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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.

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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. om says:

    good! I’ve got a good experience of chess!!!!!!!

  2. shub says:

    really…!!!very nice tips…..its very helpful..!!!

  3. sasi_somanayi@ says:

    nice tips

  4. babu says:

    nice one

  5. Lekhraj says:

    Bravo tips ..

  6. Abdul Vahid says:


  7. Advice says:

    I would consider myself a beginning, maybe a small step above, but I know all of this. Does anybody have more advice or websites/books that would help?

  8. hari kollam says:

    only for learners……………..but simple

  9. jeet says:

    is very usefull to any game by the tips

  10. Stardust_Magician13 says:

    Another good tip is to think about the End game beforehand and practice against a computer.

  11. U WILL NEVER KNOW says:

    Good but I already knew 1/2 of these things

  12. learner says:

    is chess very easy to learn

  13. learner says:

    its really good,i liked it

  14. Your Real Name says:

    Get it??? It says please do not use your real name. I’M SUCH A REBEL

  15. eclairebuddy says:

    love this. i am challenging my dad right after i finish typing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Tekizha says:

    Good for learners like me

  17. g says:

    what is the limit to take part in chess championship

  18. linde says:

    good but i think they are targetted for bigginers

  19. Champ says:


  20. James says:

    Very very fantastic tips to become a chess master

  21. Chabz says:

    It depends on the way yo opponent is developing their pieaces.

  22. Vaibhav says:

    Queen is an importent piece
    be carefull with queen

  23. Anonymous says:

    Woow Great Tips

  24. Mr. Digit says:

    Good idea. Thanks for giving hints for the begining game which puzzle me most.

  25. Bob says:

    They are good tips.


  26. Jedi Master says:

    I’ll try ‘em out

  27. Glenn says:

    Not bad for simply introducing the concepts of chess. However I have always stressed that the the game “chess” really doesn’t even begin until you reach the middle game. The middle game however is basically having all your pieces where you want them so the real game of chess can start. Good Job!!!

  28. awesome says:

    now i m a chess champion

  29. King Without A Crown says:

    Great helpful tips. Will try these when playing my next game! I am not that good though as I only just started playing!

  30. maneer says:

    provincial tournament here we come?

  31. nzie says:

    i will use it as guide. Thanks

  32. bigD says:

    No new information, I’ll try it anyway

  33. Anonymous says:

    About to try this hope it works

  34. Moe says:

    Really good tips!

  35. MMW says:

    Really good….

  36. jake says:

    just started playing chess. greattips

  37. Kayyy says:

    Im so gonna beat everyone(: thankks(:

  38. zylo says:

    yes i think your tips are use full to me… i am a good player

  39. Can'touchthis says:

    I tried this and I got checkmated on the 8th move

  40. Qqqq says:

    I love this tips! I played against my mom and won! P.S my moms good at chess

  41. Eceraja says:


  42. Adam (BOI) says:

    I did read some tips from other websites, but I haven’t heard some of these tips you said. Thanks! :D

  43. chessloser says:

    those tips doesn´t work in real life games

    • Ultracrisis says:

      yes they do, but a thing they don’t show is how to pin pieces, which is very very important; to pin a piece by a bishop, queen, or rook, you threaten to attack a piece that has a piece of more value behind it, stopping it from moving.

    • boom says:

      actually, these chess tips r useful sometimes

  44. FOOTBALL FAN says:

    i play but am not that good

    • Adam (A BOI) says:

      Then you should find more tips and battle with other novice chess player or watch and observe other experienced chess players play chess.

      • Chessmaster11 says:

        Yes, the best ways to get better is experience and practice. It dosen’t matter how much you read about chess you got to try it.
        It’s just you and your opponent at the board and you’re trying to prove something.
        -Bobby Fischer

  45. kingfuzz says:

    wow, i used these tips to vs my teacher in school!!!!

  46. SxiSmiJo":D says:

    good tips! I’m going to try to use them against my boyfriend in chess, hopefully I can FINALLY win. :D

  47. cardking says:

    Thank you that seems like it should help alot ! my nickname says it all I’m the cardking!!!!

  48. Joe says:

    Good tips thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

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