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brobishkin 51 ( +1 | -1 )
Chess Principles... Just wanted to start a thread and share some chess principles I and others on this chess site might know of... I'm sure some will be simple principles like (don't move the same piece twice in an opening if you can help it) or (move Knights towards the center, not on the rim [Knights on the rim are grim]), but I'm looking forward to some deeper principles and the gold nuggets from the well studied group of chess players on this site... Hoping this thread takes off...

muppyman 65 ( +1 | -1 )
good idea I really like this idea, it might be amazing to see how much chess lore and precious principle might come trickling down from a multitude of players who use and benifit from such gems every day. It was only two or three weeks ago that I had occasion to suddenly remember that two connected passed pawns on the 6th rank are stronger than a rook and the memory motivated me to sac a rook for a knight and resulted in a won game even though I had to find a way to get the pawns from the third rank to the 6th. I share your hope, brobishkin, that your thread will take off. I would welcome the chance to read any and all contributions.
brobishkin 70 ( +1 | -1 )
Muppyman... Good analogy on the material principle of two connected passed pawns, but I wouldn't have made the sacrafice until my pawns were on the 6th row (depending on the full position on the board)... One must remember not to give anything away without at least getting something in return... Any weakness or poor position you accept has to be accompanied by some compensating strength or good position elsewhere... Otherwise you have nothing more then a losing position... But we all know the principle that passed pawns must be pushed...

As Aron Nimzovich once quoted "The passed pawn is a criminal, who should be kept under lock and key. Mild measures, such as police surveillance, are not sufficient"...

snakeplissken 67 ( +1 | -1 )
#1 "It is not important to play well" Thats was Mr. Genrikh Chepukaitis said:

"Do you know the "Button theory of Chepukaitis"? It is
very simple. In the endgame you play random moves as
close to the clock's button as possible. It gains seconds.

Also, I transfer the risk of making the decisions to my
opponent. Chess is very deep game, and there is a
chance that I might spoil my position playing a weak
move after just one second thinking. So - I keep myself
away from resolving particular positions, give my
opponent the widest possible choice of opportunities
and hope he marries the wrong woman.

It is not important to play well, to play best moves."

torre_tinorete 12 ( +1 | -1 )
"Button theory" "Button theory of Chepukaitis"- of course, this was a remark made by Mr. Chepukaitis in reference to a theory in blitz games.
i_play_slowly 119 ( +1 | -1 )
Mental Checklist As one bad move can spoil forty good moves, the first step towards victory is to avoid making a bad move. Asking yourself these questions after each of your opponent's moves will go a long way towards eliminating the possibility of making a bad move:
1) Can he check me with his next move?
2) Can he take a piece with his next move? And are there other pieces he could take?
3) Can he threaten one or more pieces with his next move?
4) Can I check him with my next move?
5) Can I take a piece with my next move? And are there other pieces I could take?
6) Can I threaten one or more pieces with my next move?
Each move can change everything about a position, so it is important to ask these questions every time. These questions are listed in order of the dangers they can uncover, from most to least dangerous, so it is important to ask them in this specific order.
Once you have decided on a specific move, ask yourself again:
1) If I move there, can he check me?
2) If I move there, can he take a piece? And are there other pieces he could take?
3) If I move there, can he threaten one or more of my pieces?
brobishkin 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks but... Thank you slowly for the mental checklist, but I was hoping to keep this thread for principles... Though the thought process is made up of principles it doesn't exactly fit with this thread... You could say that a good plan incorporates many little plans, but it's those little principles in those little plans that I'm looking for...

muppyman 45 ( +1 | -1 )
brobishkin I appreciate your comments on my post, thank you, and I hasten to reassure you that in the game referred to my two pawns were unstoppable in the absense of a particular enemy bishop, hence the rook for bishop exchange sac. I still needed to move with exactitude because the defence effort was fierce, as you can imagine. :) But it was like a scene in wonderland watching the opposing rook wiping tears from it's eyes. Good to see the responses to your thread so far.
ormus 115 ( +1 | -1 )
Limiting Knight Squares In B vs. KN endgames use your pawn chain to limit the squares of your opponents Knight {Stienitz}. I've always found this helpful. It's really just common sense but I always keep it in mind during B vs. KN endgames. If you let them in, pesky KN can hack the base of your pawn chain and they've ruined many a won endgame. Also, another principle re: B vs. KN is that if your B is three squares away from a KN on a rank or file, it can control all the advancing squares of the KN. Also basic, but very helpful.

