Chess Strategies

I explain various Chess Strategies and chess ideas to enable you to find the right moves in difficult chess positions that can occur in your chess games. There are countless little chess motifs and it makes sense to study them.

"When you absolutely don't know what to do anymore, it is time to panic."
John van der Wiel, Chess Grandmaster

All chess lessons are strictly orientated on reality. Various elements of chess are introduced that occur in real chess games.

Chess Strategy develops a "Winning Plan" that you should have when you play chess. If you don't have a plan, you will just aimlessly move your pieces around without a purpose or goal. This will lead to the loss of the game on a higher level of play. The plan has to be adjusted move after move. It does change in the course of the game.

A plan is always long-term and depends on the chess position and has to be adjusted from time to time. To create a plan you must look at every single pawn and every single piece. You should analyze the position first before you make a plan.

That means you do not force your will upon your position and make a plan that suits you but not the position. You have to submit your will to the requirements of the position. When your chess position tells you to attack on the kingside, then you don't attack on the queenside, just because you like to. Always "ask" your position what you should do. And concentration is needed, of course.

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There are static and dynamic elements in a chess position.

The Static Elements in Chess

The static elements (ex: doubled pawns) stay the way they are and usually cannot be changed. For example you might not be able to dissolve your damaged or weak pawn structure (static).

Dynamic Elements

Dynamic positional elements can be changed and do change in the course of the game.(bishop pair, flexible pawn formation) For example the pawn structure gets blocked and the knights increase in strength. Or the position opens up and the bishops become stronger than the knights.

A good chess player sees those things on the subconscious level. He always knows if he is running behind in material. That means for example, if he is a pawn or a piece up or down. He adjusts his play to this situation accordingly.

Dynamic elements are:
  • Strategic threats
  • Security of kings
  • Control of diagonals and rows
  • Pawn structure: isolated pawns, doubled pawns, backward pawns
  • Weak squares
  • Harmonious piece coordination
  • You analyze those elements and then you evaluate your position. After that you make a new plan or adjust your old plan.

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    Study the following Chess Strategies

    Central Pawn Strategy

    How deals Black with the following white Center Pawn Majority occurring frequently? When you click on the link above, a java chess applet will be loaded - so please be patient!

    Mobility of Chess Pieces

    The Mobility of Chess Pieces can change during the course of the game. Sometimes it is possible to capitalize on zero mobility of a piece and win it. This happens when a chess piece has no room to move at all when attacked and can be captured afterwards.

    Endgame Guidelines

    Please read the following guidelines for chess endgames.

    Kings and Pawns

    Some more endgame training for you.

    Kings and pawn-structures

    In pawn endgames it is sometimes important to devaluate your opponent's pawn structure or organize a breakthrough with your pawns.

    Chess Reality

    In practical play it is hard to apply chess principles. The following games should give you some chess reality.

    Middlegame Decisions - Chess Studies

    In Middlegames it is sometimes hard to find the right plan.

    The Minority Attack

    The Minority Attack is a basic concept that you should know.

    Center Pawn Exchange

    Understand this concept about exchanging center pawns.

    Ideas in the Veresov Attack

    Study this opening setup leading right into the middlegame.

    Fix It!

    Often you can block a weak pawn structure and attack it afterwards.

    It takes time to learn and be able to apply good chess strategies. Chess consists of many useful little strategic ideas. Memorize those ideas to use them in your chess games.

    The E-Pawn Advance

    Push the E-Pawn! Cramped chess opening setup leads to bad chess position.

    The E-Pawn Advance - Throw Sand into the Setup

    The Opponent has violated chess principles and gets punished. E-Pawn Push disturbs piece coordination severely.

    Bishop Pair

    The Bishop Pair and the E-Pawn Advance. Keep your Bishop Pair when the position tends to open up in the near future. Two bishops are working very well together in open positions. You don't see it, but you feel it!

