Fun stuff to do

10 tips to become a chess champ

Chess champ Jonathan Hilton started beating adults regularly about two months after he started playing. His secret: Lots of learning and lots of practicing. Thanks to Jonathan, your learning starts (or continues!) here:

Find out how to use nuts and bolts from your tool chest to make a cool chess set.

1. LEARN THE MOVES. Each chess piece can move only a certain way. For instance, a pawn moves straight ahead but can only attack on an angle, one square at a time. A knight’s move is L-shaped. The bishop moves at an angle but can move more than one square at a time. The rook (castle) can move only in a straight line but can go forward, back or to the side. The queen, the most powerful piece, can move in any direction for any number of squares, but not two directions in one move. And the king moves at a stately pace — as a king should — one square at a time in any direction.

2. OPEN WITH A PAWN. Move the pawn in front of either the king or queen two squares forward. (Only on its opening move can a pawn move two squares.) This opens pathways for your bishops and queen to enter the game. They move on an angle and can’t get out onto the field of battle if pawns are in the way.

3. GET THE KNIGHTS AND BISHOPS OUT. Before you move your queen, rooks or king, move your knights and bishops toward the center of the board. You want to get these pieces out from behind the pawns so they can attack.

Can you beat the computer? It’s a battle for checkmate in this online chess game. Click here to play it now!

4. WATCH YOUR BACK! And front! When it’s your turn, always think to yourself, “What did my opponent’s last move do? What is he up to?” Is he laying traps to capture your pieces? Then decide on your own plan. Always look at all your possibilities. Look at moves that would capture your opponent’s men or threaten his king first. But always double-check your moves before you play them. Ask yourself, “Does my move leave something unprotected?”

5. DON’T WASTE TIME. Don’t make too many moves with your pawns or try to pick off your opponent’s pawns.

6. “CASTLE” EARLY. Castling is a move that allows you to move your king to safety and bring your rook into play. Once all the squares between your rook and the king are unoccupied you can move the king two squares toward the rook while the rook moves to the square on the the king’s other side. If your opponent neglects to castle, you might be able to launch an attack on his king. This is the only move in which more than one piece may be moved in a turn.

7. ATTACK IN THE “MIDDLEGAME.” After you’ve brought all your knights and bishops into the game and castled (these moves are your “opening”), the middlegame begins. In the middlegame, always be on the lookout for ways to capture your opponent’s men. Take any piece that your opponent doesn’t protect. But look at what will happen to your piece if you take his — will you get picked off? Always be looking for ways to move lots of your men into position to attack the enemy king.

8. LOSE PIECES WISELY. You’ll take some of your opponent’s pieces. Some of your pieces will be taken. You must figure out what is and isn’t a good swap. Use these points to figure out whether you’re making a good move if you’re going to lose one of them:

  • Queen: 9 points
  • Rook: 5 points
  • Bishop: 3 points
  • Knight: 3 points
  • Pawn: 1 point

So is it a good idea to lose a bishop to save a pawn? No!

9. DON’T PLAY TOO FAST. If you see a good move, sit on your hands and look for a better one. Patient thinking is the key to chess success.

10. WIN THE ENDGAME. After you and your opponent swap pieces and you’re down to just a few men, the endgame begins. Now the pawns become more important. If you can advance a pawn to the farthest row away from you, that pawn becomes a queen. A big success! Let your king attack, too, as long as he stays out of reach of your opponent’s remaining pieces — especially the queen — and does not let himself to be checked.

Your king is said to be in check when your opponent threatens to use one of his pieces to capture the king on his next move. If your king is checked and you have no way to remove the threat — it can’t run away, you can’t capture the opposing piece that has him in check and you can’t block the check by moving one of your own pieces — the game is lost. Checkmate! If you checkmate your opponent before he checkmates you, then you win!


Comments about “10 tips to become a chess champ”

  1. He who must not be named says:

    i didnt know some of these thx alot

  2. Jeka says:

    i do this stuff all the time & i am undefeated (and ive playes guys from russia, where chess is like baseball and football.)

  3. Pee wee kid12 says:

    Whoa! these tips are great!

  4. gichu says:

    Thanx for the advise
    i will try to put forward this tips in my future chess plays.

  5. ForeverKnight123 says:

    At first I thought winning a chess match against a stronger opponent is impossible. But after reading these tips I beat the KChess Elite 4 computer in average mode and was close to defeating even my father(later I lost). Many thanks.

