Chess Tips

  1. The word "grandmaster" refers to the highest international title one can achieve in chess. The word has been used throughout the 19th and 20th centuries to refer to a very strong player, but it wasn't until 1950 that the specific title was created.
  2. A file is the row of eight squares going from top to bottom. A rank is the row of eight squares going from left to right. The chessboard has eight files and eight ranks.
  3. When you concede defeat to your opponent, it's called resigning.
  4. When it's one player's turn to move, and his king is not in check, but he has no legal move, he is in stalemate. When one player is in stalemate, the game is drawn.
  5. The key to checkmating the king with a queen or a rook is to force the king to the edge or the corner, and to use your own king.
  6. A draw is a tie: that is, nobody wins. When a game ends in a draw, it means that both players fought to a stand still.
  7. Aim for the bishops in positions where it can find long diagonals, and where it can move around a lot. Aim for the knight in positions with lots of pawns, especially when you can find a secure square for the knight, where the pawns block the diagonals of your opponent's bishop(s).
  8. Don't capture one of your opponent's pieces if your opponent can recapture your piece, your piece is more valuable than the piece it captured.
  9. A piece that defends a pawn or another piece, particularly when it controls few squares, is called a passive piece. A piece that attacks another pawn or piece, particularly when it controls many squares, is called an active piece.
  10. The queen is a tremendous attacking piece, because it's so powerful, but it's not a great defender, because it's always vulnerable to being captured. Try to use the queen for attack, and leave the defense to the minor pieces and the pawns.
  11. The way the pawns are arranged in any chess position is called the pawn structure.
  12. Whoever controls more squares, particularly within the opponent's half of the board, has more space. Where you have more space, your pieces are more mobile, so you should generally attack on the part of the board where you have more space.

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