Chess Basics: Classification of chess games

Chess is a boardgame where the motto of the player is to capture the opponent’s King and say checkmate. The game is played by a minimum of two players over a squareboard containing 64 squares in alternate colors organized in the form of 8 rows and 8 columns.  One player is provided with white pieces and the other player is provided with black pieces.  Each player is provided with 16 pieces that include One King, One Queen, two bishops, two knights, two rooks and eight pawns.

The game between the two players on the chess board, akin to a war between two kings in a battle field, is classified into four  types depending upon the movement of the pieces in the opening stages of the game.  While there is no change in the basic chess principles underlying the different types of opening, the arrangement of the pieces determines the type of the game.

The game of chess can be typically classified into four types viz.

  • Open game
  • Semi-open game
  • Closed game
  • Semi closed game.

Open games: – Open games  are chess openings where the first move by White is to move the pawn before the King two squares forward – that is from e2 to e4.  In response, the black also replies with a similar move, moving its pawn before the King at e7 to e5.

The idea behind the White’s move is to have immediate control over the central region of the board – namely the golden squares of e4, e5, d4 and d5.  Not only will the move provides control over the center, it also opens up the Queen and the Bishop next to the King for further development.  In response to this move by White, if black replicates the similar move and tries to have a share of the center, then it results in an Open game.  Ruy Lopez opening is a typical example of an open game.

Semi-Open games:-A semi-open game is a chess opening in which White plays 1.e4 and Black breaks symmetry immediately by replying with a move other than 1…e5. The Semi-Open Games  are the complement of the Open Games which begin 1.e4 e5.

Most common among the semi-open games is the Sicilian defense in which the black responds with c5 and the French defense where the black responds with e6 instead of e5.  The characteristic feature of semi-open games is that these openings lead to unbalanced positions which offer exciting play with both sides having chances to win.

Closed games:-  The closed game is the opposite of the Open game. In contrast to the king pawn movement in the Open game, the quen pawn is moved two squares to d4 and black responds with similar queen pawn movement to d5.

The major difference between the open game and the closed game is that in case of open game, the king pawn at e4 for white and king pawn for black at e5 are not defended, the queen pawn moved by White to d4 is defended by the Queen and the same is the case for black pawn at d5 as well.

Semi-closed game:- Having seen the three different types of games described above, it is natural that you guessed what does the Semi-closed game is all about. Yes. In response to White’s queen pawn movement to d4, black defers from moving the queen pawn and moves other piece, preferably the Knight at king side to f6.

Each of the different openings unfold different challenges to the players and effective implementation of tactics and strategies are essential to say checkmate to the opponent.

Leave a Comment

Chess Basics: Useful suggestions for toddlers in chess

Chess is a board game played between two individuals across a square board comprising of 64 squares in alternate colors arranged in 8 rows and 8 columns.   The game of chess is the best board game as it is the fair game, having no room for chance or luck, and calls for thinking on the part of the players.  Once the myths surrounding the game of chess – the game is considered to be a idle man’s paradise – has been dissipated, one can realize the vast potential of the game.  The game not only presents challenges to the players, it is also very beneficial to their minds and plays a very vital role in developing a strong character among the players.

In this article, i will walk through the simple steps one need to take at the initial stages of starting to play the game of chess, after just learning about the rules of the game.

You should start playing preferably with another beginner, as soon as you have learned the moves. Do not be discouraged if you are slow in remembering the rules. With a little practice, you will get accustomed to the moves of the pieces and will be able to start working things out without trying to remember how each one move and capture.

Chess is competitive and a desire to win is its strongest motivation. This is why you should play with another beginner whom you have a chance to defeating. It is better if you have an instructor who can supervise the game to make you sure that the rules are observed and to point out where you went wrong after the game.

Textbook dealing with all aspects of the game in one volume, vary in scope and price. Some chess manuals are written by champions, others by chess teachers – they all help the beginner to delve deeper into the mysteries of chess. Later the person wishing to improve skills further more can specialize by studying various aspects of the game and here there is a vast choice of aids.