Another principle from Nimzo that wins and loses many a game is to protect the base of your pawn chain and look for ways to attack the base of your opponents pawn chain. Sometimes I get caught up in my plans re: mating my opponent and I find that I've lost three pawns because I didn't protect the base of the pawn chain. The opponent then looks for ways to simplify to an easy endgame. Sometimes, *hanging* the base of your pawn chain is worse than hanging a piece.

"If pawns are the soul of chess and you destroy your opponents soul..."
i_play_slowly 35 ( +1 | -1 )
'Avoid making a bad move' is surely the most fundamental of all principles. As Hippocrates said, "First, do no harm." The rest of the post is simply an elaboration, because, 'Avoid making a bad move', without suggesting how to go about it, cannot be very helpful.
Is William Napier's, "Castle when you will, or if you must, but not when you can," more to your liking?
brobishkin 122 ( +1 | -1 )
Well play slowly... The scheme of agame is played on positional lines; the decision of it, as a rule, is effected by combinations and tactics... Tactics are the immediate, forcing moves that disturb the balance of a position in any way... They include surprise moves, captures, promotions, checks, and moves that threaten to capture, promote, or check... The double attack is the principle behind almost all tactics, because of the simple logic fact that an attack on two or more objects is harder to meet than on only one... Therefore there will be more for your opponent to take into consideration; and the likelyhood of them making a mistake goes up... Instead of looking for the bad move, one should find a way to ignore your opponent's threats whenever you can, and do so with impunity...

This principle has a great psychological effect... When your opponent has threatened you, he expects you to do something about the threat... When you don't, and he notices that carrying out his threat won't hurt you at all, it makes him question his judgement about making the threat in the first place... So simply avoiding making a bad move is surely not the most fundamental principle of all... It's hitting them where they ain't (attacking the imbalances)... But it's true to remember "the threat you don't see, is the one that will defeat you"...

snakeplissken 9 ( +1 | -1 )
#2 Planning A bad plan is better than no plan.

If you have a plan, you save time.

spurtus 105 ( +1 | -1 )
Some principles, maxims & motifs that I hold... rightly or wrongly...

- Always try to formulate a plan.
- Pawns cannot go backwards, push with care.
- Threats have value, and even threats of threats!... as well as the usual time, space and material.
- Never forget that a king is an attacking piece.
- When in doubt, simplify.
- Connected knights are more than often weak as they stand on each other hooves.
- Find the absurd moves before you consider the main lines.
- Retreat bishops back into fianchetto, its their home!
- When moving a piece realise the meaning the space you left behind.
- Consider using your worst piece to take opponents best piece despite the fact that it is materially unsound.
- Castling is a rook move.
- Play faster when losing and your opponent is in time trouble.
- Dont follow up a blunder with another, wipe the slate clean and reassess.

spurtus 7 ( +1 | -1 )
forgot to add something that always haunts me..

'A won game is the hardest to win'
cairo 36 ( +1 | -1 )
Good thread! -In the endgame try to avoid placing your pawns (especially centerpawns), on your own Bishops color!

-A passed pawn, shall be blocked before sixth rank!

-The Queen is bad, for using to blockade pawns!

-Two knights alone, cannot mate by force!

Best wishes
sano 9 ( +1 | -1 )
If you don't have a plan, watch the position of your worst placed piece and try to improve it.
ccmcacollister 44 ( +1 | -1 )
In abscence of kings .... the pawns vs a Rook do not need to be to the sixth to be unstoppable if there is an extra non-doubled pawn in that chain. Check it out if you want to know just how far back those pawns can be. And in the process you will learn how to stop the 3 that ARE too far. :)
I have a couple blitz techs i like to use.
1.Dont move pawns in front of your king and THROW the other side at your opp!
2. Time saver, adopt a strong point opening.
ccmcacollister 86 ( +1 | -1 )
OH just thought of this ... trying to work toward the Profound for Bro; how about something on Opposite colored Bishop endings:
Generally winning chances are more likely to exist when there is more than less distance between your extra pawns. Also if the other side does not have any good anchors for his B. I had game like this that was a win with 5 pawns per side left.
Speaking of minor piece endings. Remember that the Rook pawns are the hardest for a knight to stop. Someone tells me this was a winner for them already. And it has for me many times. Also, knight endings are the way to go, for me, if I feel someone is playing it too fast or superficial. Despite the drawingness of some, the complexities before that have almost, well actually have always brought in the point so far. Especially otb tho, with a clock ticking.
snakeplissken 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Forcing the position "In a difficult position, there is nothing worse than trying to force the issue"

