6 Essential Principles of Chess

Beginners often struggle with chess but you shouldn’t get disappointed. You will improve with time and may even go on to beat the pros. But, all this cannot be done unless you learn to act upon the essential principles of chess. This blog aims at transforming you our readers into strong and resilient chess players.

Principle # 1: Keep the King Safe

No matter what maneuver you take, you have to know that the king must be protected at all times. It is easy for novice to leave the king open to get attacked during the initial stages and middle games. The best way to deal with this is to ponder over the move and ask yourself, “Will the King be safe if I make this move?” In order to ensure that you open the game flawlessly, you will have to memorize chess openings so that you do not fall for the opponent’s traps and choose an ideal position for defending the King. French defense, Queen’s gambit, and King’s Indian Defense are some of the moves that you should learn when you are starting your career in chess.

Principle # 2: Make Use of All the Chess Pieces on the Board

Real power lies in unity —play with all the pieces on the board as a team. Do not just focus on moving one piece until it is lost to the opponent. In fact, utilize your chess pieces in coordination in order to attack the King or grab hold of the opponent weak areas on the chessboard.

Principle # 3: Understand that the Middle Game Is Derived From the Opening

If you truly want to become a great chess player, you will have to understand that the middle game evolves from the chess openings. So, in order to exhibit your true strength at the game, you will have to focus on how the chess openings that you have memorized progress forward. Once you have grasped hold of this concept, you will be able to control the center efficiently.

Principle # 4: Plan More Than One Move Ahead

If you just consider the moves as they come along, you cannot really play without getting defeated. Therefore, it is essential that you plan at least four moves ahead. Play the game strategically only then you can pinpoint the weaknesses of the opponent to win the match. Read good books on chess tactics to constantly improve your strategic planning.

Principle # 5: Consider the Opponent’s Moves and Plans

You should deliberate over the opponent’s strategies and plan. If you are able to interpret the real objective of the opponent, you will be able to read through the threats and act accordingly.

Principle # 6: Analyze the Games You Have Played

The best way to come out as a strong player is to analyze the game you have played recently. It is important to note the moves so that you can evaluate all parts of the game —opening, middle game, and the endgame.

Read chess books to understand the general methodologies and tactics as it will introduce variation in each game that you play. If you want to buy a chess set, visit our website.

Types of Chess Draws

There are several ways through which a game of chess can be drawn. When a draw occurs, each player gets ½ point. Here are the five most common ways of drawing a chess game.

1.     50-Move Rule

If each side makes fifty moves without moving a pawn or capturing a piece, then either one of the two players can claim a draw. This rule prevents chess matches to continue indefinitely. However, if the players are playing in a tournament and neither of them claims a draw, the game automatically comes to a tie after 75 moves unless a checkmate happened at the last move.

2.     Mutual Agreement

This method of drawing is common amongst players. The game only ends if both the players agree to a draw. The offer can be made by any one of the players after completing a move. At this point, the player should say, “I offer you a draw” and then press the button to stop his clock and start the opponent’s clock. The offer can be rejected by the opponent if he plays the next move. However, if the offer is accepted, then the clock must be stopped and both parties ought to shake hands.

3.     Three-fold Repetition

This type of a draw takes place when there is threefold repetition of the moves. In a case when identical positions occur three times, the player on a move can claim a draw. The player who wishes to make this claim can do so in two ways. If the third occurrence has not yet occurred but it is the expected move, the claimant is supped to record that move on the score keeping sheet before stopping the clocks and making a claim. If the third occurrence is complete, the claimant must stop both the clocks and register the claim. The game will be drawn if the opponent does not have any issues with it. If the opponent disagrees, then the director will decide the outcome.

