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Monday, January 23, 2006

Playing Chess: What You Need to Know BEFORE You Begin

As a chess player, you lose games from time to time-like all chess players.

Naturally you want to improve your play. Is there something special or unique about your problem? I don't think so. Only a few of us can become masters; yet the rest of us can achieve respectable playing strength with a reasonable amount of application.

The first big step-an enormous step-in improving our play is to become aware of the things we do wrong, the bad moves we make. Many of us could never reach that point without personal lessons because we could not previously find in books the kind of material that would enable us to spot our own weaknesses.

That is a pity, for while chess is a lot of fun, win or lose, it's more fun when you win! In my contacts with thousands of chess players for over twenty years, I have often watched them grope and drift and become discouraged in their efforts to improve their game.

It was from these observations that the notion of concentrating on the Eight Bad Moves took shape. Again and again I have seen, in the course of teaching and playing and discussing, that most players commit certain typical errors.

I started to think about these errors and how to describe them in such a way that the reader would exclaim, "At last! That's just why my games go wrong! If only I'd realized this sooner!"

This book has been "on my mind" for several years. What held me back somewhat in writing it, was the influence of the teachers and psychologists who have been insisting that a "negative" approach is all wrong. I finally concluded that my emphasis on the Eight Bad Moves was not really negative at all. Before a player can begin to improve, he must clear away the faults that have been spoiling his games and depriving him of well-earned victories.

In your study of these games and ideas you will not only discover the Eight Bad Moves and how to overcome the faults that produce them, you will also encounter a wealth of new ideas and techniques which you will enjoy using in your own games.

To derive the maximum value from this book, there are two features which you will very likely want to review quickly. One is to check up on the relative values of the chessmen. Expressed in points, their values are as follows:

Queen: 9 points
Rook: 5 points
Bishop: 3 points
Knight: 3 points
Pawn: 1 point

It is important to be absolutely certain of these values, for most games are decided by superiority in force.

Bishops (3 points) and Knights (3 points) are equal in value, but experienced players try to capture a Bishop in return for a Knight.

A Bishop or Knight (3 points) is worth about three Pawns (3 points). If you give up a Knight and get three Pawns in return, you may consider it as more or less an even exchange. If you lose a Knight (3 points) for only a Pawn (1 point), you have lost material and should lose the game, if you are playing against an expert.

If you capture a Rook (5 points) for a Bishop or Knight (3 points), you are said to have "won the Exchange." If you lose a Rook (5 points) for a Bishop or Knight (3 points), you have "lost the Exchange." The other important feature in reading a chess book is to be familiar with chess notation. If you can count up to 8, this presents no problem. You may have heard scare stories to the effect that chess notation is inordinately difficult. This difficulty of chess notation is a myth, circulated by people too lazy to discover how simple and logical it really is.

Although the compact treatment of games and examples makes only slight demands on your knowledge of chess notation, I should like to advise you to master the notation thoroughly; it will open the gates to a lifetime of reading pleasure.

The following are the chief abbreviations used in the chess notation:

King - K
Queen - Q
Rook - R
Bishop - B
Knight - N
Pawn - P
to - -
check - ch
captures - x
discovered check - dis ch
double check - dbl ch
en passant - e.p.
castles, king-side - 0-0
castles, queen-side - 0-0-0
good move - !
very good move - ! !
outstanding move - ! ! !
bad move - ?

Here are some examples of abbreviation: N-KB3 mean's "Knight moves to King Bishop three." Q x B means "Queen takes Bishop." R-K8 ch means "Rook moves to King eight giving check."

Want tons of proven chess tips, techniques & tactics that you can start using today?...

Grab Your Copy of "Chess Success Secrets" Now - visit

About The Author

James Wilson is the publisher of "Chess Success Secrets" - a brand new guide designed to help chess enthusiasts take their game to the next level. "Chess Success Secrets" reveals tons of proven chess tips & strategies that you can implement today to start winning more games!


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