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Chess Corner - The True Value of the Pieces

Each piece has its own power in chess, and each has its own part to play in every victory. Based on each piece’s strength, a relative value has been assigned to the piece. As mentioned in a previous column, bishops and knights are worth about three pawns each, a rook is worth about five pawns, and a queen is worth about nine. The king, of course, is worth the game.

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Chess Corner - Queen Trades and Sacrifices

The queen is the most powerful piece on the board. She is an important factor in almost every game. However, using the queen is not always the best option. We looked at this in the last column, seeing why the queen should not be brought out early in the opening. Today, we will look at queen sacrifices, realizing that the queen is not always the most important part of the game. 

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Chess Corner - The Queen in the Opening

 

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Chess Corner - Rooks and Rook Play

 

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We have now studied the pawns, knights, and bishops. We have seen that the pawns together, organized properly, could match the power of these pieces. We have contrasted the knights and bishops and have seen the strength of bishop pairs. We will now look at the rooks, and we’ll see where they should be placed throughout the game to stay active.

Chess Corner - Comparing the Minor Pieces

In our previous column, we looked at pawn structures, and how your pawns, when organized well, can be a great advantage to you. In this column, we’ll discuss the next higher piece: the knight. Or is it the bishop? In this column, I would like to contrast these two pieces and show their strengths and weaknesses.

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Chess Corner - Pawns and Pawn Structures

One pawn is not usually powerful on its own. However, your eight pawns together are. The way they are used is important, but what about the way they are organized? How much of a difference does that make? As we will see in this column, good organization of your pawns will greatly improve your position and strengthen the power of your pawns.

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Chess Corner - Time Gain and Loss

 

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We have studied the opening and the endgame. I do not have a column specifically dedicated towards the middlegame, because there are so many possibilities that no strategy can be laid out for it. However, in this column, I’ll discuss the definition of time in chess, and why it should be carefully conserved in any part of the game.

Chess Corner - The Endgame, Part 2

Last week, we focused on checkmating in the endgame and looked at two examples. This week, we will focus on playing to a draw instead of a win in the endgame. Whenever you know you can’t win, you just have to try not to lose.

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Chess Corner - The Endgame, Part 1

 

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In many endgames, most of the pieces are off of the board. The kings are active, and both sides are looking to promote their pawns. When you see this, you know you are in the endgame. Now is the time to try to checkmate your opponent.

Chess Corner - The Opening

 

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Most chess games can be divided into three parts: the opening, middlegame,and the endgame. (The exception is a very short game like Fool’s or Scholar’s Mate, when the game ends with a great deal of pieces on the board.) In this column, we’ll go over the opening and the two things you need to accomplish before you can play well in the middle and endgames.

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