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Chess Tricks

Chess Tricks

The following Plentifun article will list out some chess tips, which, if applied to your game will help you improve your game drastically. Master the game of chess with these tricks and tips.
Madhurjya Bhattacharyya
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2018
Chess, one of the oldest mind games in the world, is a highly competitive and a well-known recreational game. If you look back at the history of chess, it can be said that the game of chess originated in India during the reign of the Gupta dynasty. Modern-day chess has its origins in 15th century Europe, where it is said to have evolved from the Indian version played at that time.
A game played between two players on a chess board with 16 pieces, chess is considered the oldest game in the world. It has, over the years, become a popular game, especially in Russia and other regions of Europe, not to mention its place of origin, India. Are there any special chess tricks and tactics which a player can apply against his/her opponent? There is a perception that chess is a difficult game where a player needs to be a genius and it can't be played by an ordinary person. On the contrary, chess, though it may seem complex at the onset, can be an interesting game where you try to defeat your opponent by surrounding the king such that he is trapped.
The following Plentifun article gives you some basic chess tricks and tips so that you will be able to understand the game better, and apply them while playing.
Chess Tricks for Beginners

Fool's Mate

This move is one of the oldest moves of the game wherein you can finish off the game within two moves if you are playing with black. In the first two moves, if white plays f3 and g4, you can as well play the queen to h4, making it a check and a mate.
Scholar's Mate

In a scholar's mate, a player playing white, takes four moves to complete the game. The moves go as follows: 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Qxf7#. In these moves, black doesn't pay attention to the advancing white queen, thereby bringing about his downfall. While playing, always ensure that you pay attention if your opponent advances the queen early in the game. An advice: don't ever think that your opponent doesn't have a plan.
GIGO Gambit

A GIGO gambit was first introduced by a computer while playing against a human. The ploy used is to capture the rook on the queen's side by sacrificing your king's side bishop thereby weakening the opponent. The moves go as follows, assuming that you play white: 1.G4 D5 2.Bg2 Bxg4 3.C4. It may seem like white has made a bad move, but it's just a ploy to divert the attention of the opponent. Once black takes your pawn on c4, you play Bxb7, thereby attacking the black rook, which has no place to move. Black has to play Nd7 after which you can play Bxa8, thereby weakening black's position.
The Caro-Kann Defense

Assuming that you play white in the Caro Kann opening game, you can start the game with the normal moves: 1.e4 c6, 2.d4 d5, 3.Nc3 dxe5, 4.Nxe5 Nd7. White next moves Qe2, which can be a bit deceptive for black, if your opponent is preparing for a particular position. Usually, in such a case, black would tend to get the knight at d7 out-of-the-way and move to b6 after which white can play Nf6#. This is a trap which follows the opening moves and white varies his moves in such a way that it keeps his queen behind the knight. Black falls into this trap.
Traxler Counter Attack

In several chess tricks, it is white that has an advantage, but if you play black, you can still have the upper hand with the help of Traxler Counter Attack. In this variation, you defend with the help of two knights with the following moves: 1.e4 e5, 2.Nf3 Nc6, 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5. In such a case, white attacks the f7 position, but you don't need to worry. White would next play Nxf7 thereby making a fork and attacking the queen and the rook of the king's side. You can then play Bxf2 giving a check. White would be bound to capture your bishop with his king after which you can again give a check with your knight, moving it to e4. White would save the king after which you can move the queen to f6 or h4 and threaten an attack or a mate.
Important Chess Tricks and Strategies

Observe the Opponents Move

Whenever your opponent moves, pause a moment and switch on your minds computer. Think hard about why he has made that move. Ask yourself whether any of your pieces are in danger. Is there any 'discovered move' hidden between his moves? If you can defend yourself, only then can you plan to implement your strategies.
Think of a Better Move

While it is your turn to move, consider these points:
  • Can I move my pieces to a better position other than the position I intend to move?
  • Once a piece is moved to a particular position, think of the possible combinations which you can move next.
  • Can a particular position be improved even more, by increasing the effectiveness of other pieces?
  • Does your move neutralize threats from your opponent?
  • Wherever you intend to move, make sure that your pieces are 'safe'.
During the course of a match, if you see a move which you consider 'good', it may not necessarily be a good move at that moment. The golden rule here is that you 'wait and think of a better move'.
Plan Your Moves in Advance

