Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Step #2 - Stop Hanging Your Pieces

Soon after you learn to play chess, you have your first hurdle to overcome. You'll probably 'hang' your pieces. This means that you'll leave your pieces hanging out in the open with no defense. Before you move for your turn, review each and every one of your pieces (including pawns) to see if the opponent can take them for free or for cheap.
Let's say you have two pieces that can be taken by the opponent.
  • A knight that can be taken by their queen but the queen can be retaken by another piece
  • A pawn that can be taken by their bishop, but you cannot retake the bishop.

  • In this case, trading a knight for a queen is fine - focus instead on the free pawn. Games are won by your opponent racking up advantages on you, even one point at a time.
    By now, you should know the relative values of the pieces...
    1 - pawn
    3 - knight, bishop (worth about the same depending on the board position)
    5 - rook
    9 - queen
    infinite - king

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