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"Tips" from Susan on Chess Basics

(from www.chesscafe.com)

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 during the first six or seven moves, before you try to checkmate your opponent.

Castle as soon as possible.
Castle early to keep your king safe. Remember, you can’t win if you get checkmated first. So, don’t forget to castle! After you castle, connect your rooks by developing your queen.

Keep your pieces protected.
Don’t leave your pieces en prise (unprotected). Each and every piece is very valuable, so don’t forget to protect them. Protecting a piece means that if your opponent can take your piece, then you can capture back.

Have fun.
The most important thing in chess should be to have fun, whether you win or lose. My motto in chess is “Win with grace. Lose with dignity”. When you win, be a good sport. When you lose, be an even better sport. Shake hands and congratulate your opponent. This will go a long way in making good friends.

Beside the five valuable principles above, there are others that you should try to remember. Chess is a game with logic, strategy, planning, and tactics. Keep the following principles in mind as you play.
.    Every move should have a purpose!
.    Try to discern 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.
.    
Analyze your games and learn from your mistakes!
 Every player, from beginner to world champion, makes mistakes. It is very important to review your games to find your mistakes and learn from them.

Pace yourself wisely!
 
There are many different time controls in chess. Use your allotted time wisely. Whatever the time control, use your time to find the best plans and moves. Don’t rush just because your opponents play fast.
 
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