Andrew Soltis
ccmcacollister 31 ( +1 | -1 )
In General: A couple quick losers: When you think you've seen one move further in combination and actually your opponent has seen one further.
2)Making threat that can be ignored, not really a threat at all.
A big, big winner=1) zwishenzugs! 2)Actually seeing one move further! 8-)
3)Ignoring a threat thats not really a threat {as per Bro}
brobishkin 70 ( +1 | -1 )
Principles... When a clear path is necessary to achieve success, the astute individual will clear the path by any means... Exchange your opponent's defending pieces in order to make room for your remaining attacking pieces to infiltrate... This might seem contradicting to other principles, but it applies to different types of positions... The attacker needs to find a way to get on the opponent's home turf... In order to do so, exchanging pieces is often a good way to do this... The key is naturally in knowing how many and which ones to exchange, while still leaving yourself enough material to finish the job...

Your path to sucess will be clear after you removed obstacles that are in your way...

tag1153 154 ( +1 | -1 )
Some simple steps to solve the chess riddle,
are to develop minor pieces early,
and take control of the middle!

A knight on the edge is half a buffoon,
so aim at the center:)
and castle real soon!

Then comes your rooks (keep them connected),
they can be very powerful,
once your attack is perfected.

Remember pawn structure! (and establish strong chains)
they are "the soul of chess"
and can inflict many pains!

Keep knights behind pawns - it's their natural place,
then they pounce with protection,
right in your oppositions face!

Your Bishops have distance and can reach very far,
so claim long diagonals!
and you'll soon be a star!

When attacked on one side and seeking defence,
just look to the other,
it only only makes sense!

Push pawns towards promotion and turn up the heat,
they'll soon become royalty,
and your opponent is beat:)

Slowly start to smirk at your enemies woes,
then simplify positions,
as the old saying goes.

Prepare for your victory and laugh at the board,
then shriek in sheer terror,
and scream out "O Lord!!!"

You've missed a step somewhere - your own death is near,
your mate is inevitable,
Your own biggest fear.

So curse yourself loudly for failure to think,
then laugh at yourself inwardly,
and have a BIG drink.

Submitted humbly,

snakeplissken 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Active pawn moves When all your pieces are wellplaced, look for active pawn moves.

brobishkin 72 ( +1 | -1 )
Tag you're it... A very entertaining thread from "tag1153" and an applause from me "bravo bravo"... So far the thread has been filled with many principles, quotes, and theoretical thinking... I was looking for a bit more from "cairo" then some basic principles and wamted to suggest dividing the principles into three seperate categories (openning principles, middlegame principles, and endgame principles)... The openning principles are the most common of all, but the middle and ending principles are a lot deeper and complex... It is these gold nuggets which I am looking for, to bring out for others to learn from...

My example : Middlegame (the best reaction to an attack on the wing, is to counter attack in the center)... Endgame (the aim of most endgames is to promote a pawn)...

tag1153 47 ( +1 | -1 )
:) thanks bro.....I can't offer much chess advice but I'm usually good for a laugh. Btw - I'm pretty sure cairo is the right guy for advice. I'm playing an unrated game against him now and he is (as usual) being very informative with me:) I'm hoping for a little on-line osmosis.

torre_tinorete 15 ( +1 | -1 )
endgame principle In the endgame, a bishop is better than a knight when there are two or more pawn islands which are far away from each other.
brobishkin 57 ( +1 | -1 )
Endgame... The endgame is not necessarily the end of the game... Rather, it's that part of the game when few pieces are left, and the Kings and Pawns take on a greater role than they did in the earlier phase of the game... When little or no danger of a checkmateing attack (like there constantly is in most openings and middlegames), you might as well use what few resources you have left and boldly bring your King into the attack...