  6. MG Rose says:

    Wicked. You’ll never go wrong with the basics. Hmmm…E4 !hahah!Cheers!

  7. iJoost says:

    I love my origami chess set :)

  8. chessmaster8940 says:

    i love chess and ive been a fan for 5 years. i really hope to beat my older brother at this! thx for the tips!

  9. Dynamic Moose says:

    Wow, thanks for the tips! I love to play chess and would always like to find ways to make my game better. Can’t wait for Chess merit badge!

  10. chessman1 says:

    I’ve had some really great victories, but this is going to help me alot! Thankyou BL!

  11. uyggkjvghvhmchcg says:

    wow those are really good tips

  12. Wxyz says:

    Thx for such awesome tips! I am a big fan of chess, although I am not the best player in a game. I cannot wait to give all 10 of these tips a try. Thanks a ton!!!

  13. A.k.r says:

    Very nice …thanx

  14. chess master11 says:

    A great defensive opening is to leave the three pawns on the right side of you and then castle behind them this will protect your king very well.

  15. EpicVortex says:

    I,ve been trying to checkmate my dad but he always beats my secret skills! i hope these tips come in handy!!!

  16. hehe says:

    nice stuff

  17. Hussey says:

    nice game and i like that tips

  18. Cooll Budy says:

    nice step’s

  19. 13et says:

    These tips are mostly common sense but the point system and tactics were really helpful. Too bad I won’t think of them when I’m actually playing :/

  20. King zwyd says:

    Thanx i wll mke sure i use ths tips when i play again,cia

  21. Anonymous says:

    wicked! I’m gonna use these tips on dudes who beat me.Its payback time

  22. Jycob says:

    Thanks for the tips, theres a chess tournament in my school and I hope these help me win!

  23. TINY says:

    thx for the tips! (^-^)b

  24. mj says:

    i like chess

  25. king's pawn says:

    hope these will work my 12 year old bro beates me always and i am 20. . . . . . I know. . . .

    • chess lover says:

      this won’t work with my uncle. I’m serious, he’s like the best player in our family and I’m like the second best.

  26. beez says:

    TOTALLY SWEET!!!!!!!! I wanna use these tips!

  27. Chess king says:

    These are good tips but remember to sacrifice pieces in order to capture your opponent’s king/queen.

  28. 123 ROCK says:

    I always do your tips when I play chess.

  29. Dimentio9 says:

    Im gonna try this on my dad and he always beats me!Thanks!

  30. Rad Kid says:

    totally awesome, dude! I CAN NOT WAIT TO USE THESE TIPS!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Zero says:

    Thank you for these tips

  32. zeklar says:

    I play chess aginst my dad and these tips worked great,in fact i got to beat him last night.

  33. Arun720 says:

    thx for the tips used to be the best at school but im not any more

  34. short stuff says:

    I’m pretty much Grand Champion Chess Master in my family but, those were tips i have never learned in my 3 yr. career as a chess player thanks! I’ll use them next time i play

  35. col 3:16 says:

    Thank you for the tips i will be sure to try them next time i play.

  36. Brytnigeria7 says:

    Quite nice piece u put 2geda here. But in adition. To totaly suadue ur enemy is to let ur queen find its way 2 d bak end of ur oponent. Pickin his pawn. Then atak with ur bishop 4rm 2 ends. I guarantee u sucess

  37. srehtiw yndat semaj says:

    thanks for theawsome tips

  38. hari says:

    these tips are superb.thank you!!!!

  39. smellygabe says:


  40. seasons07 says:

    I’m trying to learn so this really helps.A friend tried to teach me long ago but his life was cut short and the game reminds me of him.Now my nephew throws the challenge and loves to beat me.To win i need the help.

  41. epsdude says:

    done throw away your knight or pawns they are very useful at times. also keep your queen safe. She is very useful when someones trying to attack. always suppress your opponent because they cant attack as good (just make sure your safe to)

  42. pentium says:

    I say these are some good tips to play chess because i usaly put my moves fast and i learned to think then put your move and put your plan into ACTION!

  43. kurby says:

    I’ll try to use the tips in chess

  44. Pakiman says:

    Simple, yet, very important tips. Good read!

  45. super scout says:

    This is good advice.

  46. Anonymous says:

    quite good

  47. basir.B says:

    I can use some of these tips.

  48. He who seeks eagle says:

    I’ll try to use the tips in chess

Write a comment about “10 tips to become a chess champ”


Type your comment: