Chess - Fundamentals by Ron Miller

Board Setup: White square goes in the right hand corner. Queen on her own color.

Begin-Game Guidelines

GOAL: To develop your pieces; by moving them towards the center. Taking command of the
center of the board while forming a strong fighting (& defendable) formation.

1. The order of developing your pieces is:

First the minor pieces (Knights & Bishops), then the Queen, followed by the Rooks.

2. Move king and queen pawns early to attack the middle and allow bishops and queen to develop.

(best first move is pawn to King-4)

3. Strive to control the center of the board.

Note: The pieces are most Powerful, mobile and secure stationed nearest the center.

  1. Minimize pawn moves, avoid repeated moves of any given piece and Donít move your Queen out early.
  2. Be watchfull of early attacks (leading to mates) on your Kingís Bishopís Pawn.

Mid-Game Guidelines

GOAL: Capture and exchange pawns and pieces so that you end up with more pieces

(&/or more powerful pieces) and better position, for mating or going into end game.

1. Strive to setup exchange imbalances in your favor; on opposing pieces (or vital positions).

Try to make moves which serve more than one purpose.

2. Take care to: Keep the king in a safe place (e.g. Castle). Maintain good and strong pawn structure.

3. For each of your opponentís and your proposed moves, evaluate the effects of the following:

1 - the pieces it used to attack and protect, and squares it controlled.

2 - pieces it newly attacks and protects, and square it will control

3 - check what new attacks & defenses can go through the square it will no longer occupy

(both yours and his)

4 - check attacks & defenses hence blocked, that went through the new square. (both yours and his)

4. Watch for & make use of Sacrifices, Forks, Pins, Skewers, Discovered Attacks and Double Checks. Always look for secondary intentions as well as thirds; especially in the case of Queen moves.

5. When notably ahead (~3pts) in material: Exchange! So as to improve your ratio of power .

If behind avoid even exchanges.


End-Game Guidelines

GOAL: Drive home a Victory !

1. Use a combination of threats and checks to negotiate the opposing King into a Checkmate if possible.

If you lack sufficient advantage to go directly ahead into a mating sequence then :

2. Use any remaining pieces and especially the King to escort your pawns towards promotion on the 8th rank.

3. Try to maintain formations of connected pawns.

Don't underestimate the power of the King, along with advanced pawns in end-game play.

4. Watch for stalemates. Guard against and watch for King involved forks and skewers.