Intermediate Chess Strategy: Openings, Controlling the Board and Wasted Moves


A good strategy in any chess game is to move your bishop and knight out early. The more pieces you have in play, the more control you have over the board. Allowing your pieces to sit on the back line is not a good strategy. Their only purpose there is to protect your pawns – the least valuable pieces in your army. Get your bishop and knight in the front line where they can work in your favor. The more pieces you have out front is beneficial because you’re more flexible and you can cover a greater number of squares. This gives you more control of the center of the board, which is imperative if you want your army to be successful. Move your pawns early in the game to allow openings for your more valuable pieces to advance into play.

Like all things in life, moving your pieces to advance too early can have its disadvantages, especially where your queen is concerned. Your pieces may run into a blockade or your opponent’s pawns and he may attack your valuable pieces. This is an important aspect of the game. If your opponent does this, use your own pawns. Never allow your opponent to capture your valuable pieces with his less valuable pawns.

Controlling Center Board

When you have choices of different moves for a piece, remember that control of the board’s center is an important part of chess strategy. By controlling the board’s center, you will be better able to maneuver and also be able to attack more squares. If you move a piece to one side of the board, it will have trouble attacking the center, and will not be able to have any affect on the opposite side of the board. The worst scenario is the piece will become trapped by your opponent’s pawns. This entirely disables the piece and makes it worthless.

The center of the board is not always easy to control. There’s a lot of action here and this is where most chess pieces are captured. Always make sure that your pieces are protected. Good pawn strategy allows your pieces to move freely while being completely protected. If you can play your pawns to control the center of the board, you will have a great advantage. Keep your opponent in his place by moving your pawns into a position where he can’t move his bishop because the squares are protected by them.

Wasted Moves

As an intermediate chess player, you must be sure to never waste a move. In other words, make only those moves which will give your army more strength and benefit you. A great example of a wasted move is if you move your bishop ahead and then move him back to his original position on the next move. No matter the reason, this is a wasted move. Another example is moving your pawn in front of your rook. What did you accomplish with either of these moves? If your answer is nothing, then you’ve just wasted two moves and your opponent now has greater control of the board’s center.

As an intermediate player you need to realize that every move counts. Move to defend your pieces, attack your opponent’s pieces and to gain more control of the board. There are times when you can accomplish all three of these actions in one move. Therefore, it is imperative never to allow your opponent to have more effective moves than you do.

Above all, remember, no strategy is foolproof. Always plan a backup strategy. By Mary M. Alward.