Dos and Don'ts Of Chess

Guides / By Andrew Hercules

When it comes to chess, there are some dos and don’ts that you need to take care. In this article, we will look at some of these.

Dos of Chess

The very first thing to do is keep asking yourself questions. These questions should be along the lines of…

  • What is my opponent up to?
  • What are his motives behind his moves?
  • Why is he moving the pieces that he is?
  • Can I do something to capitalize on my opponent’s mistakes?

By asking yourself all these questions and more, you can make headway in the game. During the middle game, it is important that you look for targets in your opponent’s play. The middle game is one where you need to attack your opponent as best as you can. Keep an eye on their key pieces like queen and bishops.

Try to capture these as soon in the game as possible. At the same time, keep an eye on your key pieces as well because you don’t want to end up losing them during this stage. Once you identify your opponent’s weaknesses, you must strategize and try to capitalize as soon as possible.

It is important that you not lose your queen when you are trying to attack the opponent’s king. Trading your queen will turn into a big disadvantage for you. Try to hold on to your queen and take out your opponent’s queen using your knight or bishop. It is fine to lose these pieces but not the queen, however, if you are in a good position to take out your opponent’s king by sacrificing your queen (like in Legal’s mate) then do so.

The best strategy with your pawns is to push one during the end game and force your opponent to sacrifice a key piece to prevent the pawn from developing into a queen. The further in ranks a pawn goes, the more value it develops in the game. It is best to push connected pass pawns together.

Don’t get over confident during a game. If you think you have everything going for you and end up making a mistake, then you will probably lose all your confidence. Don’t over estimate your strategy; this is especially important if you are playing with a bona fide opponent. The opponent might know what you are up to and counter all your moves.

There is no point in going about a game using one of the fast checkmate strategies  with someone who has been playing chess for a long time. You might end up in a position where you cannot use any other strategy and have given away the game.

Do practice well before you attend a competition. Practice by yourself and also practice with an opponent. Memorizing some of the common situations will help you play well and fast. Make use of all the tactics that you know and use them throughout the game.


One important don’t of chess is to not place two or more pawns in the same file. This is better known as doubling. It is important that you keep all of your pawns connected and at no time should your pawns be too scattered about. Although it is vital that you claim the center of the board as soon as possible, it is important that you not do so using just your pawns.

Capture it using some of your other pieces as well like your knights and bishops. One important don’t of the game is to not move your king too early. Moving your king early will in most cases endanger him. You will not realize that you have put him in a vulnerable position. As was mentioned before, it is best that you castle early and place 2-3 pawns in front of the king.

The rook that you place beside the king should act as a guard. It should not be moved unless absolutely necessary. Incase the opponent is posing a threat to the rook, you must place something in the way to prevent the rook being taken down. If you think the opponent will take down the rook and you can take their piece with the king, then you might be falling into a trap that your opponent is pulling on you.

One important don’t is to not go into a competition without consuming enough nutrition. Eat foods that are rich in brain nourishing nutrients such as nut oils. You can also consume fresh fruits and vegetables, which will help you, think well. Carry an energy bar with you as well as it will help you remain energetic all through your game.

Andrew Hercules

Hercules Chess, launched in 2020, is a website that teaches you about chess. We started as a chess blog and became a chess training platform in early 2022.

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