Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chess opening traps for players to know and avoid

Polgar: Chess opening traps for players to know and avoid

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Sunday, November 01, 2009
Story last updated at 11/1/2009 - 12:52 am

Normally you can be safe by following the general opening principles. I discussed these principles in the past but I will discuss them again for ones who have not seen them before.

Control the center

The center of the board includes the squares e4, d4, e5, and d5. When you start a game, place your pawns in the center to occupy and control as many of these squares as you can. Location, location, location.

Develop your pieces as soon as possible

Get your knights and bishops out right away. This should be done before you try to checkmate your opponent, some time in the first 6 or 7 moves if possible.

Castle as soon as possible

The first chance you have, castle immediately to keep your king safe. Remember: you can't win if your king is not safe and you get checkmated first. So, don't forget to castle! Then after you castle, connect your rooks by developing your queen.

Keep your pieces protected

Don't leave your pieces hanging without protection. Each and every piece you have is very valuable, so don't forget to protect them. Protecting means if your opponent can take your piece, then you can take your opponent's piece.

Besides the valuable principles above, there are others that you should try to remember. Chess is a game with logic, strategies, planning, and tactics. Keep the following principles in mind as you play.

• Every move should have a purpose.

• What is the idea behind your opponent's move?

• Always think before you move. There is no take back in chess. So make your decision carefully.

• Learn to make plans. Planning is one of the most important elements of the game of chess.

• Analyze your games and learn from your mistakes. Every player, from beginner to world champion, makes mistakes. It is very important to go over your games to find mistakes and learn from them.

• Pace yourself wisely.

However, there are some famous opening traps which you need to know about. Here are three examples:

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