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Do you want to win at chess? Everyone wants to win when competing against others!
The way to victory at chess is by checkmating the opponent’s king! From the initial position to a checkmate on the board, however, it’s a long, tough way.
Winning at chess requires a variety of skills, such as knowledge about openings and endgames, a good sense of time and high concentration throughout the whole game.
A loss happens very quickly, but to win at chess, you need to pay attention to a variety of issues.
In the following article, we will show you the key things to get right. If you can follow these principles, you will win at chess more frequently throughout your chess career:
- Make Good Opening Moves
- Have a Good Plan
- Avoid Blunders
- Make the Best Possible Move
- Focus In the Endgame
So, let us look at these five main aspects in detail.
- Make Good Opening Moves
To play chess, you need the chess pieces. But to play chess actively, you need active chess pieces! So, it is essential to develop all the chess pieces as fast as possible, or better said – faster than your opponent. All of your pieces have to fulfil a function and therefore, they must be developed and engaged as best as possible in the game.
Control of the central squares – e4, d4, e5 and d5 – is very important as it creates space for you to move your pieces. The more squares you control on the chess board, the better your pieces can usually be developed. It makes it easier to play actively and develop a plan when you have enough space on the board.
It’s not just you trying to win the game, however. Unfortunately, our opponent is trying to do the same! And which piece is the most important for the decision of the game? That’s right – the king.
Particularly at the start of the game, it’s important to bring your king to a safe place where he is protected by the other pieces. How do we bring him into safety? Castling! Castle as early as you can, so that nasty mates in the center of the chess board won’t be something for you to worry about.
The most fundamental mistake in the opening which sadly many players make, is learning plenty of very complex move orders and playing them without actually understanding a thing about them!
Do not only learn the opening moves off by heart. You must understand the plans and ideas behind the opening to be successful, and not just play the learned moves like a machine. It is far better to choose a few simple openings and understand them properly with all their intentions and plans. To give yourself the best chance of winning, you should try to choose an active opening.
- Have a Good Plan
As mentioned before, having a plan results from understanding your chosen opening. Don’t just make random, unnecessary moves, because that would give your opponent time to force through their ideas.
Instead of making those random moves, take care that you play actively! If you just make passive moves, you will never mate your opponent’s king. Try to be active always and make moves meaningfully.
And having a useful plan surely means that you have to think more than just one step ahead. That means that you should try to to calculate and think for the long term – not just the next step. If you want to win at chess, you must be able to look ahead and train your imagination.
Also, you should try to put your opponent under pressure by attacking his king. Bring your pieces into ideal positions where they look straight at the king and work toward the perfect moment to checkmate him.
- Don’t Blunder
For sure, you should always be aware of the value of all of your pieces – pawns aren’t excluded! Always be careful always and check your moves twice – that’s the way to avoid making a blunder which you will regret for the rest of the game.
Avoiding blunders is far easier if you always keep an eye on all of your pieces. Make sure that each piece is always well protected and can’t get into trouble.
For your own sake, study tactical patterns! Pins, forks and skewers – they don’t just exist in the games of others. Study typical tactical patterns, so that you don’t overlook them and lose your game! And this has two sides – it doesn’t only help you to avoid making blunders yourself, it helps you to recognize the blunders of your opponent and take advantage of them in order to win at chess!
- Make the Best Possible Moves
It’s essential to try to make the best possible move to win at chess. For making the best move, it’s important not only to consider your own plan, but also to watch your opponent’s moves and potential plans. Try to work out what your opponent is planning and react appropriately to stop them doing it! As the second World Chess Champion said, “when you find a good move, look for a better one!”
It’s really important to know when you should trade your pieces. For instance, when you are behind on material, it’s bad to trade your pieces. On the other hand, when you have more pieces than your opponent, you should try to trade off pieces and convert your advantage into a point. It’ll be useful to know the different possible moves within the confines of the game in order to gain favorability. When playing competitively, be sure to not overlook rules you don’t know in order to play the best chess moves to win the game.
Another important aspect for every chess player who takes part in tournaments is to manage your time well. It’s a frustrating experience which many chess players go through during their career, to lose a game from a good position because of a lack of time. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the clock and to allot your time reasonably.
Chess moves to win the game.
- Focus In the Endgame
When the game gets down to the last few pieces, that means it’s crunch time. You must muster your last strength and stay alert. Mistakes in the endgame can be the most fatal ones.
In the endgame, try to make forcing moves and play very actively – it’s the best way to secure a checkmate and win at chess! If there’s a winning chance, never hesitate in the endgame – and constantly be on the lookout for possibilities to attack the opponent’s king.
Finally, every chess player has to study some typical endgame techniques, so that the final step of checkmating doesn’t become a problem to you. If you know a variety of typical endgames, the time pressure, which often occurs at the end of a chess game, will not be a problem to you anymore! Also, it means you won’t accidentally stalemate your opponent and throw away a win.
We hope this article has helped you to become aware of the essential skills every chess player must have to win a chess game. Let us know in the comments how you get on applying these principles in your games. In the meantime, good luck in your king hunting!