PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
You now KNOW everything you need to know to play a good game of chess. But you also need LOTS AND LOTS OF PRACTICE.
In this lesson we go over again what we've learned in the last few lessons. In the next lesson you will be able to play your first CHESS TOURNAMENT.
To remind you, in chess tournaments you play TOUCH AND MOVE.
That is: if you TOUCH a piece deliberately you MUST MOVE IT.
And, if you TOUCH an opponent's piece deliberately, either with your hand or your piece, you MUST TAKE IT.
That means you must be VERY CAREFUL when you play.
What parts of the body do you use when you play chess?
You use your HANDS to make the move.
You use your BRAIN to think about the move.
You use your EYES to look at the board.
FIRST, you use your EYES to look at the board. Look at EVERY PIECE and see where it can go. Most importantly, LOOK AT YOUR OPPONENT'S LAST MOVE. Ask yourself why the move was played.
THEN you use your BRAIN to work out what's going on and decide on your move.
OK, you've thought of a move. Do you play it? NO! You stop and ask yourself IS IT SAFE? IF I GO THERE WILL I GET TAKEN?
Only then, when you are certain you've found the best move, do you use your HANDS to make the move.
DON'T pick up a piece and wave it round the board trying to find a good square. If your opponent says CHECK DON'T pick up the King and wave it round trying to get out of check. There might be a better move, like a CAPTURE, anyway.
If your hands are hovering over the board, you can't SEE all the board. Learn to SIT ON YOUR HANDS until you're ready to move. Then make your move in one action
To get it in the right order remember the letters EBH.
What do you do before you cross the road?
You STOP, LOOK BOTH WAYS, LISTEN and only cross if it's ALL CLEAR.
You should play chess the same way that you cross the road. You've already seen how easy it is to lose very quickly.
So, it's your move. What do you do?
You LOOK IN ALL DIRECTIONS.
You LOOK AT YOUR OPPONENT'S LAST MOVE.
But what sort of moves do you look for?
The object of the game is to get CHECKMATE so the first moves you look at are CHECKS. Not all CHECKS are worth playing, but ALL CHECKS are worth looking at, just in case one of them might be CHECKMATE.
If you have a stronger army than your opponent you are more likely to get CHECKMATE, so you should try to get an advantage in MATERIAL, in POINTS, in PIECES. Remember how much the pieces are worth: Pawn, 1 point, Knight and Bishop, 3 points each, Rook 5 points, Queen 9 points.
So you must look for CAPTURES. Can you CAPTURE a piece for nothing? Can you CAPTURE a stronger piece with a weaker piece? If you can, it's usually right to do so. Look for your opponent's CAPTURES as well. If your opponent wants to CAPTURE one of your pieces you must do something about it: MOVE, DEFEND or BLOCK if you cannot capture it yourself.
If you can't find any good CHECKS or CAPTURES try looking for THREATS. Moves which THREATEN something. Can you THREATEN CHECKMATE? Or THREATEN your opponent's Queen? Can you THREATEN two pieces at once - A FORK?
If none of these help you find a good move, look for a piece (not a pawn) which isn't doing much and try to get it into the game.
One further piece of advice. If you are a general in command of an army of 1000 men and the other army has 999 men, there's not a lot in it. But if your army has two men and the other army has one man you're twice as strong. So: IF YOU'RE AHEAD ON MATERIAL TRY TO EXCHANGE PIECES, IF YOU'RE BEHIND ON MATERIAL TRY TO AVOID EXCHANGES.
But most of all remember the three letters CCT.
If you get the opening - the first few moves of the game - right, then everything else will be much easier.
Remember the rules of good opening play.
LEARN, REMEMBER AND UNDERSTAND SCHOLAR'S MATE.
Make sure you know how to do it and how to stop it. Practice it over and over again until you get it right. Lots of children in Primary School Chess Clubs try it all the time. If you play in a tournament, or in a match against another school, there's a good chance that you'll meet someone who'll try it against you. So make sure you KNOW it.
Once you know how to stop it don't try it in your own games. You'll learn far more about chess by trying out the openings in the last lesson instead.
When you move onto the Intermediate Course, you'll have the chance to try out these and other exciting openings.
For the moment, start by moving the Pawn in front of your King two squares.
Get your Knights and Bishops out as quickly as you can.
Castle as quickly as you can, usually King-side.
Don't bring your Queen out until you've got something really good to do with her.
Rooks are usually the last pieces to come out. They like FILES with no Pawns on - OPEN FILES - so wait until some pawn exchanges have happened or might happen before deciding where to put them.
But the three most important things to remember start with the letters DCK.