JMCL Rules of the Road
Chess is a game whereby there is almost always an exception to every rule. Most of the time, however, games are won (or lost) by following (or not following) these simple rules. Or put another way, rarely does one lose after following these rules. Whenever you lose a game, replay it and find out which of these rules you violated. Then, circle the moves that led to your loss and find alternative moves that would have worked out better.
1. Open with either the King’s Pawn or the Queen’s Pawn.
2. Make one or two Pawn moves in the opening, not more.
3. Play to get control over the center.
4. If possible, move both center pawns two squares each.
5. Develop your pieces quickly (Knights & Bishops), preferably toward the center (especially Knights, which are often “grim on the rim”).
6. Always try to maintain at least one pawn in the center.
7. Don’t capture pinned or attacked pieces until you can benefit from doing so. If possible, attack pinned pieces with pawns.
8. Develop Knights before Bishops.
9. Do not bring your Queen out early.
10. Castle as soon as possible.
11. Whenever possible, make a good developing move which threatens something.
12. Pick the most suitable square for a piece and develop it there once and for all.
13. Push and defend your passed Pawns toward promotion.
14. Attack Pawn chains at the base.
15. Attack only if you control the center.
16. Attack in the area where you control more space.
17. Place your Rooks on open files, whenever possible.
18. Place your Rooks on the seventh rank, whenever possible.
19. When ahead, trade off pieces.
20. When behind, trade off pawns.
21. Don’t ignore your opponent’s moves. Always study any threats to you.
How to Become a Better Player
1. Analyze every game you play. Find your mistakes. Determine which rules of the road, if any, you may have violated.
2. Practice tactics for 15 minutes a day.
3. Play at least 3 slow games every week.
4. Play people who are stronger players than you. Look at a loss as a chance to learn how to improve. That’s what it is.
5. Think 3 half moves ahead: If I make this move, what move will he make, and then what move will I make?
Ohio Shogi Club
This page was last edited on 2-24-07!