4.     Insufficient Material

This draw gets into effect when neither of the players has got sufficient material to go for checkmate, that is, there aren’t any legal moves left for checkmating the opponent’s king. This may occur when the only pieces on the board are:

  • King and knight versus a king
  • King versus king
  • King and couple of knights versus a king
  • King versus king and a bishop
  • King and knight versus the opponent’s king and knight
  • King and bishop versus the opponent’s king and bishop

5.     Stalemate

Stalemate is a situation when one side does not have any legal move remaining and isn’t yet in check position either. When this happens the game is drawn, regardless of the superiority or the advantage of the other side, which is why you must be extremely careful during the endgame. This usually occurs when your pieces are protecting your king from the attack of the opponent’s pieces and cannot move, or your pieces are surrounded by the opponent’s pieces that cannot move.

How to Play Tournament Chess

Even though most of the rules revolving around tournament chess are similar to casual chess, there are certain basic rules and etiquettes that you should know. The chess maneuvers and how the pieces move is the same. However, chess players need to have a basic understanding of some of the rules governing tournaments.

1.     50-Move Rule

According to this rule, chess players can claim a draw if each side plays 50 moves without capturing the opponent’s pieces and no pawn movements took place. The sole purpose of this rule is to prevent the game from continuing indefinitely if there isn’t a chance of a victory. The game is not drawn automatically. However, FIDE amended the rule and if the there aren’t any pawn movements and captures, the game would end as a draw unless a checkmate occurred in the last move.

2.     Record Moves In Chess Notations

Some tournaments makes it compulsory for the players to record their moves. Therefore, you should know basic chess notations and terminologies to maintain track of your moves.

3.     Touch-Move Rule

Beginner level chess players often face difficulty with this rule because it necessitates that if you touch a piece and you can take a legal move with that piece, you will have to move it. However, if the piece is awkwardly positioned, and you simply want to adjust it, you can say out loud “I adjust” before repositioning the piece accurately in the square. You simply have to clarify it to the opponent that you have no intentions of moving the piece. Furthermore, if during the game, you accidentally brush the piece or knock it over, you do not have to move it.

4.     Stopping the Clocks

The clocks should be stopped to flag down the director. Just in case any one of the players wants to make a claim, then he/she must stop both the clocks. Also, if the pawn needs to be promoted, and there isn’t a piece available for replacement, then both clocks ought to be stopped before borrowing and placing the desired piece on the board.

5.     Rules for Sudden Death Pressure

If either one of the players has less than five minutes on the clock, then both the players may stop keeping a record of the score. However, if one player desires to keep maintaining the record, then he/she may continue with score keeping.

6.     Dealing with an Illegal Move

If the opponent conducts an illegal move or operate your clock, then you are allowed to flag down the director and make a request for additional two minutes on your clock. If the illegal move is detected later (before ten moves by both sides), the clock can be stopped and director can restore the old positions with an additional two minutes to the player who made the illegal move. However, if the move is detected later, then the illegal move as well as the subsequent moves will stand with no time adjustments.

Chess Moves You Should Know About: Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate

Chess is an enthralling yet intricate game. Without the basic knowledge on moves, you cannot expect to perform well on the board. The words check and checkmate even if being used metaphorically in day to day conversation indicates peril. In chess, the attack on the King is the most dangerous as it decides the fate of the match. If you are a beginner and want to learn about chess moves like check, checkmate, stalemate, read on.

1.     Check —the King Is In Peril

When the King is in check, it is simply a warning statement that the king’s in danger and action should be taken to get the monarch out of the impending doom. The chess player whose king is in check has three options to get out of this scenario:

  • Capture the piece threatening the king
  • Place another piece between the line of attack ]
  • Reposition the king to another location to thwart attack

2.     Checkmate —the King Cannot Move

When there is no possible way to move the king out of danger by following any one of the methods mentioned above, it’s known as mate or checkmate. Since the king the most superior piece on the board and it needs to be protected at all costs, in a situation where it can’t be pulled out of danger, it is said that the game is over. Checkmate is a situation when the king’s surrounding squares are under attack and you cannot place any other piece in the line of fire. It is important to know that the king never really gets “captured” but the game finishes.

