Beyond the Material: An Example of How to Assess a Chess Position

Beyond the Material

When we first learn to play chess we are taught that every piece has a numerical value. However, what we aren’t told is that those “values” aren’t a mathematical absolute.

For example, a pawn is “worth” 1 point, however, if you have two connected passed pawns on the 6th rank it is considered equally as valuable if not more valuable than a rook — which is valued at 5 points.

Many times a knight, with a standard value of 3 points, on an outpost deep into your opponents territory is said to also be worth a rook.

So how do we know the true value of our material? The short answer Read More

3 Rules to Thrive in Sharp Chess Openings

Gazing over at your ticking clock, readjusting in your seat to ease the cramps in your legs, hands clamped over your forehead as you continue to check and recheck your calculations to make sure you aren’t blundering in an extremely sharp chess position…

If you’re a seasoned chess player, then you know this feeling all too well. It’s worrisome; it generates anxiety and creates jitters. You don’t want to screw these moments up. If you do, your position will come crashing down in a matter of moves.

Let’s define a sharp position as it applies to chess, learn how to identify them, and most importantly how to survive and thrive in them! Read More