Throw everything you have at them, including the kitchen sink... There is no need to hold back when danger is past...

brobishkin 71 ( +1 | -1 )
Middlegame... After the pieces have come into action and the Kings are safely tucked away, the middlegame takes over... This transition stage is often difficult, since there are so many choices that can mark the character of the game for a long time to come... The important idea behind the principle is to recognize such phases when they occur, so you can take the necessary time to formulate a plan...

Unlike in the subatomic world, life is made up of discrete quantified bursts of energy... Niether is chess... The game flows from beginning to end, as does life, and we must help that flow out by recognizing transition times and acting on them accordingly...

autumnbreeze 64 ( +1 | -1 )
Opening game principles.... for beginners. I say I have come across a great website "Chessville" with principles divided into opening, middle and end game categories. Er...I am starting at the beginning. That is to say, as someone whom has never played chess before registering with Gamkenot, I am using websites, this thread, books, and OTB games, to try to understand chess principles. Thanks to everyone for contributing to this great thread. I especially like the posts by spurtus and tag. I'm pleased to be able to use "Chessville" to examine the "whys" and "wherefores".

autumnbreeze 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Oops-a-daisy ! I'm to why a mysterious <WBR> appeared in the link above after "beg". Please forgive. If you are interested, try the url below:

Then find Instruction in the banner at the top and follow the pathway below:

Beginner / Basic Opening Strategy / General Principles / Introduction

Why didn't the link behave itself. It took me a long time to remember that pathway. :(


snakeplissken 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Chess philosophy "In the art of chess, there are no unalterable laws governing the struggle which are appropriate to every position; otherwise, chess would lose its attractiveness and eternal character."

Vassily Smyslov
i_play_slowly 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Keres and Kotov suggest... "Whereas in the offensive on the Queen's side one must husband and save one's resources, when it comes to an attack on the King one should spare nothing. The objective in a Queen's wing-attack is to win material advantages; the aim in an attack on the King is to deliver checkmate. One can sacrifice all the pieces and still give checkmate with one solitary pawn" ("The Art of the Middle Game," Keres and Kotov, p. 31).
ccmcacollister 124 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmm .i_play_slowly
I like the concept, but actually one CANNOT deliver checkmate with one solitary pawn ... Or even a pawn and king, unless the opponent has interfering pieces of his own to take away flight squares. I suppose that is what he means though.
Do you know if that quote was from Keres, or Kotov?
Just curious. (sounds like maybe Kotov to me. That's my guess anyway :) Sounds like a good book too and I like both the authors a lot.

An Opening Tip, one of my own beliefs: In an Open game, speed of development is most vital; but in a Closed game, correct initial placement may be moreso. Because a badly placed piece is more likely there to serve no purpose at all, and can be harder to redeploy to a useful square simply because there will not be as many such squares, and perhaps none that it can reach easily, or at all. Largely due to limitations from fixing of the pawn structure. And particularly if one has the space disadvantage. Also the need for pure speed in development is usually less in closed positions. Whereas in Open ones, getting behind in development more than 2 pieces is usually invitation for disaster.
honinbo_shusaku 26 ( +1 | -1 )
My Favourite Principle "It is a thousand times better to think without moving than to move without

Even on your simplest moves take a minute or thirty seconds to think about what you're doing. It'll help you to avoid stupid mistakes.
brobishkin 61 ( +1 | -1 )
ccmcacollister... The specific chapter is called "STRATEGY AND TACTICS OF ATTACK ON THE KIND" and was written by "A. Kotov"... The "A." Being short for Alexander... The book is a great (maybe one of the best) book on middlegame principles and practices... The principle in the book that "play slow " was refering to, is that an attack on the Queenside is usually is for material gains, to where an attack on the Kingside is for mating purposes... Of course if the Kings are castled on opposite sides, the principle is thrown out the window... Which brings us to another middlegame principle...

