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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. AJ says:

    This is not what I wanted😠

  2. abida says:

    excellent tips. I really like them

  3. raj says:

    really nice tips

  4. tika says:

    very good tip

  5. Akhil@Chesslover says:

    These tips are so cool for a rookie like me..thnx x x

  6. Anonymous says:

    these tips are very useful

  7. D k yadav says:


  8. puttu says:

    good tips

  9. Lelouch says:

    Pretty Great Tips!

  10. Pimp_7 says:

    I’ll become the next world champ.

  11. LashD99 says:

    Fairly generic tips

  12. Albert says:

    I lyk ur points vry much

  13. unerring says:

    On my path to be the champ,thanks to this tips!

  14. Jc junior says:

    Thanx for your tips

  15. Bros says:

    thanks for the tips

  16. RANGER says:


  17. shashi says:


  18. FIVE KINGDOMS says:


  19. aizel says:

    Thanks for the tips, but could you add more tips for championship.?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Knights before bishops, generally. Also, first-ever World Champion Wilhelm Steinitz recommends attacking once you have any advantage, or else the advantage will be lost.

  21. Siyabonga says:

    Thanx for the tips,i’m already challanging a computer’s tricks

  22. Naj Evangelio says:

    Nice tips. I’lL try this :)

  23. sb says:

    Hopping for championship

  24. janjen says:

    -tnx 4 the tips!!

  25. pravin yerne says:

    Very nice rules…..

  26. Nathan says:

    More advices

  27. Anju says:

    Very nice tips… Thnx for the tips. I must follow these tips……

  28. binhas says:

    Thanx 4 tips

  29. Bhuvan says:

    Not bad
    even though all point were simple which i knew before, i was not aware of it…
    Thank you…

  30. anonymous says:

    thanks for the tips i’ve learnt alot

  31. molu says:

    it is useful to me…. thank u for ur tricks.

  32. Sanjay G. says:

    Nice tips…its the basic way to play. But in game a lot tricks are utilize by the players some time he manipulate you. One thing left whenever u castling between rook and king at time there both position not to be moved earlier and your king should not be checked.

  33. J.jamwal says:

    I will beat my friends

  34. Arya says:

    Excellent tracks for me

  35. Libode says:

    Thanks for the tips i really wanna improve my chess skills

  36. Cool Beans says:

    Honestly, just play the game and use logic to win. There’s no need for this list.

  37. shiv says:

    excellent tips thanks for it

  38. Ram says:

    Thanks for the tips.

  39. elwoodjaylord says:

    Thanks I beat the computer and I learned the tecnique of a chess champ”

  40. Tovers says:

    Casteling is a good thing sometimes but dnt castel when you are not sure cause ather people dont know how to castle

  41. Ggggggg says:


  42. Vdg an says:

    This is a great guide for beginners!

  43. princess1818 says:

    Sounds helpful!!! Wish me luck tomorrow:)

  44. praveen says:

    this trick was help full to me

  45. MIMIE says:


  46. Anonymous says:

    i know better rules than described here

  47. Rusia says:

    is it possible to find a checkmate with bishop and two horses?

    • Anonymous says:

      Technically if the king is cornered almost any piece can force a checkmate

      • Anonymous says:

        using the point chart if you have more then five points (usually not counting pawns) there is a possible checkmate, however 2 knights can’t force the checkmate

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