After finishing my first Amateur Hour Chess TV show with IM Danny Rensch, I feel like a wet sponge. Danny is as gifted a teacher as he is a player, and while I learned more during that program than I had in my whole life before our talk, there was no way I could absorb the sheer volume of chess information that flows from Danny’s pores in a single 90-minute session. So, to summarize the main principles we addressed, I’ve chosen to write this blog post for myself and other amateurs.
What Makes This Article Unique?
The difference between this blog post and practically any other in the Chess world is that it’s written by someone who stinks — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen because the source material for this piece comes straight from an international master.
On the contrary, as I strive to interpret IM Danny Rensch’s wise remarks into language that we plebeians can understand, I have a unique perspective that can only come from a complete lack of competence, which may be useful to my compatriots in the triple-digit rating club.
As a result, I welcome you to partake in these Amateur Hour hors d’oeuvres: delectable morsels to nibble on before your next match.
Make sure you’ve read my article about openings before you start.
Before we go any further, it’s critical to grasp the basic foundational patterns that all successful chess openings have. Danny’s insights on playing strong slots are included in an article called Chess Opening Moves: A Master’s Top 3 Strategies For Beginners that I’ve published on my website – make sure you check it out to learn them before moving on!
What’s Next After You’ve Learned the Basic Opening Strategy and How the Pieces Move?
When you look at the board, if you’re like me, you know where all of the pieces can go on the next move. In other words, if I want to move the knight, I can see where it can go. That’s simple. “If you’re teaching a child to play chess, what’s the next visualizing step?” I asked Danny.
The next visualization phase, according to him, is being aware of the squares that your opponent has controlled and defended, rather than where you can attack next.
In chess, the goal is to gain as much as possible while losing as little as feasible. It’s as though we’re in the middle of a war. Battle. Danger. Dominance over the entire globe.
Maximum Power with the Fewest Losses
After teaching how to move the fundamental pieces, the goal is to give each piece as much power as possible without losing them while also limiting your opponents’ pieces as much as possible.
You must understand how your opponent moves their pieces to recognize when they are in danger if you move to a specific square.
Your goal is to take control of as much of the board’s vital area (the center) as possible while losing as little as feasible.
It’s Beneficial to be overly cautious.
“Then I try to take control of what my opponent is protecting. My opponent is guarding d4 in this situation.
So I play c3 with one goal in mind: no matter what black does if I have my way, I’ll play d4 next.
That way, I’ll have the control I desire. I have not misplaced anything. I haven’t lost anything. We’ve traded pawns, but I don’t consider that a loss.”
Please make certain you’ve read my article on how to get good chess positions.
Now that we’ve covered the center and the fundamental notion of controlling as much as possible while losing as little as possible, you’ll need to know how to achieve solid chess positions.
Check out my article 3 Keys To Getting Good Chess Positions: How To Win For Beginners if you haven’t already! to discover what all good plans have in common and what novices should know to win more games.
Reconsidering the game’s objective
If we make the chess game’s aim a pyramid:
Checkmate is at the top of the pyramid. Checkmate the king is your goal.
Material is the second tier. Suppose you have a lot of material (such as a rook or a queen) or even a little bit. The greatest way to outnumber the enemy king and eventually get checkmate is to use the material.
Piece activity and square control are the next levels in the pyramid. More active pieces, such as those that dominate center squares, have the best chance of capturing other elements and simply winning essays right.
Because a knight on d5 is a lot more capable of catching you napping, you’re fighting for control of the center, for those things.
It’s not about using Chess.com’s Opening Explorer; it’s about ensuring that we have the best chance of making powerful chess plays. Note: If you’ve tried to use Opening Explorer before but aren’t sure how to do it correctly, read my article with Danny’s recommendations on how to use Opening Explorer correctly.
What Are Chess Power Moves?
Chess moves with high power are those that:
Make threatening statements
Make a threat to gain material
Control the board’s central area.
“If we’re in the middle of the board,” I explained, “we have more pieces and squares to assault, and our pieces are more mobile, so we can catch people asleep.”
Danny’s mind blew at that point because I finally uttered something that made sense.
Assume that your opponent will always make the best move in response to your action.
Before you make a move, evaluate what they’ll do in response to your threat and how they’ll counter it. Hope chess is a tempo move that is merely a one-move plan; you’re playing one-move chess.
In other words, if you make a tempo move, that is a singularity — if you’re hoping your opponent won’t see your threat – that’s the oven very terrible.
“Checks Are For ‘Posters,” says the narrator (short for “imposters,” to avoid confusion)
If you’re making a tempo move — a check, capture, or queen attack (or an attack on a higher valuable piece by a less useful chip) — with no plan beyond that one move, you’re not genuinely thinking forward.
Instead, you want to build a net to trap the king and checkmate your opponent by creating dangerous circumstances. On the other hand, Danny wouldn’t go any farther, claiming that I wasn’t ready.
Tempo moves are wonderful, but if you can make threats that serve a larger purpose for your plan, that’s chess — that’s what it’s called playing chess.
Magnus Carlsen, according to Danny, plays for plans and sets a lot of tricks along the way. He’ll take it if his opponents screw up the scheme (of sure), but he’s not seeking for a one-move joke. He does manage to establish a few, but only as part of a more strategic positioning strategy.
“When you’re on top, the game is just getting started.” And he repeated that over and over while washing laundry, and it helped him change his mind when he was playing. Making a mantra could be beneficial to all of us.
“Keep the center under control, develop your pieces, and get the king to safety.”
The Day Belonged to Me
To end the show, Danny and I decided to have some fun. I threw down the gauntlet to a random opponent and encouraged Danny to speak smack. My pulse was pounding, and I’m not sure if it was because of the cheap Amazon.com movie lighting I set up in my flat or because of the sheer thrill of playing my first opponent in front of an international audience. I could feel the heat.