When Kings are castled on opposite sides... The person who attacks first, usually wins the game...

ccmcacollister 139 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks ! . brobishkin , for that enlightenment. (As mentioned in his PM to me, that is actually to read "... Attack on the King". Just a little typo :) and gratifying to know it was A.Kotov for it sure sounded like him! He is the GM who taught me to do a good tree analysis, and much more, in "Think Like a Grandmaster". Highly recommended to anyone seeking to improve or lengthen their analysis capacities!
That book sounds like a winner too. And I was unaware of it, but will surely look into it at first chance. So thanks again to you and i_play_slowly. (btw...I play slowly too! Tho that hasn't helped me much lately :) ...and maybe there is a principle in that?!
That sometimes perhaps Chess is not art, or a fight between two, but a struggle with oneself !! And as in so many cases where something is wrong, best to look upon oneself in seeking answers and change, rather than upon others. ?
* * * * * * *
Here is a general principle, usually of late opening or middlegame. Most commonly, it is correct to enter sequence of recaptures upon a certain square by first recapturing with the piece (or pawn) of least value to you.
Now that is Real General, for there are Many exceptions, but it is an "Official" Chess Principle from, I dont know who ... ?! But it's in book(s)! It must be true ...!?
* * *

i_play_slowly 94 ( +1 | -1 )
A struggle with oneself!! Re: "...sometimes perhaps Chess is not art, or a fight between two, but a struggle with oneself !! And as in so many cases where something is wrong, best to look upon oneself in seeking answers and change, rather than upon others."
This passage is taken from "The Chess Mind" by Gerald Abrahams: "The endeavour by the players, each to achieve control by means that vision reveals, is, in reality, a struggle by each mind against its own limitations. Always the Chess player is playing against himself. . . . The nature of the effort is most easily recognized when the mind fails to grasp the whole completely. Then we have error--the grasp of the insufficient--and because of the wealth of possibility in the matrix of the Chessboard, a degree of error is almost always manifesting itself, even in the play of the greatest masters. . . . even when seeing much, the master is endeavouring to see more" (p. 22).
Apologies to brobishkin, if I am off topic.

ccmcacollister 214 ( +1 | -1 )
PAWN STRUCTURE Independent of other factors, generally unbalanced pawn structure is more likely to produce a decisive game than balanced pawn wings. (EG. The Sicilian Defenses, ever-popular with GM's)
The trouble with doubled pawns: That wing upon which they are becomes less fluid, flexible, and mobile. Which will have middlegame ramifications, and greatly decreases the likelyhood that the player possessing them can create a pawn breakthru for an endgame passer on that side of the board when opposed by opp's pawns there.
Advancing pawns to Queen, generally lead with the one you intend to promote.
Backward pawns are more detrimental upon a half-open file, than a closed file.
In the Mid-Gm, Blockade an opp's isolated center pawn. Preferably with a Knight. Place pieces in front of it and they are difficult to dislodge. Stack major pieces in front of it before removing your blockader, to win the pawn.
K&P endgames with opposite wing majorities tend to provide better winning chances to the player whose King is on the same wing as his pawn majority. There it is the most helpful for creating and assisting a passed pawn.
[Even with the king to help, attempting to advance the minority pawns vs the opp's majority side would be very inadvisable in most circumstances, unless the position is unlikely, and such that it could be seen to forcibly create a passed pawn there, or weaken/disconnect the opp's pawn's such that material is won. But these are uncommon events there, especially were the opp's King also there. And if such a goal is not attainable, you will simply be helping your opp to win. ]
In K&P ending: Unadvanced pawns are better defensively; advanced pawns are better offensively. In middlegame, don't advance pawns upon the side you are defending upon unless absolutely necessary or a specific desireable goal is attained
by it. (EG Advancing the last levered pawn on the side of your defense in order to
completely lock-up the pawns and prevent any line opening by the opp ... without
him sac'g a piece to do so. Is one such case)
mormel12 13 ( +1 | -1 )
autumnbreeze ever tried to copy and paste?:)
and for what's worth it, don't forget that the king is an attacking piece as well:)
autumnbreeze 88 ( +1 | -1 )
I know that..... one can copy and paste urls into the address window, as I stated in another thread:

In html a <Br> means a break, so probably a <WBR> means a window break. The complete urls appear unbroken when composing the post and after posting, i.e. I don't see any breaks actually happening. On all the other forums I post on, people can just click on the link to navigate to it, and it certainly is possible that some readers on this forum won't know about copy and paste, OR couldn't be bothered doing that if the link doesn't function as hypertext.

I like to know how things work or don't work, simple as that. Thanks for the tip about the King. Don't worry, it is worthwhile, as everything I read on the GK forums is a help to me, a beginner. :)
pappagrande 13 ( +1 | -1 )
don't put your rooks on the same diagonal where they can be forked or pinned by a bishop, same applies to rook and Queen. p
snakeplissken 21 ( +1 | -1 )
Middlegame/Nimzowitsch "The characteristic position shall be utilized at first in the form in which it is."

Regrouping of pieces before making pawn moves, prepare pawn moves.

O.K. thats no rule for tactical positions, but... ;-)

elbulf 13 ( +1 | -1 )
I think there are... really only two basic principlse:

1. Try not to make moves that suck.
2. Make the move that sucks the least.
gunnarsamuelsson 80 ( +1 | -1 )
heres some little things. How many games have been lost moving defenders to the kingside or playing immensly complicated counterattacks when taking the king for a walk would have ended all complications. So dont forget option #3.

Think 1st of what ur opponents plans may be and look for ways to stop and inhibit hi pieces and pawns, remember its easier to destroy then to build an empire.

knights r great at e3(e6)

If u play a lesser player then yourself u know his gonna pin your knight if he can, dont let him do it just to because u want to prove itsuseless, pins r still dangerous moves, let him create his own idea.

when u have won some great games u can have a scotch and go on playing some foolish games losing ..but dont overdo it, u know it hurts to lose dont u?
punkusmartyrus 727 ( +1 | -1 )
many web chess principles... "The Thirty Rules

2.DEVELOP with threats.
4.DON'T move the same piece twice.
5.Make as FEW PAWN MOVES as possible in the opening.
6.DON'T bring out your QUEEN too early.
7.CASTLE as soon as possible, preferably on the KING SIDE.
9.Try to maintain at least ONE PAWN in the center.
10.DON'T SACRIFICE without a clear and adequate reason.
For a sacrificed pawn you must:
b) DEFLECT the enemy QUEEN,
d) BUILD UP a strong attack.

1.Have all your moves fit into definite plans.
Rules of Planing:
a) A plan MUST be suggested by SOME FEATURE IN THE POSITION.
c) A plan MUST be FLEXIBLE,
d) CONCRETE, and
Evaluating a Position:
2.When you are material AHEAD, EXCHANGE as many pieces as possible, especially QUEENS.
3.AVOID serious pawn WEAKNESSES.
5.DON'T bring your KING out with your OPPONENT'S QUEEN on the board.
7.If your opponent has ONE or MORE pieces EXPOSED, look for a COMBINATION.
8.IN SUPERIOR POSITIONS, to ATTACK the ENEMY KING, you must OPEN a file (or less often a diagonal) for your HEAVY PIECES (QUEEN and ROOKS).

1.To win WITHOUT PAWNS, you must be at least a ROOK or TWO MINOR PIECES ahead (two knight excepted).
2.The KING must be ACTIVE in the ENDING.
4.The EASIEST endings to win are PURE PAWN endings.
5.If you are ONLY ONE PAWN ahead, EXCHANGE PIECES, not pawns.
6.DON'T place your PAWNS on the SAME COLOR SQUARES as your BISHOP.
7.BISHOPS are BETTER than KNIGHTS in all but BLOCKED pawn positions.
8.It is usually worth GIVING UP A PAWN to get a ROOK ON THE SEVENTH RANK.
10.BLOCKADE PASSED PAWNS with the KING." (courtsy of )

"A good chess strategy is:
*to Develop Both Knights before the Queen’s Bishop.
*Do Not Develop your Chess Pieces Exclusively on One Side.
*as a Rule Do Not Play a Piece beyond Your Own Side of the Board in the Opening.
*if You Have Castled Do Not Permit the Opponent to Open a File on Your King.
*to Avoid Pinning the Opponent’s King’s Knight before He has Castled, Especially When You Have Yourself Castled on the King’s Side.
*to Avoid Making Exchanges which Develop Another Piece for the Opponent.
*to Avoid Exchanging Bishops for Knights Early in the Game.
*to Avoid Premature Attacks.
*Seeking a Weak Spot in Opponent’s Position."

