Friday, July 9, 2010

Fundamental Chess Principles

On Combinations

One simultaneous double threat is better than a great many successive single threats. That is the main lesson of chess. A double threat is a combination of two threats. (pg. 31)

A combination (threat plus restraint or threat plus obstruction) may be called a "net". It is the most important kind of combination because every mate, without exception, is a "net". (pg. 32)

Watch out for pieces of limited mobility, especially pieces without retreat. Remember that one retreat may not be enough.(pg. 32 / 33)

On Tied Pieces

An important rule for avoiding a trap is this:
Where feasible, avoid using a piece to defend something that is attacked. Either protect the attaced unit with a pawn or move it away. (pg. 34)

A knight is the worst defender because he cannot possibly maintain the defense if forced to move. (pg. 34)

The best protector is a pawn - for three reasons:

  1. There is no possibility of it being attacked by a unit of lesser value;
  2. It is a complete defense against any piece bigger than the one attacked;
  3. above all, a menial task is suited to it, whereas a piece used for defending one particular thing is wasting its talents.
(pg. 35)

If you must use pieces to protect something, perhaps because it cannot move away, try to use one more than necessary! You are then free to moe any one  of the protectors; not a single one is absolutely tied to its defensive task. (pg. 35)

On Position Play

Position play is the art of improving your position in small ways when no sound combination is possible. (pg. 40)

One can say that an endgame has arrived when neither side has more pieces than the equivalent of Queen plus pawn (with of course, the Kings, who are always with us).  (pg. 41)

Combinations are of primary importance, position play of secondary importance. (pg. 41)

Pages refer to where content can be found on Guide to Good Chess.

No comments:

Post a Comment