3.     Stalemate —No Legal Moves Left

When stalemate happens, the end result of the game is a draw. Even though some seasoned players often debate over this perplexing rule. But, what exactly is a stalemate? Well, stalemate occurs when the losing King is not yet in check but there aren’t any legal moves remaining without exposing to danger. In such a game, winner is not declared. Even if the other side has a significant advantage, the game ends in a draw! Usually beginner level chess players often land in a stalemate situation because they have not yet learnt the common checkmating patterns. Therefore, you need to strengthen your endgame tactics. If you do not pay attention, despite have an edge over your opponent, the game can end in stalemate. You wouldn’t want to draw a match that could have been a victory, right?

The most common way to draw a chess game is to go for stalemate. Often when players know that defeat is unavoidable, the game is forfeited before being checkmated by the opponent. Now that you know the basic attacking moves for the endgame, you may browse the interesting chess set collections by Chess Baron. If you are seeking the finest quality of chessboards and accessories, then the majesty and beauty of the craftsmanship of our boards will leave you intrigued.

Why You Should Buy Economy Chess Sets

You can add extra zealousness to a thrilling game of chess if you play the game with well-crafted chess pieces. But can you buy a robustly designed chess board and pieces even if you are on a budget? Of course! Even if you are looking for economical chess sets, there is absolutely no reason why you should compromise on quality. Here are some of the reasons why economy chess sets are precisely what you need in order to exhibit your proficiency in the game:

1.     Cheaply Priced but They Offer Great Quality

A benefit of buying economy chess sets is that they offer great quality. So, if you are fond of carving and detailing when it comes to chess pieces and boards, an economy set will prove to be a treasure trove for chess enthusiasts. If the economy chess sets are designed by a versatile artisan, the workmanship will be visible in the form of design, weighting, quality, and inexpensive pricing!

2.     Rugged Pieces Meant for Excessive Playing

The chess pieces of the economy sets are designed to be used ruggedly. Chess is an addictive game, and if you have the habit of playing it chances are that you frequently take out the board to challenge others. The economy chess sets are designed in a way that you can play the game with all your might and fury without bothering about knocking the opponent’s pieces now and then.

3.     Superb Range of Boards and Pieces

Economy chess sets are available in the market in a variety of different ranges. For instance, there are foldable travel chess sets and ones with magnetic pieces. You may find the perfect chess board for tournaments with labeling or an attractive Staunton chess set with sleek yet robust pieces. Whether you are looking forward to buy a traditional chess set or a modish one, there are mid-range chess sets available. You can enjoy the game even more when you are not always overly concerned about handling the delicate pieces of a fancy chess board!

4.     Wooden Chess Experience to the Beginners

Parents often want their children to turn to chess aficionados by giving them a wooden chess experience. However, striking a perfect bargain between price and quality is difficult. Therefore, economy chess set enables parents to procure chess pieces and boards at mid-range value, which lauds quality as well. Mid-range chess sets can be prepared from golden rosewood, chidar, boxwood, rosewood, hornbeam wood, beech wood, and sycamore wood. Eye-catching design and sturdy features make the economy chess sets ideal for giving the novices a higher order chess experience.

You may buy economy chess sets from Chess Baron if you want to buy your favorite board game without negotiating over the inherent quality of the board and pieces. Check out our collection of economy chess sets over here and be ready to get enthralled by these super fun chess sets! From Staunton sets to wooden chess sets to tournament sets, you can make a selection from the attractive collection.

Benefits of Chess for a Healthy Brain

Chess isn’t merely a game. It is a lifestyle. While most people think that it has an impact on our analytical and problem solving skills only, it actually has much more of a profound effect on our brains. Learn how chess helps in keeping our brains healthy and assists us in meeting the new challenges in life with creativity.

