General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Any Chess strategy among us?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10269points) May 1st, 2010

Just begginning of the game , and short games.

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15 Answers

skfinkel's avatar

Develop your pieces. That is, move a larger number of pieces in the beginning, rather than moving the same one over and over again. You get your guys in a good position that way. Also, aim for the center of the board. Get control of that as much as you can.

nope's avatar

Attack rather than defend…so many younger (or should I say, less experienced) players move their pieces around in reaction to the other player. You can get in the driver’s seat by attacking as fast as possible, and put the other player on guard…you’ll have better inital success with this…subject, of course, to the skill of the player you are facing.

windex's avatar

Some openings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrov%27s_Defense
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Gambit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuoco_Piano
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch_Game
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruy_Lopez
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Game
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_defence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimzo-Indian_Defence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Indian_Defence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%BCnfeld_Defence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen%27s_Indian_Defense
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benoni_Defense
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9ti_Opening
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Indian_Attack
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Opening
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larsen%27s_Opening
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokolsky_Opening
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird%27s_Opening
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benko_Opening

When I was a little boy I loved these chess magazines they used to sell. It had tips/tricks, and a list of moves from some famous games (back then there was no internet) so I would recreate them and…stuff.
Also they had a section (my favorite) that would show you a picture a game already in progress, and it would say something like “white wins in 3” black moves first.
And you had to figure out what moves would guarantee a victory, no matter what the other side did.
good times…
I owned 3 sets:

A Small Travel one:
http://www.chesshouse.com/v/vspfiles/photos/XTR01-2.jpg
my pieces were plastic on top though, and the board was metal but covered with plastic.

A Regular one:
http://www.bombayharbor.com/productImage/Pocket_Magnetic_Chess_Set/Pocket_Magnetic_Chess_Set.jpg
A bit different

And a Big one
http://tiendadefitness.com/images/ajedrez_gigante_jardin.jpg
(my board was a rug) and the pieces were made out of some sort of plastic, filled with salt or something

frdelrosario's avatar

Let me ask you a question first.

If you wanted to play better golf, would you improve more from longer drives or surer putts?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

think ahead, visualizing as many potentials as possible

Ltryptophan's avatar

@frdelrosario is that a rhetorical q? If not, then I would say I would improve more from surer putts…

frdelrosario's avatar

@Ltryptophan Good. Golfers derive much more benefit from better putting than longer driving. Chessplayers win far more games by learning a little about the ending than by learning lots about openings.

Ultimately, a chessplayer is only as good as his tactical ability. Grandmaster Christiansen credited 1000 Winning Sacrifices and Combinations with making him a GM, but you never hear a strong player credit his improvement to an openings book.

The time an inexpert player spends on openings goes wasted. No matter how well that player conducts the first phase, he still has to finish the game. A golfer can hit a 350-yard drive to within 10 feet of the cup, but if he three-putts it, it’s just a bad hole.

Every swap brings the game closer to its ending. We’re not allowed to put pieces back on the board to go back to an opening we learned. We can’t avoid the endgame — the ending is coming no matter what, but many games go from opening to endgame in about 10 moves. Openings knowledge is useless for inexpert players, but a tiny bit of endgame study goes a long, long way.

MOST generally: The opening is about center control. The endgame is about the care and feeding of a passed pawn. Every move in a chess game — whether opening, middlegame, or end — should be designed to make the biggest threat while introducing the greatest amount of new force.

gailcalled's avatar

@frdelrosario is now our resident “strategist.” Check his profile.

JonnyCeltics's avatar

In terms of beginning strategy

1) control the center…
2) protect your king, castling within ~10 moves or so…
3) develop your pieces
4) understand piece value (pawn-1, knight/bishop-3, rook-5, queen-9)
5) knights are great at the beginning of a game to control the center, but bishops are great in the endgame and are much faster….
....I could go on and on.

Why not learn an opening, too, for fun – and just roll with it, master it.

I teach children around Chicago chess, and these are the basic concepts, although the game has an endless amount of learning attached to it. Also, studying famous games are VERY insightful….!

have fun :)

frdelrosario's avatar

learn an opening, too, for fun – and just roll with it, master it.

One in 100 kids turns out to have the talent and willingness to become very good at chess — if the kid is lucky, s/he won’t get a teacher who shares such advice. The best chess teacher in history, Cecil Purdy, said the one positional principle that applies to every position is use inactive force. He also said examine all threats. If the player does just those two things, he’ll navigate through any opening, any position. No memorization required.

To do this the right way, learn every position with two pieces on the board. There’s a lot to learn from king vs. king. Then add one piece to the board. King plus queen vs. king, king plus rook vs. king, king plus pawn vs. king. I’d wager many ‘chess teachers’ don’t understand every position with king plus pawn vs. king.

After learning all the positions with three units on the board, make it four. Then five. And so on.

Eventually, after decades of work, the player can start learning the positions with 32 units on the board. Obviously and logically, those are the hard ones. Is it easier to manage a company with two employees, or a company with 16?

One doesn’t “master an opening”. That’s nonsense. And even if one could take an open book to a chessboard, and follow it until the end of some modern analysis that leads to the mythical and coveted ‘plus over minus’, then the player has to close the book and make middlegame moves on his own. There is no avoiding the end of the game, and it’s an easier and more valuable thing to learn.

frdelrosario's avatar

Oh, but @JonnyCeltics’ suggestion to “have fun” is the most critical. Please do.

talljasperman's avatar

Copy what the other guy does until he gets mad and quits…. and then If your losing try the “Earth-quake” move.

Jabe73's avatar

I’m not sure what my rating is, i’ve ranged anywhere from 1800 to 2000 from different tests i took. I do know one thing for sure, if you are playing an opponent who is rated much higher than you and you just try to defend they will line all their pieces up and tear you apart. You have to have an attack strategy of your own to keep them honest.

Try to keep your options open to castle either long or short if necessary. Don’t castle too early, see where your opponents pieces are lined up first, that’s why i try to get all my pieces out early from both my queen or king sides so i have the option of castling to the desired side whatever the situation warrants.

Go with moves that best fit your style, study opening moves and even practice them first. I prefer open games where material is exchanged very quickly, try to get a slight pawn advantage and play for the endgame so i prefer different variations of sicilian as black and center pawn moves as white.

frdelrosario's avatar

I’m not sure what my rating is

It is 0.

i’ve ranged anywhere from 1800 to 2000 from different tests i took.

Meaningless. The only true tests are across the board from an opponent.

I do know one thing for sure, if you are playing an opponent who is rated much higher than you and you just try to defend they will line all their pieces up and tear you apart.

Very good. That is, indeed, the one thing you know about chess, and you are correct.

Try to keep your options open to castle either long or short if necessary. Don’t castle too early, see where your opponents pieces are lined up first

Nope. In the absence of a developing move that threatens something, castle as soon as possible, preferably on the kingside.

Go with moves that best fit your style

Weak players do not have a style, but they usually imagine they do. Style doesn’t manifest itself until players are master strength.

study opening moves and even practice them first

Worst advice possible. Chessplayers are as good as their ability to recognize tactical patterns at the board. Weak players can take an openings book to the board, leave it open, and consult it, and it won’t help one bit. Every move inexorably carries the players toward an ending — endgame knowledge is absolutely required because endings cannot be avoided, whereas openings can.

Jabe73's avatar

To frdelrosario, that is your opinion, i won a chess tournament in middle school and came very close in many other tournaments against players that were rated much higher than me. I’m not a grand master but i think after playing chess for 30 of my 37 years alive i know a little something about chess. My advice on castling is very accurate, yes my rating is irrelevant ( i’m not even sure what it really is) but if you castle on the king side after just 4 moves and your opponent is much better than you and after 4 moves has all their pieces aiming at your king side make no mistake about it, you will lose.

You should know the basics about opening moves so you don’t fall for traps but opening moves themselves are not the most important part of chess but your concetration on the board and your strategy. I never said do everything (like opening moves in a robotic order) but just be aware of what the basic is behind them, you don’t want to fall for opening traps like a castage or fishing pole.

End game strategy is the first thing i learned after the basics when i first started playing, how to mate with knight, bishop and king against a lone king or 2 bishops and king against a lone king. learning to keep the opposition with a king or lone pawn as well. Endgame strategy is the most important thing to learn in chess because it requires the ultimate form of coordination with your peices working as a team and these are similar strategies you most likely will need to use in the opening/mid-game.

I do know something else as well, if your strategy isn’t good in the opening or mid-game there won’t be an endgame unless you count an early checkmate as the “end game”. That is not the endgame but the end of the game, 2 different things.

Everyone has their own way of playing, that’s the way i play and it works very well for me so i’m giving the person asking the question advice on what worked for me. I do enjoy playing chess for fun and i try not to take it seriously anymore but i’m still pretty good at it and i’m giving the person good advice. Good luck in your games anyway.

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