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Understanding the Basics of Chess Openings

The first lesson you must learn on the road to improving your chess game is to get your priorities straight. Not only should you not be trying to checkmate your opponent in the opening, but you shouldn't [more…]

Recognizing the Role of the Rook in Chess

In chess, the rook can move only forward and backward or from side to side — always in a straight line. Each player has two rooks to start a match, and each rook is placed in the back corner on either [more…]

Playing National Tournament Chess

You'll probably be nervous the first time you enter a tournament. Don't let that stop you! World champions had to play in their first tournament, too. Most tournament players remember what it feels like [more…]

Examining the Material Element in Chess

Some chess pieces are more powerful than others. Some are stronger than others. The element of material is concerned with this relative strength of the pieces. [more…]

Restricting Movement with Semi-Closed Chess Games

Semi-closed chess games are those in which White plays 1.d4 and Black responds with anything other than 1.…d5. As with semi-open games, these openings can result in asymmetrical positions that can become [more…]

Favoring the Sides with Flank Chess Games

In chess, the openings for flank games avoid or delay moving either the d-pawn or the e-pawn to the fourth rank. They appeal to chess players who want to play their system regardless of how Black responds [more…]

Opening Up the Board with Open Chess Games

In chess, open games are defined by the moves 1.e4 e5. Many of these chess matches feature open files, ranks, or diagonals that facilitate piece movement. People who enjoy attacking early and often are [more…]

Picking a Fight with Semi-Open Chess Games

Semi-open chess games are those in which White plays 1.e4, but Black doesn’t respond with 1.…e5. These chess openings typically result in asymmetrical games where finding the right plan may be difficult [more…]

Applying Strategy with Closed Chess Games

Chess openings that occur after the moves 1.d4 d5 often result in closed games. These games emphasize maneuvering because pawn exchanges are delayed. Players who prefer strategic clashes to tactical melees [more…]

Chess Openings For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Chess openings can be broken down into categories based on their pawn structures and how much mobility the pieces have. Players often like a particular category of chess opening because of the type of [more…]

Understanding Chess Notation

Chess notation has an important role in the world of chess because it preserves the game’s history. It allows people to record games for posterity and gives them the chance to review the history of the [more…]

How to Notate Special Events in Chess

Algebraic chess notation is universally understood in the chess world because it doesn't rely on a particular language. With algebraic notation, each square is indicated by a file letter [more…]

Setting Up Your Chessboard

Setting up your chessboard is the first step in playing a game of chess. Take your time setting up the board, until you’re confident that you know where everything goes: [more…]

Knowing the Moves that Chess Pieces Can Make

Before you can play a game of chess, you need to know how to move the pieces (legally). A chess piece’s power is tied to its mobility. The more mobile a piece is, the more powerful it is: [more…]

Understanding Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate in Chess

In chess, check is an attack on an enemy king; this attack can’t be ignored. If the check can’t be neutralized, it is checkmate and the game is over. Stalemate [more…]

Naming Ranks and Files in Chess

The chessboard is divided into ranks (numbers) and files (letters). There are eight of each, and each is comprised of eight squares of equal size: [more…]

Chess For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Unless you have amazing powers of visualization, chess requires a chess set and a board for you to play on. The chessboard is divided up into sections called ranks and files, and the set is composed of [more…]

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