Once a player moves from a beginning skill level to the intermediate skill level the strategy changes completely. When we first learn to play chess we strive for a check mate in as few moves as possible. We endeavor to catch our opponent off guard to gain a quick victory.
At more advanced stages we change to a strategy of board position and the gradual reduction of our opponent’s strength. We accomplish this by applying the standard point value of the individual pieces. The Queen is worth 10 points, the Rook is worth 5 points, and the Bishop and the Knight are worth three points and pawns one point. You may find some variations of these values such as the Bishop and Knight being worth two and one half points but this matters not. The power of the Queen speaks for itself. The two point difference between the Bishop/Knight combination and the Rook is based solely on the ability of the Rook in combination with the King to affect a check mate. The King paired with a Bishop or Knight cannot check mate an opponent.
The goal of this opening from white is to gain board position and to win two points from black- to trade a white knight for a black rook. Let us start by playing the basic strategy strictly from white which gives us an opportunity to see the white position only and the possible play sequence without the clutter of the black pieces. First move kings pawn to king pawn four.
Then king’s bishop to queen bishop four residing on a red diagonal. Next move kings knight to king’s bishop three. You already see that the last knight move could have been to king rook five but this move would expose the knight to attack from black queen’s bishop also on a red diagonal. Move queens’ pawn to queen pawn two so that queen’s bishop can protect the king’s knight after the next move from white. Next move the knight at king’s bishop three to king knight five. Black would have the same number of moves but based on varied sequencing the white knight next moves to kings bishop seven. The white knight cannot be captured as it is protected by the bishop sitting at queen bishop four. Black would never sacrifice the queen so the white knight would move to kings rook eight winning blacks kings rook after black moves the black queen to safety. Assuming black will pull out all stops to capture the invading white knight, white has gained a two point advantage. Most often the white knight who won the black rook can win a black pawn prior to being captured which would be three point swing in whites favor…
Continued at An Intermediate Chess Opening from White.