1.     Exercises Your Brain

Chess helps in exercising both portions of the brain —the right and the left hemisphere alike. The former side is involved with pattern recognition while the latter is necessary for object recognition. The development of the stringent rules and regulations of the game have played an integral part in the development and brain workout, which assists in keeping the brain sharp in the years to come.

2.     Prevents Alzheimer’s and Treats Schizophrenia

Like the muscles, our brain also requires a workout. This can be provided by challenging ourselves to a game of chess. It has been discovered that chess helps in preventing the dementia. So, encourage the elders in your family to play the mentally challenging strategy games like chess to prevent Alzheimer’s. Moreover, research suggests that schizophrenic patients who played chess experienced an improvement. The chess playing patients demonstrated an increment in the attention span as well as thinking and reasoning skills.

3.     Helps in Recovering from Stroke

People who have suffered from a physical disability, such as a stroke, are encouraged to play chess as it helps in developing essential motor skills. The game requires perception skills that help in enhancing the cognitive functions of physically impaired patients. The players are able focus and concentrate with clarity, which has a calming effect.

4.     Stimulate Creativity

Creativity is a dynamic trait that is essential for performing most jobs, especially at the leadership level. Chess triggers creativity in the avid players. We know that chess stimulates the right portion of the brain, which is also responsible for creativity. Therefore, if your job requires you to come up with original thoughts and ideas, then it is high time that you start playing chess as it helps in igniting creativity in the players.

5.     Supplements Dendrite Growth

Dendrites are extensions of the nerve cells that help in transmitting the synapses to the brain cells. Learning the tactics and skills to play the game of chess helps in increasing the speed of the neural communication as well as the quality of the interaction. This is because playing mind games like chess makes the player get involved in challenging situations, which helps in the growth of dendrites, increasing their capacity to pick more signals.

Even though Bobby Fisher may not have realized the significance of his words when he uttered, “Chess is life!” at the time, the aforementioned points ought to make one ponder over the benefits of chess for maintaining a shrewd and healthy brain. Have you decided to stimulate your Brain by playing chess? Then, you may consider browsing through our collection of chess sets.

The Importance of Playing in the Chess Tournaments

 

It is important that you enroll your students in chess tournaments if you truly want them to demonstrate their skills at a bigger level. There are several reasons why chess tournaments are integral for the development of essential skills amongst the beginners. If you are pondering about the proficiency level of the child before registering them for a chess tournament, you should be wary of just one thing —how well does the child know the rules?

Having a firm grip over the rules should be the only prerequisite to play in a tournament. Read on to know the importance of encouraging your children to participate in the chess tournaments.

1.     Play with the Rules

When a child enters a tournament, he/she immediately realizes that the rules are something that cannot be compromised in any case. This realization is crucial, especially in the case of budding players. Playing by rules makes children disciplined. They learn to appreciate other players and their maneuvers alike.

2.     Learn to Deal with Loss

You should give confidence to your children or students to keep on playing in a chess tournament even if they seem to attract more losses than wins. You can learn a great deal about chess with each victory and loss. However, the scope of learning from a loss is vast as the child discovers ways to rectify the errors. However, to a child, recovering from a loss may seem like an impossible task but you must prepare your child in advance.

Teach the young chess players the importance of recording the chess moves so that they are able to analyze their mistakes in depth.

3.     Maintain Goals

Chess tournaments are a great way to enable budding players to develop goals. Yes, winning at a domestic match game is stimulating but it cannot be compared with the thrill of winning in an actual tournament. Children learn to overcome challenging situations and test their acuity for the game at a prolific scale. The tournament helps your child in setting goals and meeting them in order to become a great player.

4.     For the Love of Chess

Playing in a chess tournament is an exhilarating experience. It is an ideal way to engender the feelings of thrill for the game. Shrouded in an aura of excitement and intimidation, a tournament is a perfect way to learn to develop a passion for the game amongst children. As far as the eyesight can capture the specter, you will notice that the tournament space is full of chess books and merchandize such as, T-shirts, chess sets, and blazers. All of this makes your children fall in love with the game.

