The Best Chess Strategy (Simple and Powerful)May 31, 2018 2023-11-17 21:28
The Best Chess Strategy (Simple and Powerful)
The Best Chess Strategy (Simple and Powerful)
Let me start this article with a question: What is the best chess strategy? Reading this, several important chess rules and principles would probably be floating around your head –control the center, develop minor pieces first, castle your king, open files for your rooks, and so on, right? Please, take a minute or two, and try to figure out the most important chess strategy, and only then continue reading. Done? Great, now continue reading!
In this lesson, you will learn the best chess strategy to help you win the right moves in almost any chess position.
☉ Chess Strategy for Beginners
Maybe the strategy that you are going to learn here is not the most suitable for beginners in chess. But if you are one of them, don’t worry. We also have what you need! ☺
In Mastering the Basics: Essential Chess Strategy Rules for Beginners you can learn the basics about strategy in chess. There you can find all that you need to stop playing random moves and start playing with a purpose in mind.
The Best Chess Strategy
I assume that you’ve selected some chess rule/principle as the best chess strategy. To help you evaluate your answer, and to help you learn and understand the best chess strategy, I’ve prepared a video lesson.
This lesson talks about one of the most universal strategic rules in chess – Principle of the least active piece. You might have studied this principle in my past lessons, but it’s VERY important that I would highly recommend that you brush up your knowledge. Plus, it contains some really beautiful games, and one cool puzzle for you. Try it out! 😃
This is a very standard and practical position which can arise from different move orders. Here it is White to move. From a general point of view, White has many options here. For example: b3, with the idea of fianchettoing the bishop on b2; cxd5, releasing the tension in the center; Re1, Qc2 or Qe2, aiming to break in the center with e4.
Even if you check this position with the computer engine, you can realize that the engine is confused and shows several decent options. So, this is a very common situation in chess. Sometimes, you have many options and you get confuse because you cannot decide which move to play. Here is very important to have a guideline in order to organize your thinking process.
Here comes the strategy that I wanted to share with you: it is called the principle of the least active piece and it states the following: In any position, find the least active piece and improve its position. It’s as simple as that! 😃
So, instead of all the options that we considered previously, let’s only focus on this single principle. In this position, White’s minor pieces are already developed and only the bishop on c1 remains passive. In order to connect our rooks, we need first to develop the bishop on c1. Here b3 or e4 are the best options to achieve that. In the game, White played e4! and got a good position with active pieces and he eventually won. You can see the whole game below.
In this position, the former World Champion Alexander Alekhine is playing with the white pieces against an amateur player. Let’s apply the principle of the least active piece once again here. It’s Black to play.
Similar to the previous game, Black has the bishop undeveloped and the rook on a8 in the corner doing nothing. So, it would make sense for Black to develop his bishop. For example, Black can play Bd7 or Bg4, and then bring the rook into play; and he will be doing absolutely fine. However, instead of that, he played the wrong move f5? and lost in a few moves. Let’s check how Alekhine executes his advantage.
Let’s see how the principle of the least active piece works in an endgame. This is a game between two not to much famous players of Hungary. Here Black has a winning position because White has to many weaknesses. Despite of this, maybe it’s not completely clear how to convert the point here. So, the question is… How can Black make any progress?
Let’s focus once again in the principle of the least active piece and think which of the black pieces is the least active. Which piece is not taking part in the game? That is the king! And this is completely natural because in the middlegame we have to secure our king from any danger, but in the endgame we must activate the king. In the game, Black played the good move Kd7! You can see the complete game here.
If you want to IMPROVE your game and your thinking process during the game, I highly recommend you to grab my course “7 Keys to Victory“. You will learn the essentials to win chess games easily and regularly.