The top most important chess principles for a better game.

1. Finish your thinking with a mistake scan/check and THEN move.

1. Mistake check . No matter at what level you play at, you can make a mistake. And it is that constant insight knowing that you can and will make a mistake in any situation if you don’t stay alert for it, especially when you are confident and on the top, most players make the biggest mistakes.

When we are defending or struggling in an equal position the risk of making a mistake is smaller because then we are alert to the fact that one mistake will make us loose the game immediately.

This principle is the simplest, most important but also the easiest to ignore.

Learn this principle, keep discipline with this principle and your chess will improve A LOT. It is also the simple but clear difference between a master player and a so so player…

2. Why did opponent move like that and what is his plan?

2. Opponent’s plan. Chess is a game between two players. Whenever your opponent moved, he provides you with a clue what his goal for the game is and what his immediate plan might be and what type of player he is. Collect all those clues at all times.

If you fail to collect even one, at any given time, it could mean the end of the game. It is that important to never ignore the opponent’s move and be too selfcentred and focused about your own plans!

3. Don't shoot any blanks at any time!Always play useful moves.

3. Don’t shoot blanks! Try to play good useful moves at all times. Don’t shoot blanks at any point during the whole game, especially not when you have an even game or is down in material or even worse – position!

This is a very common beginner’s mistake and a clear difference between very advanced players and standard club players. The world champion in chess may do one or two small mistakes during the whole game but never plays a blank move during the whole game. Whereas a clubplayer may do 5-10 mistakes and 10-30 blank moves during the game.

Sooner or later an opponent will play a lesser number of blank moves than you and you will loose loose “game time” (I will explain that concept below) and valuable moves thanks to those “blank” nonuseful moves you played.

The best move is of course an aggressive move that wins unconditionally of what the opponent moves next. For example a move that threatens a mate without the opponent able to stop it in anyway. Let’s call those moves unstoppable attack moves.  It is not always possible to surely decide if a move is unstoppable or not. If it is very clear that a move will result in unstoppable mate or material loss in next move, well then it is of course easy. But often the case is that it demands an exact analysis and the needed amount of thinking time to decide whether a move is unstoppable or not in number of moves ahead into the game. To play an unstoppable move, demands that you have a good skill in calculating ahead and that you are 100 % sure of what possibilities will occur some moves ahead.

The next best move is where you can combine a strong move with a strong defense move.  Let’s call them combo moves. Always look out for combo moves! They allow you to safely play on, without an exact analysis and still have control of the game until you can surely find a safe unstoppable attack move.

If you cannot find a combo move – then play a consolidation move. With that I mean a move that consolidates and secures your position from attack. In essence making your king and your material (the rest of the pieces) safe in all possible angles. Often a move like that can annoy the opponent a whole lot because that may deprive him or her from a game plan. There is nothing worse for a chessplayer then to play moves without a plan. It is demoralising and often allure him to make worthless moves that makes his position worse then it was before the move. A player needs a plan and a goal to play purposeful moves and to feel purposeful throughout his whole game.

(To be continued)










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