Instead of pressurizing the children to win each and every tournament match, you should let them know that it is impossible to win every single time. Let your kids know that there are bountiful opportunities for them to show their skills later on. Tournaments are an amazing way to build a sportsmanship spirit in the player from a young age.

Greatest Chess Players of All Time

Throughout various ages, there have been chess players who have inspired the world. Some of the chess players have left a significant footprint in the history of the game, has and have played an important role in the popularity of chess. In this blog, we are going divulge the names of the greatest chess players and contributors.

1.     Garry Kasparov (1963 –)

Undoubtedly, the Russian grandmaster, Garry Kasparov is one of the greatest chess players. Albeit the chess master has resigned from the world of chess, he became the youngest world champion during his era at the age of 22 in 1985. Holding the title till 1993, his disputes with FIDE made him create a new organization called PCA. The dominated the chess arena for two decades until his resignation in 2005 after winning the Linares tournament for the ninth consecutive time.

1.     Mikhail Botivinnik (1911 – 1995)

Mikhail Botivinnik is one of the first great Russian chess players. His contributions to the game are immense. He had an upper hand at attack and his tactical game was strong. He played an integral role in designing the World Chess Championship at the end of the Second World War. He coached several of the other great chess players — Garry Kaspaov and Anatoly Karpov were trained at his chess school.

2.     Anatoly Karpov (1951 –)

Anatoly became a chess master of the Soviet Union at the tender age of 15. He was victorious in the World Junior Chess Championship. He surprisingly conquered the chess games against Spassky and Korchnoi to challenge Bobby Fisher for the World Title in 1974 but got it by default as Fisher withdrew. He then went on a winning spree for nine consecutive years. He defeated Garry Kasparov in 1884 to become the chess champion but then Garry outplayed him in the subsequent years.

3.     Bobby Fisher (1943 – 2008)

Amongst the chess leviathans the name of Bobby Fisher will always be remembered. He initiated his chess career at 14 years of age and then he became the youngest grandmaster at 15 years. After defeating Boris Spassky in 1972, he became the World Champion. He usually beat his competitors with a large margin throughout his career but was also often involved in challenging the authorities regarding the playing conditions. He played an important role in developing theories for chess openings and also suggested the idea of “Fisher Clock”, which is still a standard for most chess tournaments. He was even praised by his rival such as Mikhail Tal who recognized his aptitude at the game.

4.     Magnus Carlsen (1990 –)

The contemporary chess world is under the reign of the Norwegian player, Magnus Carlsen. He became a grandmaster at the age of 13 years. He has been retaining his championship title since 2013. Famed as the Mozart of Chess, Magnus Carlsen is certainly a living prodigy. He has launched an app called “Play Magnus” to make players improve their games and currently has the highest ELO rating, even more than the legendary Garry Kasparov.

Chess and Cognition: Building Brain Power with Strategy Games

 




Chess has been associated with brain power in the past. People who play chess are assumed to smarter and extremely clever. Perhaps it is because the game challenges the mental acuity of players that it is associated with brilliance. However, scientists are researching to justify with logical reasoning and empirical evidence that chess augments cognition. Can chess make children precocious? Here is why you should be happy if your kids spend more time spellbound by the tactical maneuvers across a vinyl chess board:

1.     Improves School Grades

Children should be encouraged to play chess in schools. This is because children who play this strategic game are capable of understanding important subjects like mathematics. Most people think that mathematics is all about numbers but that is not the case. In fact, it involves pattern recognition and logic, which is strengthened by chess. One of the reasons why chess players have strong mathematical capabilities is that they develop the skills to solve for unknown variable in the head and recognizing the patterns. Because children are able to find solutions to complex situations in chess, it helps them in assessing difficult subjects and their reading and comprehension abilities improve.

