Whether you’re playing chess online or in an old-fashioned way with a physical board and pieces, this game will never die. It can take years or even decades for a player to master it. But thanks to the enormous wealth of information that the internet offers us all, we can always improve our chess game.
Today I’m glad to present to you what I find to be some simple but important ways to make your chess game more offensive. Playing defensive chess is certainly not a good option. Sure, it is necessary in some situations, but you need to develop all of your pieces and get them to collaborate in an efficient way with one another in order to win a game. If you’re always reacting to your opponent’s moves, such as just getting your king away from check or putting your queen to safe squares too often, it isn’t an efficient way to play.
When the opponent is threatening one of your pieces, a bishop, for example, guess what most chess players would do? Exactly: they would simply defend the bishop using another piece or a pawn. It’s not a bad choice, but you want to be better than that! You want to play offensive chess, not simply react and defend! So, go ahead and counter-attack your opponent! While he’s threatening your bishop with a pawn, for instance, simply attack one of his pieces instead. The best thing to do is to attack his queen or simply put his king in check. He’ll get the message immediately: if he takes your piece, you’ll take his.
The knights can be lethal
No other chess piece can perform such crazy moves as the knight. Knights, or horses, as you like to call them, can move from one color to another, jump over other pieces, and always move in the shape of “L”‘s. That means that you should definitely take advantage of your knights as much as possible. You can use a knight to put your opponent’s king in check while forking the queen. Regardless of what his next move will be, you’ll definitely take the queen, meaning his most powerful piece. You’ll eventually lose that knight, but who cares when you’ve captured the queen? In most situations, capturing the queen means that you’ve won the game.
Develop all your pieces ASAP
You might have a knight out that has put the opponent’s king in check. You’ve immediately got it to attack the queen. After the queen moves, you keep chasing her on the board with that pesky little knight. That’s not really bad, but if you’re still leaving most of your army at home doing nothing while your opponent has it all developed and ready to fight, he’s the one having an advantage that can be exploited. Therefore, you need to develop all of your pieces as fast as you can during every game! The rooks, bishops, knights, and the queen need to be out there looking for trouble!
But keep in mind that there’s a catch here! It’s not exactly a good idea to bring your queen out into action too early in the game. That situation can get your lady into deep trouble fast, as the opponent might be starting to use his pieces and pawns to chase her around the board.
Siege the king
Now that you know that you need to develop all of your pieces ASAP in the chess game, you need to know what to do with them. You can simply use as many of them as possible, and also your pawns, to put the king in check as much as you can. Of course, that doesn’t imply foolishly losing precious material without getting even.
Fight for the open file!
Once you see an open file, don’t hesitate to grab it with a rook! Rooks are made for it. Even chess grandmasters would fight each other until losing serious material, only to win an open file. But you know what’s even better than having a rook on an open file? Having both of your rooks on that open file! That’s huge power!
Get your bishops to dance on the open board
If the chessboard is open, meaning that there aren’t too many pieces or pawns in the center, it means that you need to bring your bishops out and show what they’re made of! These snipers love those long diagonals, especially those pointed at the king or queen!
Exploit the power of a passed pawn
Some might argue that relying on passed pawns is more like a somewhat defensive strategy. But how can it be defensive when a pawn can bring you a queen or rook? Therefore, once you see that a pawn of yours has passed the center of the board and there aren’t any major threats coming, you should do your best to protect it.
Don’t worry! Most chess players are well aware of the enormous power of a passed pawn! That’s why they’ll never neglect it. A pawn can even bring you a second queen on the board, regardless of how awkward that rule may sound for many of us.
Of course, an attack is the best defense in many games and sports, and it even applies to chess. But it’s not a winning formula all the time. Neglecting your defense so that your opponent gains material from you is certainly a bad idea. Also, you can get mated pretty fast if you don’t take care of your defense. Chess is a very tricky game, which is why it’s so beautiful!