Thought Process

Dana Mackenzie suggests before moving, ask the following questions. What are the pawn breaks? What are my and my opponent’s best and worst placed pieces? What pieces are targeted and vulnerable? What are the possible trades, and which ones benefit me? Where are the best squares for my pieces? Who would be winning the endgame? Who has the safer king? On which side of the board should I play? Continue Reading

Castling on Same Side

King Safety Castling on same side creates a quieter game than when kings are castled on opposite sides. Pushing pawns weakens king safety. Initiate an attack with pieces rather than a pawn storm. White’s move g3-g4 does more harm to his position than to his opponent’s. It weakens white’s king safety. Closed Center If you control the center, or the center is closed, you may initiate an attack with a pawn storm. Because the center is closed, g4 is a good move. Continue Reading


Technique Create an imbalance in the position (different advantages and disadvantages for each player). Then develop pieces to capitalize on advantages and limit opponent’s advantages. Castling Protects king. Activates rook, especially if center file is semi-open or open. Castle if center is opened. Castle before attacking opponent’s king. Can delay or forgo castling if center is closed or if queens are exchanged early. Development Bring all the pieces into play. Avoid moving the same piece more than once, if possible. Maximize the mobility (number of legal moves) of each piece. Do not bring the queen past the second or third… Continue Reading