2.     Exercises the Brain

Chess serves as a mental exercise for the brain. It helps in boosting the concentration capabilities, logic, and critical analysis. Just like our bodies need exercise for remaining in good shape, our brains need exercise to retain the thinking and critical analysis capabilities. Chess accomplishes this purpose by making our brains workout thoroughly.

3.     Boosts Cognition

The cognition revolves around short term memory, pattern recognition, long-term memory, verbal and linguistic capabilities, mathematical calculation, and situational evaluations. People who learn to play strategic games like chess optimize the working memory as wells as other aspects of cognition. The aptitude to recognize visual patterns also gets improved. Strategy games may help you in recalling information stored in the mind. The ability to use words and language also improves with the help of strategy games. Since chess all the aforementioned criteria for boosting cognition are tackled by chess, there is a probability that this strategy game may help in preventing memory decline, and keep your brain sharp to retain your power.

4.     Advances Emotional Intelligence

Chess is a competition between two players. The circumstances change with every move that the players take. Therefore, the changing situations help in developing a better self control. The game helps in building strong interpersonal relationships with other players without exhibiting frustration or retaliation when a loss is suffered. Chess players learn from their own mistakes and become emotionally stronger.

5.     Helps in Facing Challenges

Chess helps people to overcome challenging situations in life by making the mind stable. The logic taught by chess enables the players to concentrate at a particular problem and discover a solution. The players focus on a singular ultimate goal: bagging the opponent’s king. This takes a lot of tactical planning and chess players are able to weigh the consequences of their actions.

Do you want to boost your brain power by challenging yourself to a game of chess? Visit ChessBaron and buy a high quality chessboard.

Things to Look for in a Chess Set

Picking a chess set is daunting but to an enthusiast, the activity is quite fun. But before you go on to buy a chess set, you should pause to reflect upon the purpose of buying a chess set. Is it meant for playing purposes only? Do you want to buy a themed set or pick one made up of your favorite material? Below are some of the tips to help you discover the right chess set:

1.      Materials and themes

Most people do not pay heed to the fact that the material and theme also go along. For instance, if you were to choose a brass set, then it will fall into the theme of medieval times. Two of the contemporary choices for a chess set are glass and marble. The latter is more durable. Hand-carved materials are the most versatile ones. When the chess pieces are carved according to the Stanton design, they mimic a modern look. However, the wooden chess sets can be carved into a variety of themes.

2.      Travel Sets and Chess Sets for Kids

Another thing that you should pay attention to when playing chess is the person who will be playing it. If you like to travel a lot, then a magnetic chess set will be most ideal, as it will allow the pieces to remain firm in a moving vehicle. A magnetic chess set is also great for children. Not only playing chess will be a fun experience, your kids will also never lose the pieces. Chess sets with proper labelling on the board and a standard design is also good for kids who want to prepare for tournaments. For this purpose, vinyl chessboards are ideal. They are portable and feasible too.

3.      Heavy Pieces for Quick Matches

If you like to play blitz or bullet chess games, then it will serve you better if you pick a chess set with pieces that are heavy. You may wonder why is that the case. Well, light chess pieces may flip over easily all over the board disrupting the game. On the contrary, a heavier chess piece can be moved around the board without falling not affecting the pace of the game.

4.      Gift Sets

Nothing pleases a chess enthusiast more than chess accessories and gifts. So, if you are gifting a box of chess pieces to a chess lover, then you should consider the themes that the person really likes. However, when you are buying the chess set as a present, keep in mind that the pieces should be discernable. Go for larger chess sets for older people so that they can pick the pieces with ease.

Whether it is a plastic chess set or wooden one, the quality of the boards and the pieces must never be compromised. You can look at the collection of Chess Baron for buying your next chess set. You will be able to buy the finest quality of a chess at affordable rates.