10 Tricks to Win at Chess and Surprising Chess CuriositiesPhoto by Michal Vrba on Unsplash

Mastering the Game: 10 Tricks to Win at Chess and Surprising Chess Curiosities

Chess is a game of strategy, patience, and skill. It's a battle of the mind where each player tries to outsmart the other to capture the opponent's king. Winning at chess requires a combination of sound tactics, solid strategy, and careful planning. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player there are certain tricks and tips that can help you improve your game and increase your chances of winning.

In this article we'll take a look at ten tricks that can help you win at chess. These tips cover a range of aspects of the game, from basic principles to more advanced strategies. By following these tricks you'll be able to play more confidently make better decisions and gain the upper hand over your opponents. So whether you're looking to improve your game for fun or competition read on to discover how to win at chess.

10 tips to win in chess

  1. The Opening Game: Developing Pieces and Castling for King Safety in Chess

    • Develop your pieces: Get your pieces out of their starting positions and into the game. Develop your knights and bishops to attack and control squares.

    • Castle early: Castling is a way to protect your king and connect your rooks. Try to castle your king as early as possible, ideally before move 10.

  2. Strategic Planning: The Importance of Long-Term Goals and Accurate Calculation in Chess

    • Plan ahead: Think about your long-term goals and create a plan to achieve them. This will help you coordinate your pieces and create threats.

    • Calculate variations: Before making a move, try to calculate potential variations and consider your opponent's responses. This will help you avoid blunders and find strong moves.

  3. Advanced Strategies: Mastering Open Files and Pawn Structures in Chess

    • Control the open files: Rooks are most effective on open files where they can attack from behind enemy lines. Try to control the open files and use your rooks effectively.

    • Understand pawn structure: The pawn structure can greatly affect the position and strategy. Try to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your pawn structure and your opponent's.

  4. Protect and Attack: Balancing Defense of the King and Coordination of Pieces in Chess

    • Don't neglect your king: Your king is a valuable piece and should not be left unprotected or exposed. Keep it safe by castling early, avoiding weak pawn structures, and being aware of potential threats.

    • Use your pieces together: Try to coordinate your pieces to work together to create threats or control key squares. This can make your attacks more powerful and difficult to defend against.

  5. The Art of Strategy: Finding Tactics and Knowing When to Trade in Chess

    • Look for tactics: Keep an eye out for tactical opportunities such as forks pins, and skewers. These can often lead to material advantage or even checkmate.

    • Know when to trade: Trading pieces can be advantageous if you can capture a stronger opponent's piece or simplify the position. But be careful not to trade away your own strong pieces.

      How to Win at Chess EasilyPhoto by Piotr Makowski on Unsplash

  6. Strategic Domination: How to Control the Center and Attack the King in Chess

    • Control the center: Try to occupy the center of the board with your pieces and pawns. This will give you more space and mobility to move your pieces around.

    • Control the squares around your opponent's king: This can limit your opponent's options and make it difficult for them to defend their king. Look for ways to control squares around their king and create threats.

  7. Playing Smart: The Importance of Flexibility and Piece Value Awareness in Chess

    • Be flexible: While it's important to have a plan, be prepared to adjust it if necessary. Your opponent may surprise you with unexpected moves, so be flexible and willing to adapt.

    • Understand the value of each piece: Each piece has a different value and can be used for different purposes. Understanding the value and strengths of each piece can help you make better decisions in the game.

  8. Mind Games: Mastering Time Management and Strategic Deception in Chess

    • Keep an eye on the clock: Time management is an important aspect of chess. Try to make moves quickly when possible and use your time wisely to calculate important variations.

    • Keep your opponent guessing: Try to make moves that keep your opponent guessing and uncertain about your intentions. This can make it more difficult for them to create a plan or strategy.

  9. Mastering the Game: The Importance of Opening Knowledge and Consistent Practice in Chess

    • Learn different openings: There are many different openings in chess, and it's important to be familiar with a few of them. Learning different openings can help you create a stronger position and surprise your opponent.

    • Practice regularly: The more you play the better you will become. Practice regularly, analyze your games and learn from your mistakes.

  10. Strategic Insights: Playing with Purpose and Learning from Losses in Chess

    • Play with a purpose: Every move you make should have a purpose or goal. Whether it's to control a square, protect a piece, or create a threat, make sure your moves have a clear purpose in mind.

    • Learn from your losses: Losing is a part of chess, and it's important to learn from your mistakes. Analyze your games to understand where you went wrong and how you can improve in the future.


Chess HistoryMetropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

About chess

Chess is one of the oldest and most popular board games in the world. Its origins can be traced back over a thousand years to India, where the game was known as chaturanga. The game spread to Persia and then to the Islamic world, where it was further developed and refined.

In the 10th century chess was introduced to Europe by traders and travelers. The rules of the game were modified and adapted to suit European tastes and culture, and by the 15th century the modern rules of chess had emerged.

Over the centuries, chess has been played by people from all walks of life from peasants to kings. It has been used as a tool for military training, as a way to sharpen the mind, and as a form of entertainment.

