One threat is by a moved
piece and another by an unmasked piece
Always two pieces are
involved in this form double threat chess tactic
Note that knight cannot
be unmasked as it can never be masked
Pin occurs when one
player’s pieces is threatening opponent king (or any other valuable
piece such as queen) and another opponent piece is blocking the way
Effect of pin is pinning
or arresting the movement of the blocking piece of the opponent
Pin is the chess tactic
that effectively makes an opponent piece useless on the board
Pin requires maneuvering
of other pieces by opponent to mobilize the arrested pieces
The other option is to
move the valuable piece at the back and sacrifice the pinned piece
Skewering is a double
threat chess tactic where one piece threatens two pieces of the opponent
with the valuable opponent piece in the front
Note that in pin, a
valuable piece is at the back but in skewer it is in the front
Opponent is forced to
move the valuable piece
The exposed piece can be
Removing the guard or
Chess tactic where one of
the opponents guarding piece is threatened or removed
This exposes the
opponent’s guarding piece and the guarded piece
results in exchange of pieces by both the players
Zwischenzug is a chess
tactic that is commonly adopted by many players. This is a tactic by which
a player creates his own counter threat instead of clearing a threat
created by his opponent in an earlier move.
is another chess tactic that can often be seen in chess. This can be used
to gain advantage by introducing an element of surprise. If a player
sacrifices a piece when it was least expected by his opponent, this chess
tactic can give distinctive advantage.
Combination is the term used to represent chess tactics used by a player
with combinations of fundamental tactics to get relative advantage in
typically five of six moves.
tactics used by a chess player will be countered by tactics by the
opponent. Combination has to take care of counter moves by opponent
example as chess tactic a player creates a knight fork.
can respond in many ways that could be typically:
response is to safe guard the more valuable piece in the fork
Second response could be to
build up protection for his more valuable threatened piece.
Third response could be to
create his own fork or threat, Zwischenzug.
player has to now respond keeping in view the implications of opponent’s
move that could be a sacrifice move or another threatening move and the
game proceeds further.
player has to aim to get advantage in four or five moves. This chess
tactics the first player uses is typically called combination, a group of
basic moves made to get specific advantage.
tactics used by good chess players in their games are interesting to watch
and follow. Learners of the game can learn a lot by analyzing these games
in terms of the tactics used by both the players.