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6 Ways to Win a Chess Game E-mail
Written by Yury Markushin   
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 00:00

6 ways to win chess gamesChess is everything art, science and sport. Most of all, chess is a war over the board. Any player knows that objective of the game is to win. There are only 3 ways to claim a victory in chess: checkmating your opponent, making your opponent resign and winning on time. There are couple more rare situations like failure to show up and disqualification, but we won’t bother covering those scenarios. Even though there are only 3 ways to claim a victory at chess, there are many ways for achieving that outcome. In this article we will discuss 6 ways to win a chess game.

1. Forced Mating Combination

Every chess player knows that a checkmate instantly ends the game. It doesn’t matter if you have 0.1 of a second left on your clock and your opponent has 2 full hours. It doesn’t matter if you are 3 pieces and 2 queens down. It doesn’t even matter if your opponent can checkmate you the very next move 5 different ways…

Checkmate instantly ends the game and the checkmated side instantly loses. That’s why a forced mating combination that leads to a guaranteed mate is one of the most important ways to win a chess game. If you have an option to win a queen or go for a forced checkmate, no doubt you should go ahead with an option two. Winning a queen doesn’t win the game immediately, but a checkmate does.

2. Winning Material

Winning material is perhaps the most common way to win a chess game. If you are a Queen up in the king and pawn endgame, you most likely have a winning position. However, by rules, it is not a guaranteed win. That’s why the game continues regardless of the material advantage. However, winning material makes it much easier for you as a player to convert your advantage into a clear win – such as checkmate. That’s why material advantage is something very important and among the first factors considered while evaluating position on the board.

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3. Zeitnot

Time is important element of the game. If flag falls, game is over. Oftentimes, chess players do not spend time wisely by wasting too many minutes on relatively simple moves. At the end, they have to make much more complicated decisions with literally no time on the clock. It happens to the best of us. The situation when you have shortage of time is called a “zeitnot”. Maybe you have 5 minutes for the next 15 moves to make time control, or maybe you have 10 minutes till end of the game. Time trouble may often lead to mistakes which, in turn, result in lost games.

The strategy to remember when your opponent is down on time is not to speed up your own moves. Take your time and play best moves. It is very hard to find refutation in absence of time and you may get an easy win. However, if you will try “racing” your opponent on clock, you’re running into risk of blundering and losing the game, despite your time advantage.

4. Large Positional Advantage

Positional advantage is not something that leads to an instant checkmate. It is something that gives a slight edge, making it possible to increase your advantage by launching a powerful attack and possibly winning material or even checkmating your opponent’s king.

Positional advantage is something that strong players understand and use in their game. Positional advantages come in different shapes and sizes. Space, better development, stronger pawn structure, active pieces are just a few examples of positional advantages. By accumulating those advantages one-by-one, it is possible to win the game.

5. Endgame Edge

An extra pawn in the middelgame is usually not a decisive factor. Things change when more and more pieces come off the board. Each pawn becomes extremely valuable, and even a slight pawn structure difference or a tempo can decide the outcome of the game.

6. Resignation

If your opponent resigns - the game is over. It does not matter if he is a queen up and has a winning position. Resignation of your opponent is one of the ways to win the game. In fact, most grandmaster’s games never end in a checkmate. They generally resign many moves before it can happen, realizing hopelessness of the position. You need to be careful though. Sometimes, even very strong GMs have resigned when position was actually a draw or even (in very rare cases) a win for them!

Think twice before resigning. If there is even 1% chance to save the game, play it on. It is never too late to resign!

If you want to improve your chess level, you need to have a clear study plan. If you aim for a dramatic improvement at chess you need to work on all of the elements of the game in a systematic way:

  • tactics
  • positional play
  • attacking skills
  • endgame technique
  • classical games analysis
  • psychological preparation
  • and much more

That seems to be like a lot of things, and that is. But no worries, we have made it easy for you. Our comprehensive training course covers it all and much more. Sign up for 21 Day Training right now!

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 07:45

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