Sunday, 20 February 2011

Queen's Pawn Game

White's opening move of 1.d4 is referred to as the Queen's Pawn Game, this is the second most popular opening move for white. Now it's name is usually described as games which open with 1.d4 d5 (also known as a Closed Game) where white doesn't initiate the Queen's Gambit (2.c4).
Torre Attack

White's move of 1.d4 offers basically the same benefits center control and development as the King Pawn Opening (1.e4), but unlike 1.e4 where your pawn is undefended, the d4 pawn is protected by White's queen. This small difference can have a massive effect on the opening game-play. The d4 opening is more popular than e4 with many masters.

Moving white's queen pawn out two squares is not always met with 1. ...d5, sometimes the Torre Attack might be played when black responds with 1. ...Nf6. White then plays Nf3 and black moves to e6. White now pins blacks f6 knight to his queen by moving Bg5. It is common to see black play h6 trying to scare off white's bishop, white can capture the knight then soon being captured by black's queen. White can retreat his bishop to h4 if he still wants to pin the knight, but black can just play g5 and you will be forced to move to g3 with your bishop.

Pros: Achieves the same as e4, but with added Queen protection.  
Cons: Castling can be slightly more difficult.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

King's Pawn Game

Any Chess game with the opening move 1.e4 is called a King's Pawn Game (or Opening). 
Double King's Pawn Game (Open-Game).
If black responds with 1...e5 it is called a Double King's Pawn Game or an Open Game, if black plays a move other than 1...e5 it's called an Asymmetrical King's Pawn Game or a Semi-Open Game.

The reason the King's Pawn Game is so popular is probably due to the fact that it allows for easy development of white's queen and bishop. A pawn on the e4 square can be highly useful because it occupies one of the 4 center squares and attacks the center square d5.

The most popular response to 1.e4 is 1...c5 (The Sicilian Defence). The Sicilian Defence allows black to fight for the center by preparing to meet a d2-d4 advance with ...c5xd4. The Sicilian is among the sharpest and most analyzed openings in chess. I will cover this defense soon.

Pros: Occupies the center of the board, it frees up a lane for the kingside bishop and allows for 
Cons: The e-pawn has no immediate back-row guard.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Chess opening

Chess board layout.
The first moves that are made in Chess are called the "opening moves". Instead of jumping straight into famous openings, I decided to write a brief overview. The basic aims of your opening moves should be to:

1. Control the center of the board -
Control of the central squares allows pieces to be moved to any part of the board relatively easily, and can also have a cramping effect on the opponent. The classical view is that central control is best effected by placing pawns there, ideally establishing pawns on d4 and e4 (or d5 and e5 for Black). You can also control the center from a distance with pieces, breaking down one's opponent's center, and take over the center later in the game.

2. Piece development -
Piece development aims to mobilize your pieces on useful squares where they will have impact on the game. Knights are usually developed to f3, c3, f6 and c6 (or sometimes e2, d2, e7 or d7), and both player's King and Queen pawns are moved so the bishops can be developed. Rapid mobilization is the key. As you mobilize your pieces, you should ensure that they are working harmoniously towards the control of key squares.

3. Provide defense for your own pieces -
A good pawn formation is usually vital in chess your chess opening, you should avoid isolated, undefended and doubled up pawns (one pawn in front the other). If one of your pieces is being threatened by an opponents, you should provide it with a defense that can capture your opponents attacking piece.

4. Attempt to capture your opponents pawns and pieces to get an early advantage -
You need to exploit your opponents weaknesses, but chances are most decent Chess players aren't going to move a piece to a position in which it can be taken by you with no consequences. Always analyze for traps, try to set up your opponent with a series of moves in which you come out on top.

5. Provide protection of your King -
The king's original position is somewhat exposed to the middle of the board and moves should be made to reduce his vulnerability. It is therefore common for both players either to castle in the opening or to otherwise bring the king to the side of the board via artificial castling (less common, unless forced to).

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Chess Fest up and running!

Welcome to the Chess Fest blog. I will regularly be posting Chess related articles that will help you to master certain strategies, openings and general game-play. 
I will be starting with famous Chess openings, how to execute and react to them (also pros/cons).
This will be an informative Chess blog and I'm really looking forward to posting on it.