3 Rules That Will Change YOUR Chess Forever! [Expert SECRETS & TIPS]
Strategy Training & Psychology

3 Universal Rules that Will Change YOUR Chess Forever!

3 Universal Rules that Will Change YOUR Chess Forever!

We will explore three universal rules that can significantly improve your chess game. These rules have been proven effective in helping players dominate against average opponents and elevate their skills to elite levels. By understanding and implementing these rules, you can enhance your decision-making process and find proper moves in any position.

Let’s dive into these powerful principles and unlock your potential as a formidable chess player.

Rule 1: To Take Is a Mistake

White to play

Let’s start right here. Imagine that you are playing a game and it is your turn. How do you play here? Just think about this for a second, and then we’ll compare different options as well as how you can pick the best one.

What can you do here? There are a lot of different options. Which one is the best? How do you choose?

Let me first address one of the common problems, which is actually rule number one. This is an old rule that I studied many years ago, but many players still aren’t aware of it. It states that “to take is a mistake.” The second most common move in this position is dxc5, which is a big mistake that you should never follow in your games. Remember this rule: “to take is a mistake” and avoid this error.

Whenever There Is Tension

So, what’s the problem here? Whenever there is tension, when pieces or pawns attack each other, usually, in order to make your life simpler, it’s tempting to release the tension and get rid of it so that it’s easier for you to calculate further moves. But the problem here is that very often, in the vast majority of cases, as you release the tension, you actually help your opponent.

You will learn when to exchange pieces and when not to, how to find proper attacking moves and create problems for your opponents and, most importantly, you will learn when and how to calculate during a chess game.

Rule 2: Create Problems for Your Opponent

The second rule that helps you find proper moves states, “Don’t just move around, attack, challenge your opponent, create problems for your opponent.” That’s what really separates stronger players from the rest. An average player, while thinking about this position or any other chess position, thinks about it in terms of developing pieces and how to do that.

But if you compare that to a strong chess player, a strong player has a different mindset. They think: “How do I attack? How do I pose problems to my opponent? How do I challenge them?” When you have that focus, it totally changes your approach.

With that in mind, although White has a number of decent developing moves, the move Bg5 should be the best because it actually creates problems for Black. We threaten potentially to take on f6, and if Black recaptures, it weakens the pawn on d5, which we can pick up on the next move.

Offense Is the Best Defense

Here’s another very common situation. After your opponent goes Bg5 and creates this pin, how would you play if you’re playing as Black? Just think about this for a few seconds. It’s your turn; your opponent’s bishop is on g5. What is your reaction here?

Bg5 quite obviously creates the same threat to the pawn on d5, where it wants to potentially take the knight on f6 and then pick up the pawn on d5 with either a knight or a queen.

For that reason, most players in this position automatically defend by playing the move bishop to e6, according to the database. That’s the most played move in this position.

Now, what’s wrong with this move? Well, it ties together with the previous rule we discussed, which is that you don’t want to just move around; you want to attack and create problems for your opponent. In this particular case, the rule states that offense is the best defense.

Look at Attacking Moves First

With that in mind, the first move you should think about is the move d4 because that’s an attacking move. You go forward, to almost the half of the board, and you attack something. You force the knight to move. In positions like these, and in any other position, I want you to think that way: how do I go forward, how do I attack, how do I challenge my opponent? So, d4 is actually a lot stronger than just playing a defensive move like bishop to e6.

Rule 3: Calculate When There is Tension Between Pieces

Before we proceed, take a few seconds to think about this position. Let me know which move you would play if you were playing as Black.

Defending passively or playing defensively is not recommended. Instead, you should consider the idea that the best defense is a good offense. So, how do you counter attack?

Crucial Rule for Strong Players

This rule is crucial for strong players. In fact, the last two moves made by White were big blunders. They failed to recognize a strong tactical option for Black. I’m not sure if you can find it, but regardless of that, the main idea here is that when pieces start attacking each other, you need to take some time to calculate.

You can’t afford to make rushed moves because you might run out of time, especially in blitz games.

When there is tension between pieces, it’s important to calculate and consider different options. Look for forcing moves, such as captures, checks, and attacks. These moves increase in value because the consequences of a wrong move can be immediate.

You might blunder a piece or ruin your entire position, leading to a loss. So, it’s wise to spend some time thinking and calculating in such situations.

Let’s see how to play here.

Conclusion

By following the three universal rules discussed in this article, you can enhance your chess skills and elevate your game. Remember not to make hasty captures, focus on attacking and challenging your opponent, and prioritize offense as the best defense.

Apply these principles to any chess position, and you’ll see improvements in your decision-making and overall performance. Keep practicing, studying, and striving for chess mastery. Good luck on your journey to becoming a formidable chess player!

Below, you can find the game shown in the video:

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want GM Igor Smirnov to help you get better at chess, watch this Masterclass.

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