"Chess Principles
01. Develop your pieces quickly.
02. Control the center.
03. Try to put your pieces on squares that give them maximum space.
04. Try to develop your knights towards the center.
05. A knight on the rim is dim.
06. Don't take unnecessary chances.
07. Play aggressive.
08. Calculate forced moves first.
09. Always ask yourself, "Can he put me in check or win a piece?"
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 contolling 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 counterplay.
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 that just one or two pieces.
21. Do not make careless pawn moves. They cannot move back.
22. Do not block in your bishops.
23. Bishops of opposite colors have the greatest chance of drawing.
24. Try not to move the same piece twice or more times in a row.
25. Exchange pieces if it helps your development.
26. Don't bring your queen out early.
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.
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 with White, and a few openings with 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 and databases to help you study and play more.
46. Everyone 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 thw whole board.
53. Write down your move first before making that move if it helps.
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.
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."

...but a GM knows the many exceptions to these rules, principles, & ideas.

"When you see a good move wait - look for a better one. -- Emanuel Lasker"
"A bad plan is better than none at all -(Frank Marshall)"

long winded but beneficial to many gameknotters I hope:)

honololou 5 ( +1 | -1 )
longwinded yes… but your enthusiasm is admirable. Bravo punky!
autumnbreeze 62 ( +1 | -1 )
Excellent help Thankyou punkusmartyrus. There are no doubt plenty of guidelines, instructions and steps around which each embody a principle, whether it's easy to understand, or takes some application to understand, or whether it is less important, or more important. I find the lists you provided are a very useful compilation, and some appeal to the emotions or motivations rather than purely being technical, and consequently are cheering, e.g. rule 16 "If you are losing, don't give up the fight. Look for counter-play". I have a principle too: be open to other people's suggested principles and checklists and let your sub-conscious integrate what you need.
furryfunbundle 141 ( +1 | -1 )
1st end-game principle I learnt Rule of the Square (Passed Pawn endings):

Looking at the pawn - mentally formulate a square by tracking the diagonal from the pawn to the 8th rank to establish the vertical/horizontal sides of the square.

The rule is - if the opposing king is physically within that square or can move into that square, then the king can run the pawn down (and stop it from queening). Otherwise the pawn will queen.

Very easy guideline to apply over the board and a real help when in time pressure and looking to make quick decisions.

By the by brobishkin, I can recommend a gem of a book full of snippets of wisdom, and ideal for bed-time perusal (wife-permitting of course!)

"On the Endgame" by the late Cecil Purdy. The book is a compilation of his articles from Australasian Chess Review/Chess World publications and a great companion to some of the heavier tomes on End-games (eg Dvortetsky's!!!) It sets out over 153 pages some 46 endgame rules The rest of the book contains game analysis and so forth and the final pages are a quiz and a listing of the rules.

Skimming through the book some examples
- Rule 38: "Keep your pawns on those squares oppisite in colour to that of your bishop"
- Rule 24: "To win, exchange off pieces: To draw, exchange off pawns
- Rule 41:A pawn down does noot lose when all pawns are on one wing only

Best Regards.
punkusmartyrus 28 ( +1 | -1 )
thanx a bundle wierd, for some reason "rule of the square" was one of the first rules I learned too, but had forgot exactly how it went. how convenient/invaluable, now I don't have to go back & look forever for it online somewhere. thanx furryfunbundle
crenshawjohn 113 ( +1 | -1 )
Chess Principles 1) Knights on the first and second ranks are purely defensive and are usually on their way to greener pastures.

2) A Knight on the third rank is useful for defense and is ready to take a more aggressive stance by jumping to the fifth.

3) A Knight on the fourth rank is a good as a Bishop and is well poised for both attack and defense.

4) A Knight on the fifth rank is often superior to a Bishop and constitutes a powerful attacking unit.

5) A Knight on the sixth rank is often a winning advantage. It spreads disharmony in the enemy camp to such a degree that the opponent will sometimes feel compelled to give up material to rid himself of it.

Keep in mind that when I speak of Knights on the fourth to sixth ranks, I refer to their being placed on unassailable support points. A support point is only useful if it is in an area of the board where action is taking place. A Knight on the sixth rank in a unoccupied corner of the board is not a well placed piece!

- - Copyright - Jeremy Silman - 1993 ('How To Reassess Your Chess')

Captain of The Red Rook Foundation
future Gameknot Hall Of Famer