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Friday, June 8th, 2012

64 Chess Principles

01. Develop your chess pieces quickly. Develop your knights and bishops, and castle early to develop a rook.
02. Control the center as fast as you can with pawns and minor pieces.
03. Try to put your pieces on squares that give them maximum space and less vulnerable to attack.
04. Try to develop your knights towards the center.
05. A knight on the rim is dim. But there are exceptions.
06. Don’t take unnecessary chances. Play solid chess.
07. Play aggressive, not passive.
08. Calculate forced moves first.
09. Always ask yourself, “Can he put me in check or win a piece or pawn?”
10. Have a plan. Every move should have a purpose.
11. Assume your opponent’s move is his best move.
12. Ask yourself, “Why did he move there?” after each opponent move.
13. Play for the initiative and try to control the board.
14. If you must lose a piece, get something for it if you can.
15. When behind, exchange pawns. When ahead, exchange pieces.
16. If you are losing, don’t give up fighting. Look for counter play.
17. Don’t play unsound moves unless you are losing badly.
18. Don’t sacrifice a piece without good reason.
19. If you are in doubt of an opponent’s sacrifice, accept it.
20. Attack with more than just one or two pieces if you can.
21. Do not make careless pawn moves. They cannot move back.
22. Do not block in your bishops. Keep them active.
23. Bishops of opposite colors have the greatest chance of drawing.
24. Try not to move the same piece twice or several times in a row.
25. Exchange pieces if it helps your development.
26. Don’t bring your queen out early and allow it to be attacked.
27. Castle soon to protect your king and develop your rook.
28. Develop rooks to open files.
29. Put rooks behind passed pawns.
30. Study rook endgames. They are the most common and most complicated.
31. Don’t let your king get caught in the center unless it is the endgame.
32. Don’t castle if it brings your king into greater danger from attack.
33. After castling, keep a good pawn formation around your king.
34. If you only have one bishop, put your pawns on its opposite color.
35. Trade pawns pieces when ahead in material or when under attack.
36. If cramped, free your game by exchanging material.
37. If your opponent is cramped, don’t let him get any freeing exchanges.
38. Study openings you are comfortable with.
39. Play over entire games, not just the opening.
40. Blitz chess is helpful in recognizing chess patterns. Play often.
41. Study annotated games and try to guess each move.
42. Stick with just a few openings (2 or 3) with White and Black
43. Record your games and go over them, especially the games you lost.
44. Show your games to higher rated opponents and get feedback from them.
45. Use chess computers, engines and databases to aid your chess studies.
46. Try to eliminate blunders. The champions just blunder less often.
47. When it is not your move, look for tactics and combinations.
48. Try to double rooks or double rook and queen on open files.
49. Always ask yourself, “Does my next move overlook something simple?”
50. Don’t make your own plans without the exclusion of the opponent’s threats.
51. Watch out for captures by retreat of an opponent’s piece.
52. Do not focus on one sector of the board. View the whole board.
53. You can no longer write your move down first, then move, so make sure it is the move you wish to play.
54. Try to solve chess puzzles with diagrams from books and magazines.
55. It is less likely that an opponent is prepared for off-beat openings.
56. Recognize transposition of moves from main-line play.
57. Watch your time and avoid time trouble. Be aware of time delay and time increments in tournament play with digital clocks.
58. Bishops are worth more than knights except when they are pinned in.
59. A knight works better with a bishop than another knight.
60. It is usually a good idea to trade down into a pawn up endgame.
61. Have confidence in your game.
62. Play in as many rated events as you can.
63. Try not to look at your opponent’s rating until after the game.
64. Always play for a win.

–Bill Wall


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