Books dealing with openings range from comprehensive manuals in several large volumes, not recommended for beginners, to books designed to explain the reasons why the openings are played in a certain way.

The Middle game is dealt with by explaining the basic strategic principles and by giving examples of tactical combinations. There are many books dealing with this subject.

The end game is part of the game, which all aspiring players should study. Here again there is a choice of many books. Best for beginners are elementary books, which explain basic principles that are most likely to occur in practical way. For advanced players there are books, which deal with specific ending in depth. Finally, we come to collection of games of great players. We recommend the books with detailed comments, especially those designed for beginners.

The young learners are advice not to rely heavily on chess problems to acquire mastery in this game. These problems are as removed from as crossword puzzles are from literature. Surely, they bone one’s power of visualization of the moves. Play as many actual games as possible and solve chess problem to keep your mind alert in the chess-sense. Remember in chess (the actual game) the object of the game is to defeat the opponent, the means by which this end is achieve or the time is takes, being unimportant.

Leave a Comment

Useful tips for improving chess skills

One of the most fascinating board games that has stood the test of time and technology and still fascinating people across the world is none other than Chess.  However, many people, at their beginning stages of learning the game, lose heart at being unable to say checkmate to the opponent frequently and lose out from playing this wonderful game.  While it is true that the game of chess is not just a mere sport but also a stimulant to the brain and ushers him number of benefits to a healthy mind, many beginners do not take up the game seriously stating that they could not memorize all the moves, tactics and strategies.  There is no need to memorize the moves or learn the tactics and strategies by heart.  One simple exercise to the mind is all that is required to improve the chess skills of a novice.  In addition to that exercise, general idea of the game, relevance and importance of the pieces and their merits and demerits would be sufficient to gain expertise on the game. Of course, last but not the least, more and more practice of the games is very essential.

With that note, i would like to suggest some general ideas that might be of use in improving your chess skills.

One of the most important ideas in chess is the double threat. Generally speaking a double threat is any move you make that presents your opponent with two problems at the same time. Since each player can make just one move per turn, your opponent only has time to address one of the threats you have made.

On your next turn you execute the other one. Maybe your first move checks his king and attacks another of his pieces at the same time; or maybe you threaten one of his pieces and are building a threat of checkmate elsewhere. The result is the same: your opponent has to spend his next move dealing with your threat against his king, and then you get to take the other piece you were threatening.

Another key idea in chess is the loose piece. A loose piece is simply a piece that has no protection. It is common for players to leave pieces unprotected here and there; as long as they aren’t being attacked, they look safe enough. But loose pieces make perfect targets for the double threats described a moment ago.

Suppose your queen performs a fork, attacking your opponent’s king and one of his rooks at the same time. He moves his king. Now you can use your queen to take his rook-if it is unprotected. But if the rook is guarded you won’t be able to take it because the cost will be too high: your queen will be captured afterwards.

We can turn this point into advice for practical play. You want to be aware of loose pieces on the board at all times. Any piece your opponent has left unguarded is a possible target for a tactical strike; any piece of yours that is left unguarded is a vulnerability. Indeed, you want to not only notice loose enemy pieces but also look for ways to create them.

Checks, captures, and mate threats therefore are known as forcing moves. In other words, they are moves that force your opponent to pick from a small set of possible replies. They are the essence of tactical chess; they allow you to dictate your opponent’s moves and thus control how the board will look two or three or more moves from now.

Leave a Comment

Chess tactics: Simple tips for novices on end games

In the game of chess, the most important stage is the end game stage, where you will say checkmate or hear checkmate from the opponent.

In other words, the Endgame is solely about trying to employ various chess tactics to force a Checkmate against another player. This is made possible by a player centralizing all of their remaining pieces, putting them within striking positions against their opponent. Another key strategy is working toward the promotion of Pawns, for when these Pawns can reach the other end of the board, they can be made into Queens and with these Queens, a Checkmate is easily possible. Knowing a smart endgame will only help in winning a game of Chess, but it is also key to fully understand every stage of the game.   A player is required to  employ effective endgame tactics in order to achieve the desired result of saying checkmate to the opponent or agreeing for a draw, and definitely avoiding a checkmate from the opponent.

