Chess Strategies for BeginnersJanuary 19, 2022 2022-07-05 4:35
Chess Strategies for Beginners
Chess Strategies for Beginners
Chess is super hard for beginners, and even more if they don’t learn strategies. It is tough to decide what to play and when to play it and if it is correct to play certain moves. All those strategies a beginner has to learn even get more confusing.
To make life a bit easier for beginners in chess, we will look at a couple of strategies that they can implicate in their game plan to possibly get some positive results.
Chess Grandmasters have their strategies, but what do we mean by chess strategies in general? These are long-term plans that you can implicate into your game to gain a long-term advantage over your opponent.
Piece Activity (Chess Strategies)
The main goal is to ensure that all your pieces have the uttermost squares to operate with.
Knights are known to control a total of eight squares at their peak, so the key is to ensure that they control as many squares close to eight as possible.
1.Ng1-h3: This knight had the option to play 1.Nf3. On h3 it controls three squares, which are g1,f4, and g5.
1.Nb1-c3: This knight also had the option to play 1.Na3. On c3, it controls seven squares, which are b1, d1, e2, e4, d5, b5, and a4.
In this position, it is clear that Nc3 is better. The key is to ensure that the knights are far away from the a-file and h-file to have more influence on the board.
In the position above, it is clear that White does not only have activity but that activity also limits Black’s minor pieces. The black knight only has g8 to move to while all the other squares are covered.
The black bishop on c8 has no squares to move to as it is blockaded by its pawns on b7 and d7.
The aim is to ensure that all your minor pieces are out early to avoid having a position like the one black has.
White can just play 1.Nd6 and there are no squares for the black bishop to move to.
The lesson below talks about one of the most universal strategic rules in chess -the principle of the least active piece:
In an endgame scenario, your king is less likely to be checkmated because most major and minor pieces would have been exchanged or captured.
The best strategy to implicate is to move your king towards the center where it has more control, or near the pawns as in the endgame; the king becomes an attacking piece.
In the position above, Black forgot to accompany their pawns with its king, but instead, let them go into a fight alone.
This allows White to play 1.Kg4 f3 2.gxf3 Ke7 3.Kxg5, and there is no way to stop White from winning this match.
Now, what happens if both kings are active in an equal-looking position? While strategy is a long-term plan, there are cases where it is helped by tactics.
Here both players implicated a strategy and got both their kings in active positions.
Though Black has to implicate a tactic to gain a winning position. 1…Kb5 2.Kc3 Ka4 3.Kc2 Kb4 4.Kd3 Kb3. And there is no way for White to stop Black from capturing the pawns.
The first major mistake came when White did not strategically consider how the position will end up if they tried pushing for a win.
They should have considered just pushing for a draw instead, as the position has equal material.
King Safety (Chess Strategies)
Beginners must learn that forgetting about your king is the worst of all the strategies in chess. ☺
To ensure that the king is safe, the first rule is to castle early. This moves the king away from central squares, where most of the tension will be.
The second rule is to make sure there are defending pieces surrounding the pieces, mainly the minor pieces.
1.f3 e6 2.g4 Qh4#
In the position above, White forgets about the king’s safety and decides to play with the pawns that are meant to make sure the king is safe.
White’s idea should have been to focus on using other pieces like the e4, and d4 as a beginner, and then use the f-pawn and g-pawn to shield the king after kingside castling.
In this position, Black failed to castle in the opening. This has allowed Black to manipulate the position into a win.
1.Bxd7+. This leaves Black with two options and both of them are losing. 1…Qxd7 leads to a complete fallout in the position.
2.Qb8+ Ke7 3.Qxe5+ Kd8 4.Bxf6+ gxf6 5.Qxf6+ Kc7 6.Rxd7+, and there is no way Black can save this position.
If 1…Nxd7 occurs, then White has a forced mate in two after 2.Qb8+ Nxb8 Rxd8#
In this position, Black moves all their minor pieces and the queen to the queenside. This leaves the king vulnerable to attacks.
1.e6. This leaves the queen on c7 attacked by the bishop on f4, and the e6–pawn is attacking the f7-pawn.
1…Qc8 2. Bh6, threatening a checkmate on g7. 2…g6 3.Bxf8 Bxf8 4.exf7+ Kh8 5.Bf5 Qc7 6.Bxg6 Ne5 7.Qg3.
Black has no way to stop the incoming attacks on the king, mainly because all the pieces that were supposed to be in its defense were far from it.
In the example above, White spots that Black has misplaced and underdeveloped the pieces. This left the black king vulnerable to attacks.
1.Bxh6 gxh6 2.Qxh6 f5 3.Qg6+ Kh8 4.Re3, and there is no way that Black can stop the checkmate.
When sacrificing the bishop, White also paid attention to how active the bishop on d3 and the rook on e1 were.
If stuck in a position where sacrificing is part of the table, it is key to pay attention to the piece activity on both sides for the plan to be successful.
Sacrifices are often the means to get into the opponent’s king position, and they show the beauty of chess. Be sure to look at the Top 3 Amazing Chess Sacrifices by GM Igor Smirnov.
Pawn Structure (Chess Strategies)
Pawns are one of the major determining factors in a chess game. Depending on how the pawns are structured, players can decide if they are in a winning or losing position and where to attack or defend.
Example 1: Isolated Pawn
An isolated pawn is a pawn that has no pawns to back it up on its adjacent sides. This pawn can become a main attacking point for the opposite side.
In this position, Black notices that White has an isolated pawn that can act as a long-term attacking point.
1…f5. If the white rook hopes to continue protecting the pawn, then it has to stay on the same rank by playing 2.Rf4 Rd5, hoping to trap the knight.
3…g5. In this position, Black has strategically used the isolated d5-pawn to create multiple weaknesses on White’s kingside, including limiting the f5-rook to fewer squares.
Example 2: Passed Pawn
This is a pawn that has no enemy pawn in its way that can stop it from reaching the eighth rank and promoting.
Passed pawns are grouped into two groups:
- Connected Passed Pawns: These are two or more adjacent pawns that have no enemy pawns in front of them.
- Isolated Passed Pawn: This is a single pawn with no adjacent pawns that have no enemy pawns in front of it.
In the position above, White has managed to create an isolated passed pawn, and there is very little Black can do to stop it from advancing to a8.
The advantage that White has with this white pawn is that it is protected by the bishop, rook, and queen.
Example 3: Doubled Pawn
Doubled pawns are two pawns of the same color, be they black or white. These pawns are on the same file at a certain period.
In the position above, White has doubled pawns on the f2 and f3 squares. This is not the only weakness as the king is left vulnerable to attacks.
The best strategy for Black in this position would be to manipulate the doubled pawns to attack the white king.
1…Qg5+ 2.Kh1 Qg4. And Black manipulates the doubled pawns into a position where either White sacrifices the queen or is checkmated
Example 4: Backward Pawn
A backward pawn is a pawn that has no support from adjacent pawns because they have already advanced of it.
In the position above, White has a backward c1-pawn, which if captured, White’s whole position will collapse.
The best continuation for Black is to attack the backward pawn. While Bd3 seems like a good move, the bishop served as a better option for controlling the diagonal, so the best option is to resort to the knight.
1…Nc5 2.Nge2 Bxg2 3.Kxg2 Nd3. And Black has manipulated the backward pawn to be able to fork the two white rooks.
The pressure on the pawn will continue and White will continue to drop more pieces as the match continues because of the pawn.
As beginners, those are some of the strategies to implicate in your chess games. Developing your pieces into an active square is the key.
This development must be into squares where they will not impact your king negatively.
It might be hard to be a beginner, but one has to take time to learn more different ways to understand and develop chess. It takes time and consistent dedication, especially when one practices every day.
At the same time, the structure you create with your pawns shouldn’t see them clashing with each other and not supporting each other also.
You can be sure that these chess strategies for beginners will pay off.