Question: What are some common chess strategies?
Answer: Below is a list of chess strategies known as Reuben Fine’s “Thirty Rules of Chess”. Chess is a complicated game and there will always be exceptions to any rule. However, it is a good exercise to understand why each item below is generally recognized as good chess strategy and to employ these rules in your own games.
TEN OPENING RULES
- OPEN with a CENTER PAWN.
- DEVELOP with threats.
- KNIGHTS before BISHOPS.
- DON’T move the same piece twice.
- Make as FEW PAWN MOVES as possible in the opening.
- DON’T bring out your QUEEN too early.
- CASTLE as soon as possible, preferably on the KING SIDE.
- ALWAYS PLAY TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE CENTER.
- Try to maintain at least ONE PAWN in the center.
- DON’T SACRIFICE without a clear and adequate reason.
For a sacrificed pawn you must:
a) GAIN THREE TEMPI,
b) DEFLECT the enemy QUEEN,
c) PREVENT CASTLING,
d) BUILD UP a strong attack.
TEN MIDDLEGAME RULES
- Have all your moves fit into definite plans.
Rules of Planing:
a) A plan MUST be suggested by SOME FEATURE IN THE POSITION.
b) A plan MUST be based on SOUND STRATEGIC PRINCIPLES.
c) A plan MUST be FLEXIBLE,
d) CONCRETE, and
Evaluating a Position:
2) PAWN STRUCTURE,
3) PIECE MOBILITY,
4) KING SAFETY,
5) ENEMY THREATS
- When you are material AHEAD, EXCHANGEas many pieces as possible, especially QUEENS.
- AVOID serious pawn WEAKNESSES.
- In CRAMPED POSITIONS free yourself by EXCHANGING.
- DON’T bring your KING out with your OPPONENT’S QUEEN on the board.
- All COMBINATIONS are based on DOUBLE ATTACK.
- If your opponent has ONE or MOREpieces EXPOSED, look for a COMBINATION.
- IN SUPERIOR POSITIONS, to ATTACKthe ENEMY KING, you must OPEN a file (or less often a diagonal) for your HEAVY PIECES (QUEEN and ROOKS).
- IN EVEN POSITIONS, CENTRALIZE the action of ALL your PIECES.
- IN INFERIOR POSITIONS, the best DEFENSE is COUNTER-ATTACK, if possible.
TEN ENDGAMES RULES
- To win WITHOUT PAWNS, you must be at least a ROOK or TWO MINOR PIECESahead (two knight excepted).
- The KING must be ACTIVE in the ENDING.
- PASSED PAWNS must be PUSHED (PPMBP).
- The EASIEST endings to win are PURE PAWNendings.
- If you are ONLY ONE PAWN ahead, EXCHANGE PIECES, not pawns.
- DON’T place your PAWNS on the SAME COLOR SQUARES as your BISHOP.
- BISHOPS are BETTER than KNIGHTS in all but BLOCKED pawn positions.
- It is usually worth GIVING UP A PAWN to get a ROOK ON THE SEVENTH RANK.
- ROOKS belong BEHIND PASSED PAWNS (RBBPP).
- BLOCKADE PASSED PAWNS with the KING.