In the endgame, Pawns and Kings become important as both sides try to promote their Pawns.

Since the King is the most important piece in the game of chess, in the endgames, it is always advantageous to move the king to the center of the board.  When placed in the center the king can go to the kingside or to the queenside just depending on the situation. Fight with your king for every single center square! This reduces the activity of the enemy king. Don’t give the enemy king a sunny place in the center.

Pawns should remain protected by pieces and all troups should protect each other somehow. Revitalize bad placed pieces. Don’t move the king to the edge of the board as it loses its fighting potential.

Players with more pieces left on the board have an advantage.  Keep the army together and don’t split up its forces. If a single pawn runs ahead unprotected right into the enemy camp it will become weak and will be lost sooner or later.

Move your rook into an aggressive position. To have a well placed rook does usually not decide a middle game, but in the endgame such a small advantage can win the game. This is equally true for the other pieces. To show a pure materialistic attitude and hang on to attacked pawns and protect them at all cost, even if your pieces are placed in very defensive positions, will cost you the game as this is not the right chess endgame strategy.Place your rook behind your own pawn or behind the enemy pawn.
If you have a badly placed rook but have the chance to sacrifice a pawn to place your rook actively, you should do that in general. But you have to evaluate the degree of activity that your rooks gains. If the activity of your rook is largely increased you should sacrifice the pawn.

Controlling the time used by each move becomes important as fewer pieces remain. Sometimes a player may seem to have a tactical advantage but not enough pieces left to force a result. When this occurs the game is considered a draw due to insufficient material.

Leave a Comment

Chess Basics: Useful tips for beginners on opening moves

The game of chess, also referred to as War game, requires serious thinking, tactics and strategic planning on the part of the players in their pursuit to win over the opponent’s King.  The tactics and strategies employed by each player will be  typical and different depending upon the player’s approach to the game.  Both intuition and logic are said to be playing an equal role in determining the moves in the chessboard.

Since the evolvement of the game, said to be played for more than 2000 years now, a number of rules, guidelines and principles have been advocated by the masters of the game, especially with regard to the opening moves.  However, there is no specific set or pattern advocated or followed by the chess players. 

In this article, i would like to discuss on the broad aspects of chess tactics and  chess strategies one need to bear in mind, especially in the opening stage of the game, to gain upper control over the opponent.

Of the sixty four squares in the chessboard,  four squares in the middle, especially e4, e5, d4, and d5 are the most important squares as they refer to the centre of the board. A player having a fair share of the central squares will have better control over the board and as such, it should be the endeavour of the players to gain control over these squares.  The pieces occupying the central squares or exercising fair control over these squares have options to attack maximum number of squares in the board.

The chessboard comprising of eight columns and eight rows is typically divided into two halves  – with the first four ranks belonging to the white while the next four ranks belong to the black pieces.  A notional line drawn between the fourth and fifth ranks is referred to as a frontier line and crossing that line tantamounts to encroaching the opponent’s territory. Taking into consideration these aspects, you should develop all your pieces rapidly and castle quickly, preferably on the kingside. You can’t attack if your pieces are not out and it is much harder for your opponent to attack you successfully if your king is safely out of the center. There is no time for pawn hunting in the opening, except for centre pawns.

Play with all your pieces. Remember that the poor placement of even a single piece may destroy the coordination of the other pieces.  In other words, do not move the same piece twice in the opening. Develop another piece. A pawn move must not in itself be regarded as a developing move, but merely as an aid to development.

You should always aspire for maintaining a fair balance in the centre of the board. As such, one should try to control the center with pawns and pieces in the classical style, or by attacking the center with pieces from long distance, called the hypermodern method. The pawn centre must be mobile

I trust that these general tips on opening game will help you in gaining expertise in the game of chess.

