Tuesday, May 17, 2005

KISS Principle

Last night some of my friends asked me as to how I remember all the various openings/moves while playing Chess.

Frankly, I do not remember any openings or their names too. I follow some basic principles (KISS - Keep it simple, silly) while playing and that with time has helped me to become a better player.

My rules for the Opening adopted from various masters are:
1. Open with either the e-pawn or the d-pawn. Get your pieces out into the centre quickly. The opening is a race to see who can get their pieces out first while keeping at least a share of control of the centre. This is the main point to remember; all the other points are just footnotes to this one. Let's talk about this in some more detail. At the start of a game you have eight pieces to develop. In most games -
(a) your Queen and four minor pieces will all move off the back rank;
(b) your Rooks will move to open or semiopen files; and
(c) your King will castle into safety in one of the corners.
You also need to move two Pawns in order to develop the Bishops (one Pawn for each Bishop). This makes a total of 10 developing moves. If you accomplish all of this in the first 12-15 moves, you've done well.
2. Move pieces not pawns, and move them to their best squares in one move if you can, and also try to gain time if you can by aggressive moves. In addition, don't move the same piece twice in the opening without a good reason. Place each piece immediately on the square where it is most effective.
3. Move minor pieces out first, not your Q or RRs which can be attacked and lose time. Do not move any pawns in the opening of a game but the King and Queen pawns. Do not obstruct your pawns by grouping your pieces directly in front of them; pawns and pieces must work together.
4. Get a firm foothold in the centre and don't give it up.
5. Bring out your knights before developing your bishops, especially the Queen's Bishop. Generally move Knights straightaway to f3/c3 or f6/c6.
6. Move your King to safety at the side, by castling King's-side (which also gets your Rook into play).
7. During the first few moves, pay special attention to the vulnerable KB2 square on both sides.
8. Complete your development before moving a piece twice or starting an attack.
9. Keep your Queen safe. Do not bring your queen out too early to the center.
10. Do not pin the adverse King Knight (ie. by Bg5) before your opponent has castled.
11. Don't grab pawns or attack if you haven't completed development.
12. What to do if there is a lead in development - (a) If you are ahead in development, get something going and open up lines for your better pieces, (b) If you are behind in development, don't start anything and keep things closed until you have caught up.

Don't let these guidelines interfere with common sense, which takes priority over all else. For example, when your opponent moves, first look to see how you are threatened. The best way to do this is to pretend it's your opponent's move again and see what damage can be done. If that damage is worse than whatever you had in mind, you must do something about it. Also, your opponent has just made a move that you didn't consider. Remember, just because your opponent is a good player, and just because you didn't see the move before, doesn't mean it's a good move. Always respect your opponent, but never be afraid to follow your own judgement.
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Blogger AC said...


A very interesting blog. Not that I ammuch of a chess player - but your writing is very clear and erudite :)

10:19 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I really like this list!

12:35 AM  

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