The following is a guest post:
Chess is not your typical board game, as not much is left to chance except maybe when your opponent "chances" to do something stupid. Becoming a skilled player involves an ability to devise a strategy (with adequate back-up plans) and some capacity for anticipating your opponent's next moves. The more you play and study the tactics of skilled players, the better you will become at developing your own unique strategies. A few best practices, however, are well-known and can be applied by any amateur player who wishes to take steps to improve their game.
1.) Don't underestimate the power of your pawns. These little guys are a great protective measure for your king, and work great in chains for organizing an attack. However, they're close to worthless when they're isolated from each other on the board or if a chain of them is blocking powerful players, like your bishops and rooks. It's usually a good practice to build inverted V chains of pawns rather than going for V-shaped chains, which are weaker. Try to maintain the pawns in the middle of the board, while remembering to open up chains for your power players.
2.) Get your knights in the middle when the board is still crowded so they can wreak more havoc against your opponent. Too many novice players leave their knights close to the sidelines where they have a more limited range of motion from which to make their L-shaped attack.
3.) Remember that bishops and rooks are much more useful in an endgame scenario than a knight or a pawn because they can cross vast distances if need be on the open board. If you're forced to sacrifice a knight or a bishop early into a game, sacrifice a knight.
4.) Don't take the queen too far out too soon. She may pack a punch, but she's also your most valuable asset.
5.) Castle your king early. This will help protect you from an early checkmate.
6.) Attack invisibly. In other words, your opponent is more likely to anticipate an attack from the piece you move. Attacking invisibly often means you move a piece merely to free up another of your pieces to attack on the next move. Your opponent is less likely to organize a defense for the invisible attack and you are more likely to capture the piece you're after.
7.) Sometimes offense is the best defense. When you're cornered and a piece of yours is about to be taken, see if you can position yourself to capture a more valuable piece from your opponent. Your opponent will then face the decision of whether to rescue his or her own piece or proceed to take your piece as originally planned.
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of college courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.