While you play, think of a plan to attack your opponent. If you threaten a piece in one move, and then again another piece in another move, you are just wasting your time. Moreover, by doing this, you are also giving an opportunity to your opponent to defend himself easily, besides giving him a chance to create a defensive arch around his king.
For your moves to be effective, ensure that you support each piece with the other. It's the same case when you try to attack the king. You can't checkmate your opponent with a single piece, you need to move your pieces in unison.
Understand the Worth of Your Pieces

While you think of trading pieces, don't just think of how many pieces you or your opponent possess. You also need to consider the value of each piece. If your combined value is greater, you will have the advantage. A pawn is the least valuable piece worth a point and is the slowest moving piece. Bishops and knights are worth three points and knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. On the other hand, bishops can cover half the squares. A rook with five points can reach every square of the board. The combined force of bishops and knights can many a time block the advances of a rook. The queen is the most powerful and is worth nine points. So before you trade pieces, make sure that you have higher value pieces which can potentially checkmate your opponent.
Keep a Watch on the Time

An important element of a game of chess is time. Keep a watch on that, the faster you think and move, the sooner you will be able to gain control of the game. In the beginning of the game, several inexperienced players tend to play pawns so as to control enough space on the board. But it's not a good idea to bring out too many pawns to start with as it opens your stronger pieces to be attacked by the opponent. Rather, one of the important chess tricks is to bring out your bishop and knight towards the center of the board, so that you have enough space to attack your opponent.
Try Controlling the Middle of the Board

The center of the board is the most crucial position of the board. If you are able to control the center you have a better chance of dominating the game. There are reasons for this, let's take an example to illustrate. If you place your knight at the central square of the board, you will be able to cover eight squares. On the other hand, if you place the same knight at the corner of the board, it will only be able to move two possible squares.
Protect Your King

The aim of the game is to checkmate the king of the opponent. You must think of checkmating your opponent, no doubt, but don't lose sight of the fact that your opponent is thinking the same. So make sure to protect your king and keep it in a safe position, preferably by castling. Once castled, be careful of the advancing pawns of your opponent. Make sure that you don't move the pawns in front of the king until you feel that it is necessary to defend your king, or else you will provide easy fodder for your opponent.
Trade Pieces

You can opt to trade pieces whenever you get a chance to, but what's the use if you lose pieces as well. When you capture pieces, make sure that the value of your opponent's pieces are more than yours. It's very important to know when to trade pieces; as a general unwritten rule, if you are in control of the game, don't exchange pieces until it gives you a clear advantage. The fewer the pieces you have, the lesser are the chance of you attacking.
Another important time when you should not be trading pieces is when there is less space for your pieces to maneuver. If there is less space available, it's difficult to move your pieces. An excellent way of gaining advantage is to weaken the pawn structure of your opponent. A good example of this is to capture a piece, which he can only recapture with a pawn, thereby giving him a 'double pawn' structure. If your opposition has the initiative and you have a cramped position, it's always a good idea to trade pieces, if that means weakening your opponent.
Think about the Long Term Consequences

From the start of the game, keep in mind that each move you make has an effect on the end of the game. Usually it's the bishop and knight that dominate proceedings in the initial phase of the game. Towards the middle and end of the game, the bishop has higher influence as it can move throughout the board at once. On the other hand, a knight takes a longer time to reach the other end of the board, so while trading a bishop for a knight, also think of the long-term gains which your opponent may have. A crucial component towards the end of the game is the pawn structure. Once you take an opponent's piece, you create an open file which in turn may help your queen or rook in reaching the other side of the board.
With these chess tricks, you will be in a better position to try these out against your opponent and probably try to win the game. A small advice, don't be in a hurry, be patient, think of all possible combinations you can play. Once your opponent has moved, analyze the move and look for the threats or possible threats to your pieces. Plan your moves and try attacking the central files i.e. the kings and queens files of your opponent. And remember not to play any of the pieces in isolation, they would be vulnerable, support them with other pieces. The next time you play chess, keep all these tricks in mind.
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