Strategies in Chess: Opening, Middlegame, and Endgame Tactics

The game of chess is all about strategies and tactics. There are three stages in a game of chess, and each one is critical.

The first stage is the opening, a sequence of moves in which the players bring out their pieces. The opening sequence shapes a player’s overall results. The opening is often designed to take hold of the board, develop the pieces, protect the King, and make a strong Pawn structure. The overall objective is to create a position of strength to prepare for the middlegame.

The second stage is the middlegame. In the middlegame, the players maneuver for position and carry out attacks and counterattacks. The goal is to eliminate as many of the opponent’s pieces as possible and consolidate one’s own position.

The third stage is known as the endgame. Usually there are very few pieces left on the board. This is the stage that is considered to be safe enough for the King to join the battle. When eliminating pieces, the ‘Chess Piece Point Values’ become important. A set of points is assigned to each type of piece. A Queen is usually worth 9 points, Rooks five, Bishops and Knights three points each, and Pawns one. However, the actual value and importance of a piece varies based on its position and the stage of the game.

Chess combinations and traps exist in the form of positional weaknesses in the opponent’s pieces. Successfully implementing a chess strategy depends partly on recognizing these positional weaknesses and exploiting them with different tactical methods. Chess combinations usually cover a number of types of tactical methods that many middlegame students classify and provide as classic examples of strategic playing. These tactics go by such exotic sounding names as pins, forks, skewers, discovered checks, zwischenzugs, deflections, decoys, sacrifices, forcing moves, undermining, overloading, and interference.

In the tactical move called the pin, the opponent’s pieces are pinned down. From this, it is obvious that a pinned piece indicates a specific type of weakness in the opponent’s positional play that can be used to the other’s advantage.

Another tactical ploy, the fork, involves a piece being moved so that it attacks two enemy pieces simultaneously. Such a move makes it almost impossible for the opponent to protect both pieces under attack and forces them to sacrifice one piece so the other may be saved. Skewers are a kind of reverse pin in which a more valuable piece is placed in front of a less valuable one.

The discovered attack is a tactic in which a piece moves and uncovers an opposing piece in a line so that another piece can attack it.

In the endgame, Pawns and Kings become important as both sides try to promote their Pawns. Players with more pieces left on the board have an advantage. Controlling the time used by each move becomes important as fewer pieces remain. Sometimes a player may seem to have a tactical advantage but not enough pieces left to force a result. When this occurs the game is considered a draw due to insufficient material.

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