A lot of chess players out there have no clue what to think about when they are playing their game. Their sense of danger is not up to the level to where it should be and so stronger players tend to exploit this and make them suffer. There’s a lot of words we associate in regards to people’s knowledge of what’s going on. These are the instincts, game sense, pattern recognition and their plan in the position. The examples in this article will address the instincts and game sense aspect of the game.
Four things to watch out for. Well wouldn’t it be simple if these are only the four things you need to watch out for? Of course there are other things to watch out for too, like how much time you have left on the clock and how much time your opponent has, how your opponent is feeling, did they make a mistake in the last move (perhaps their emotions will give it away). There are also plenty of things to watch out for within your chess game too. We can only address four things which we consider to be quite important things that people often forget about.
The Borderline and Incoming Pieces (Knights and Queens in Particular):
There are two types of attacks, one type involves the moving of knights or maneuvering knights to be positioned targeting weak squares or weak pawns. The other type is any attacks not involving the movement of knights. Categorising it this way, is just to highlight that, in fact, a lot of the attacks involve knights coming in and doing some damage. Aggressive players may also argue that the queen plays a very important role in an attack and it is almost essential to take part in whichever direction you are planning to attack. Let’s see some examples of this in action:
The second example involves a very well known attack, called the Fried Liver Attack.
In one of our earlier articles we talked about the power of the bishops on the long diagonals. Well this is the same principle here. People often forget about one particular type of bishops and these are the fianchetto bishops. The Fianchetto Bishops represent much power from afar, it’s not a concept that beginners understand very well – using pieces to control the squares in the centre. By the way, controlling the squares in the centre using pieces is no way stronger than controlling the centre with pawns. The only reason why people would do it, is to create an unbalance in the centre, or in the pawn structure, which can lead to more exciting games (for them). Also, some people would feel safer to fianchetto on the kingside via (g3 and Bg2), because the bishop guards the king while it does its duty across the long diagonal. There are ways to destroy the fianchetto, but that is outside the scope of this topic. Let us look at one particular example where the one side was not aware of the fianchetto bishop.
Brawls in the Centre
Where do both sides of the river meet together? At the centre, of course. The centre of the battlefield must be kept an eye on because at some point, there will be one side that says, ‘ I’ve had enough of waiting for you, let’s just fight to see who will win!’. In club level games, people will often do this without sufficient preparation for the centre break, that one move that attempts to blast open everything, to declare direct war with your opponent. In higher level games, people tend to do this with caution and with a good judgement, they will often go for the centre break when they feel like they are stronger or they must coordinate their pieces in order to stop a flank attack. Examples time!
The next one shows a common mistake that people make very often when they aren’t looking for these central breaks properly.
Defend the Monarchs
What’s more frustrating than seeing your king is being checkmated, or that your queen is about to die? Protecting these two pieces are very important. It involves something called discipline, knowing the limits of what these pieces can and can’t deal with. My advice is to be safe when making decisions regards to protecting these pieces or when you’re moving them in general. Safe is good. Always check to see how your king and queen are doing, make sure they are alive or at least doing what they can to stay alive!