    The Plan in Chess

    It is important and vital in chess to formulate a plan of action. You can't just move your pieces here and there without a plan as you will destroy the coordination of your pieces and ruin the whole setup.

    To find a plan you have to ask the right questions. First you have to count your pieces and pawns to see if you are up or down in material. A chess player always knows if he is up or down in material during the game.

    Then you have to figure out on which part of the board you have the best chances to succeed and if an inbalance exists.

    Look for weak pawns and for weak structures and understand in which direction your pieces should evolve. You might even sacrifice a pawn to execute your plan.

    Kasparov versus Deep Blue - Second Match Games

    Deep Blue was a big computer developed by IBM. Kasparov was invited to play against this monster. Replay games from the match - Kasparov versus Deep Blue 1997

    Isolated Pawn - Chess Game

    How to handle the Isolated Pawn?

    Strategies of Chess - The Imbalance in a Chess Game

    Chess Games tend to become imbalanced over time. Use the Imbalance to your Advantage

    Winning Chess Moves - Chess Game

    Winning Chess Moves - running behind in Piece Development

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    Compare Chess Piece Potential

    Chess Moves - Use your Intuition

    Chess Knight Tour

    Try the Chess Knight Tour - Can you make it? If not, so what? Don't worry too much about it! This has not much relevance to a Chess game.

    Chess Pattern

    Recognize Chess Patterns and memorize them for later use! I wish I would have a photographic memory.

    Define Targets - Chess Strategy

    Choose a target. The following page is a bit rough, I know. But I have to wake you up somehow. LOL

    Pawn Majority - Chess Analysis

    Use Pawns the right way.

    To memorize chess ideas makes sense, as you will be able to apply them in your real games over and over again.

    First of all when you want to make a certain move, try to look for arguments why your move is bad. The difference in thinking between a beginner and a master is that beginners try to find reasons, why a specific move they want to make is good, whereas masters try to find reasons why the intended move is bad and they look for ways how the opponent could possibly refute the move.

    Think more about the moves and plans of your opponent and less about yourself, falsify your hypothesis then your game will improve in the long run. Change the way you think.

    What opening should I play?

    Boy, you do ask questions! Just kidding!

    What is an Attacking Mark?
    In many games you find attacking marks to focus your attack on. Most importantly become aware that they exist.

    First get to know some Opening Traps in Chess. These traps are not so easy to understand right away. Some variations go over a long distance before you realize the trap.

    What to do with the Isolani?
    Often you get or can create an isolani for the opponent. If your opponent has one, then block it, then attack it from all sides and go into the endgame, if you can. The Isolani becomes weaker so more pieces are exchanged and leave the board. In the end you attack the isolani with your king and win this pawn because it is weak.

    How to think in Chess?

    Chess thinking requires a lot of discipline. To think the right way is vital to avoid blunders and stops your mind to overlook good moves from your opponent.

    Value of Chess Game Pieces

    The power level of each piece changes during the game and depends on the position of the piece. If the position of the piece is bad, then the power level is low. It is possible that a knight has a higher power level than a rook, when it is placed strongly in the center or near the opponents king. Everything is relative.

    Lack of Coordination - Chess Piece Moves

    Disturb the coordination of your opponents pieces if you can!

    Deep Thoughts - Why did Black lose?

    Have you ever asked yourself why you lost. Little things accumulate and lead to disaster. The opponent has to see it, of course, or your mistakes will not get punished.

    Chess Lesson - Wrong Recapture

    If you recapture the wrong way this can be enough reason to lose.

    Early Attack leads to Disaster

    Don't attack before you are fully developed or you run into disaster.

    The deadly Rook

    Blacks straightforward setup leads to an unstoppable attack. Memorize this game.

    Simple Chess Moves

    Different Colored Bishops

    If your bishop has a different color as your opponents bishop then organize an Attack running foremost on the same colors of your bishop!

    Difficult Moves

    Beat the Spanish with this Sideline

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