In the modern era chess has become a highly competitive sport with professional players competing for prizes and titles in tournaments around the world. The game has also been the subject of study by mathematicians, computer scientists, and artificial intelligence researchers, who have developed algorithms and computer programs that can play chess at a very high level.


Chess curiosities

If you're a chess fan like us, you might find it interesting to learn some of the fascinating curiosities surrounding the game. From its ancient origins to its modern-day championships, chess is steeped in history and tradition with plenty of surprises along the way. Here are a few curious facts and tidbits to pique your interest.


  • A Brief History of Chess from Its Origins to World Championships

    The word "checkmate" comes from the Persian phrase "shah mat " which means "the king is dead."

    Chess is one of the oldest board games still played today, with a history dating back more than 1 500 years. The first recorded game of chess was played in India in the 6th century AD. The first chess tournament was held in London in 1851, and it was won by Adolf Anderssen, who is considered one of the greatest chess players of all time.

    The first official world chess championship was held in 1886, and Wilhelm Steinitz of Austria was crowned the first champion.

  • Chess Trivia: Grandmasters, Ratings and Longest Games.

    The highest title a chess player can achieve is "Grandmaster." As of 2021, there are only around 1, 700 Grandmasters in the world. The highest recorded rating for a chess player is currently held by Magnus Carlsen of Norway with a rating of 2882.

    The longest possible game of chess is 5 949 moves, but it's never been played in a serious game. The use of chess clocks was first introduced in the late 19th century to prevent players from taking too much time to make their moves. But even with clocks the game can be very long: the longest game of chess ever played was in 1989 and lasted for 269 moves ending in a draw. The game took over 20 hours to complete.

  • Chess as a Metaphor and its Impact on Culture and Education

    The game of chess has been used as a metaphor for war, love and politics throughout history, and has inspired countless works of literature, music and art. Chess has been played by many famous people throughout history, including Napoleon Bonaparte, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. In some countries, such as Russia, chess is taught as a mandatory subject in schools.

    The first computer program to beat a human at chess was created in 1951, but it wasn't until 1997 that a computer beat the reigning world champion in a match: the world champion chess player Garry Kasparov was defeated by IBM's chess computer Deep Blue in a highly publicized match.

  • Miguel de Unamuno, from chess lover to game addicted

    Miguel de Unamuno was not only one of the greatest Spanish writers but also a world-renowned philosopher whose contributions to existentialism and the philosophy of tragedy continue to be studied and debated today.

    But maybe you didn't knew that Unamuno was also known for his love of chess. He wrote extensively about chess in his essays and often used the game as a metaphor for life and the human condition. Unamuno was also a strong chess player and played regularly in chess clubs in Spain. He even played a match against the famous Cuban chess player José Raúl Capablanca in 1913, although he lost the game. Unamuno's love for chess is evident in his writings and he saw the game as a way to explore deeper truths about the human experience.

    But at some point Unamuno became obsessed with chess, practically becoming a gambler. He was an avid player and often played for hours on end neglecting his other duties and responsibilities. His passion for the game is reflected in his writings including his novel "Niebla" which features a character who is obsessed with chess. Unamuno even played chess with his students during his time as a professor at the University of Salamanca, and he was known to have a chessboard on his desk at all times. He said in 1930: "Yes, it's true, during my youth I fell under the madness of chess and for many years I was a fanatic of the game that obsessed me and to which I dedicated 10 hours a day... Yes, chess became a vice for me, a vice that was about to distance me from my profession and my literary passions."

    Miguel de Unamuno, a love&hate relation with chessMiguel de Unamuno, 1925. Agence de presse Meurisse, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • There are more possible ways to play a game of chess than there are atoms in the observable universe.

    This is a fascinating fact about the game of chess, which demonstrates the incredibly high level of complexity and variety in the game. To understand this statement, it's important to realize that the number of possible ways to play a game of chess grows exponentially as the game progresses.

    At the start of a game of chess each player has 20 possible legal moves they can make. This means that there are 20 possible ways the game can begin. However after just one move from each player, there are already 400 possible positions on the board. This is because each player has 20 possible moves to choose from, resulting in 20 x 20 = 400 possible positions.

    As the game continues and more moves are played, the number of possible positions grows even larger. By the time the game reaches the 10th move from each player, there are more than 69 billion possible positions on the board.

    To put this into perspective, the number of atoms in the observable universe is estimated to be around 10^80. This means that the number of possible ways to play a game of chess is far, far greater than the number of atoms in the observable universe.

    Of course... not all of these possible positions are meaningful or interesting, and many are very quickly ruled out as poor or illogical moves, but the sheer number of possibilities is a testament to the incredible complexity and depth of the game of chess.

  • It's chess a sport?

    Yes, chess is recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is also governed by several international organizations including the World Chess Federation (FIDE). While chess is primarily a mental game, it requires physical stamina and endurance particularly in longer games and tournaments where players can spend several hours at the board. Additionally, many chess players engage in physical training to improve their performance further highlighting the sport-like aspects of the game.

Checkmate! This article is over :)