Thursday, April 21, 2005

Step #3 Determining the best move

Chess is a game of war. Your objective is to overwhelm the opponents' king, but that shouldn't be your target every move. To know which of your pieces to move, you have to ask yourself a series of simple questions. We'll talk about the first one today: Can the opponent check or checkmate me right now if it was his/her turn?
This question right here will hopefully save you from that surprise checkmate. Evaluate the opponent's position, and don't underestimate them. Even if they are 7 years old, they're playing with the same pieces you are. Look closely for some of the simpler mates. If it's early in the game, watch your King's Bishop's pawn for threats against it. Learn the quick mates, and beware of them. Mark Lowery has an index of checkmating patterns you should learn to identify. Review these until you know them. They may even win you some games early on.
If the answer to this first question is yes, then answer the threat. Do what you can to stop the mating attack. If you have multiple ways to stop the threat, choose the way that will re-threaten the opponent to make them back off.

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