Tag Archives: opening principles

Miniature #1: Don’t Move the Same Piece Twice

Here we go.  SmithyQ presents YouTube video number two!

This one may become a regular series.  I adore chess miniatures.  These are games under 25 moves, usually finishing with a crushing attack or fancy tactics.  In order to lose in under 25 moves, one side has to make some decisive mistakes.  Studying miniatures teaches us both to recognize when these mistakes happen and how to punish them most effectively.  Your opening and early middlegame attacking skills will increase tremendously after even just a few games.

Also, miniatures are a heck of a lot of fun, so let’s take a look. Continue reading

Game 20: SmithyQ-Zicfun33: Opening Principles

In some ways, the game today is fairly simple.  It’s ten moves and Black hangs a piece.  GG.

This is true, but it isn’t the whole story.  Black didn’t hang his piece randomly.  He had a plan, and his first few moves were standard, and he played a standard central break.  Things seemed fine on the surface, but if you look deeper, Black’s position was actually terrible.  Why?  Because Black didn’t follow opening principles.  He moves a piece twice in the opening, and though it looked harmless, it basically brought him swift defeat.

Let’s take a look at how deep opening principles can take us. Continue reading

Game 5: SmithyQ – Elboricura: Punishing Disregard for Opening Principles

More ink has been spilled on chess openings than any other part of the game, and it’s easy to think it’s some mystical thing, too deep to understand.  It really isn’t.  For 98% of opening positions, Basic Opening Principles explain exactly what to do.  They aren’t a secret.  Here they are.

  1. Develop pieces, preferably Knights before Bishops.
  2. Make as few pawn moves as necessary.
  3. Castle quickly.
  4. Do NOT move the same piece twice.
  5. Do NOT bring the Queen out early.

That’s the opening in a nutshell.  The vast majority of my games stick to this.  Openings really can be this simple.  Violating opening principles is a surefire way to lose quickly.  That’s what happened here, in my fifth game since returning to chess. Continue reading