Improve Your Chess Skills

by Graeme Renwall

Have you ever lost a chess game in four moves? That's the least number of moves needed to checkmate your opponent. While few chess enthusiasts ever become chess grandmasters, there's always room for improvement. Even if you've only been playing chess for a short time, you can take some basic steps to improve your skills. Here are some helpful techniques to master:

1. Control the center of the chess board.

This should be at the top of your "to do" list whenever you play a game of chess. In particular, the pawns in front of the queen and king are particularly important. But never advance those pawns without another pawn or other piece protecting them!

2. Create a plan of attack.

In particular, pick a key space on the board that you want to move your piece onto. This space should put your opponent's king in check. While the key space can change throughout the game, setting this goal will help to create a plan of attack. Of course, remember to maintain solid defense when striving to reach the key space. Otherwise, the results could be devastating.

3. Use a solid opening.

Your opening is crucial, as it can allow you to gain control of the center of the board. There are tons of books and websites about various popular openings. Read up on them to determine which ones you prefer. While the objective is always to control the center of board, openings can take a direct or indirect approach to achieving this goal.

4. Show no mercy.

Once you put your opponent in check, don't let up! If possible, put the opposing king in check, during every subsequent move. This will maximize your chance of putting your opponent in checkmate. Even if you can't put him in check during each move after the initial check, keep your opponent on the defensive.

5. Castle early in the game.

The beginning of the game is the perfect time to do it, since pawns will be positioned in front of the king, in order to protect it. By the time your opponent gets multiple pieces in the center of the board, castling could be too difficult. Besides castling early, determine whether you should castle on the queen's or king's side. Since castling is a defensive move, always castle towards the opposite side of your opponent's attack-if it favors a particular side of the board.

6. Never give away pieces.

That includes pawns. Games can end with kings and pawns battling it out, and if you gave up too many pawns earlier in the game, then you'll have some problems. If your opponent has the chance to "pass" its pawn into a queen, that could be the turning point of an even game. So play carefully. Giving pieces away could result in losing a close match.

If you're tired of losing chess matches, then you may need to improve your strategies. These tips will help you to win more matches-which ultimately makes the game more fun.

About the Author

Graeme has been writing articles for nearly 3 years. His current passion is hydrotherapy. Take a look at his selection of used hot tubs and target="_new">hot tub filters