Leave a Comment

Chess Basics: Useful tips on strategies and tactics

If you are one of those persons who presume that Chess is a boring game or under a myth that chess is the game ideally suited for idle persons, then please have a rethink on your myths or presumptions.  Chess is a mind game and would yield rich benefits to a person’s mind and character, which will be very helping in future life and well-being.


Chess is a board game that calls for serious thinking on behalf of both the players who get down to play the game.  One has to apply a number of tactics and strategies to achieve the goal of saying checkmate to the opponent.


There are a number of strategies and tactics that one might resort to while playing the game of chess. Popular among the tactics are pin, fork, discovered check, skewer, and such other things. 


In this blog, I prefer to discuss the basic points related to strategies in chess, mostly general in nature, which any chess player must bear in mind.


Since every piece on the board has a certain value or point, a common stress strategy when playing the game is to make sure you keep as many points as possible. If you can keep more pieces on the board or even better keep more powerful pieces on the board your chances of winning increases. A basic strategic rule is to capture as many of your opponent’s chess pieces as possible. Bishops and knights are minor pieces on the chess board; rooks and queens are major pieces. And many of the pieces play different roles depending on if you’re in the opening, middlegame, or endgame. In a typical game of chess pawns are worth 1 point, bishops and knights are worth 3 points, the rook is worth 5 points, and the queen is worth 9 points.


A common chess strategy among all players is playing on the defense. In the game of chess your pieces mean everything. They are your best chance of winning. It’s important to defend all your pieces, even if they’re not under direct attack all the time. As each piece plays an important role in protecting other pieces, the chess strategy is extremely important. Overprotection is always better than none at all. And you should always look for undefended pieces of your opponent as this will give you an opportunity to take advantage of weak pieces. A strong defense is a good defense.

A common chess strategy among all players is playing on the defense. In the game of chess your pieces mean everything. They are your best chance of winning. It’s important to defend all your pieces, even if they’re not under direct attack all the time. As each piece plays an important role in protecting other pieces, the chess strategy is extremely important. Overprotection is always better than none at all. And you should always look for undefended pieces of your opponent as this will give you an opportunity to take advantage of weak pieces. A strong defense is a good defense.

Leave a Comment

Chess Basics: Useful tips for novices in chess

Chess is one of the most fascinating board games.  It is one of the most easiest games that can be learned once you come to know about the chessboard, the basic elements of chess, the motive of the game and such other basic things.

Mere knowledge of the game will not lead you to any expertise in the game of chess simply because the game of chess is a fair game and there is no room for chance or luck in this game.

Players in their beginning stage tend to make more mistakes, thus losing the opportunity of saying checkmate to the opponent but hearing that golden word most of the time from the opponent.

In this piece, I would like to share with you some simple tips that can be of use to you in avoiding defeat and also improving your skill set in the game of chess.

Pawns have a vital role to play in the game.  Do not ignore the pawns thinking that they are the least valued piece in the board.  A passed pawn in your side is a road to victory. Do not ignore this point and if you have a passed pawn in your armory, then you should try to  advance it as early as possible and promote it.

While a passed pawn is advantageous to you, doubled pawns or isolated pawns should be avoided.  Please bear in mind not to have pawn islands in the board. Not only will these pawn structures block the movement, but also at the same time, might impede the free movement of other pieces.

Try to do castling, preferably on the king side, as early as possible. As a result of castling, the King will be moved to a safer point and most importantly, the rook will be opened up and can be brought to the centre.  Irrespective of whether you resort to castling or not, one thing that is worth considering is that the rooks, which have the capability of moving horizontally or vertically should be placed in open files as far as possible so that the power of the rooks can be unleashed to the maximum.  As a beginner, you should bear in mind that the rook is moved to an open file so that the entire file in which the rook is placed will be kept under your tight leash and control.

One more interesting point worth noting is about the minor pieces – knight and the bishop.

Though both have the same value of 3 points, each piece has distinct advantage over the other in some specific instances.  In open positions, for instance, a bishop is more stronger than a knight.  However, the knights will be much stronger than a bishop in a closed position.  A clear understanding of the capabilities of the bishop and knight is very essential for a novice to use them effectively and increase the success rate.

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »