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- Before you move, check to make sure that you have protected most or all of your pieces.
- In the opening, try to:
- Control the center of the board
- Develop pieces (especially knights and bishops) by moving them off the back rank
- Castle early.
- Generally, making a lot of queen moves in the opening is a bad idea.
- Try not to move the same piece multiple times. It is better to get everyone on the field before you start attacking.
- Keep your king safe behind other pieces (often pawns).
- Advanced tips:
- If you don't feel immediately threatened and are not sure what to do, try to focus on your opponents most vulnerable piece. This might be a minor piece (Bishop or Knight) that is cut off from its allies, or even just a pawn that is not being defended.
- Don't be afraid to retreat if you have to. Fighting over an already lost position might only make things worse.
- It is generally accepted that Bishops and Knights are worth 3 Pawns and Rooks are worth 5 Pawns. Keep this is mind when you are making trades. For example, giving up a Knight to take a Rook is a good deal, but a Bishop for a Knight is about even.
- Your Queen is your most powerful piece, but also your biggest liability. Losing it without also taking out your opponents Queen will make it very difficult to win. Don't let it get caught!