Tips4Chess “King Safety and Importance of Castling” Tips for Beginners

The ultimate goal in the game of chess is to checkmate your opponents King and the goal is also valid for your opponent. Many beginners start learning chess by attacking strategies.

There are popular mating techniques such as Scholars mate in addition, it is vital for a beginner to learn how to mate with queen, how to mate with rook etc., however, it is almost equally important to ensure your own King Safety to achieve victory.

When we learn the rules of game of chess, there are two special moves we teach the beginners after showing the movement of all chess pieces. These two special moves are “en passant” (capturing a pawn which advances two steps forward) and the other special move is called “castling” which is an extremely important and multi-functional move achieved by moving the king and one of the rooks on the corner to ensure your kings safety.

For our readers who would like to get more information about legal rules of chess, we would recommend to google the key words and you will be able to access tons of useful information about fundamental rules of chess.

The importance of castling is usually not very well understood by beginner level players because of the fact that beginners usually tend to enjoy the attacking strategies and capturing pieces which usually gives a good feeling of an achievement however,  underestimating your own king safety will lead to a defeat.. Many beginners tend to lose more and more games and this will create more suffering for players and also may decrease the level of joy they get from the game as losing always is not fun ! 🙂

If you have King in the middle of the board, there will most likely occur major practical failures which will sooner or later prove that the risk of having a king in the centre is putting a serious limitation to your freedom of challenging the struggle in the central squares (e4,d4,e5,d5) and also will put limitation to your attacking options  and opportunities in most of the cases.

In a scenario where you would try to organise attack to your opponent without castling your own king, you will most probably face serious issues to coordinate your attacking pieces, especially considering the coordination of your pieces. Do not forget that castling is not only ensuring your King Safety in most of the cases but also contributes to your pieces development by bringing one of the rooks in the corner quickly into the game and also creating connection between rooks on the first rank.

As Tips4Chess team we recommend all beginners and chess enthusiasts to play their games by castling right after developing all pieces in order to ensure their King Safety ! 😉

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Tips4Chess Openings for Beginners

We recommend beginners to play openings where they can apply the principle rules in the most appropriate way.

We should always keep in mind that a beginner first and most importantly needs to develop his or her basic skills in chess such as strategy and tactics, importance of the central squares, placing your pieces in active squares and ensuring king safety by castling.

These skills more or less has direct relation to the opening choice of a beginner and therefore we would recommend beginners to play open chess positions to encourage them learning different chess skills quickly and therefore playing first move 1. e4 will offer them a wide choice of opportunities to discover various tactical ideas and patterns but also to teach them how to calculate and evaluate in open positions where the stakes are higher.

One of the well known opening theme for beginners is given below

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Ac3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Bb4 5.d3 d6 6.00 00







As you can see in the diagram, both white and black players have almost managed to develop their pieces as quickly as possible and in the next move the bishop on c1 square can either go to e3 or g5 and then white almost completed the opening stage successfully by developing all pieces in one move and not spending too much time by moving the same piece several times. The queen and rooks are then ready to take part in the game.

It is very common to see that beginners intend to play the same piece several times in a row in the opening which is not recommended at all. In addition, developing the queen, the strongest piece on the board, at the very early stages of the game is not recommended either, as this will create additional issues unless you are not a chess master. Even though there are openings like Scandinavian where you will be developing Queen as early as second move, this kind of openings are not really recommended for beginners.

As Tips4Chess team, we recommend you to play open positions which are most likely arising from 1.e4 openings such as italian opening, four knights opening or spanish opening.These types of openings will help you to learn fundemantals very quickly and also will help you to improve your chess in a shorter period of time.

Once you are able to demonstrate better skills in chess, you can start playing 1.d4 1.Nf3 or 1.c4 type of openings where you can deepen your understanding of the game of chess.

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Tips 4 The Right Attitude and Approach to Solve Chess Problems & Combinations

Tips4Chess gives you hints on the right personal approaches  and attitudes to solve chess problems and combinations.

Here are some important bullet points that will contribute to your chess approach and enhance your personal skills to become a better chess player.

Never Move the Pieces!

When you are trying to solve a chess combination or a chess puzzle for training purpose, it is highly crucial to stick to the initial position of the chess problem and try to start always calculating possible lines by taking reference this position.

It is very common to see amateur players moving chess pieces while they are analysing or trying to solve a chess combination, however this attitude needs to be completely avoided as moving pieces has several downsides.

First of all if you are involved in a group analysis or chess training, moving pieces on the reference chessboard will disturb other players concentration and also by moving a pieces on the board, you may get yourself into the wrong direction rather than solving the problem which means that you might be putting your effort and energy on a completely wrong variation.

Many people consider that moving pieces will give them advantage or a bonus to guess the next move easily however this approach is completely wrong as the best example could be given from chess tournament practice where chess players are always obliged to move the pieces they touch!

So the big point behind not moving the chess pieces while analysing positions is that you should make sure that the solution you propose is entirely analysed and concluded by you and also make sure that you will be able to discuss all possible variations and sidelines once you propose a move or solution of a chess problem on the chessboard.

Moving a chess pieces means that a players has analysed all possibilities and feels confident about taking decisions and what make a chess player good is that the concept of calculating variations to the extend possible and searching for better options through all possible alternatives!

The right and the most appropriate attitude for a chess player is not to propose a move at all if he or she haven’t found a concrete solution to a chess problem, puzzle, combination etc.

Think Silent!

The most crucial  activity for a chess player is to remain silent during the thinking process where the players main task is to focus on the chess position with high level concentration and focus.

To be able to perform the thinking process in the most efficient way, a chess player needs to create a silent space rather than speaking out the moves. Chess is very well known to be the game of calculation and this is a game where the thinking process should never be interrupted by other factors, tasks or activities.

In other words, external factors such as voice, sound, talking to other people, dealing with other activities needs to be minimised to get the best efficiency from the thinking process. if you have ambitions to be successful in long term we would recommend you to create the most convenient atmosphere for you while training chess and solving chess puzzles which is simply to analyse silently in a peaceful atmosphere where distraction factors are minimised.


Never Interrupt Analysis of Your Colleagues!

Never forget that chess is a game of intellectuals and this requires players to demonstrate the right attitude while sharing opinions and discussing ideas.

We should be aware of the fact that every players has their own ideas and understanding of the game of chess and naturally there will be differences in the ideas and opinions and managing this process is also one important skills that needs to be learned and improved by all chess players regardless of their level.

The best example could be, if you are making analysis in a team of players or a group analysis, you should always respect the one showing his or her analysis opinions and ideas and letting them to complete their variation as interruption will cause multiple discussions and distracts others from focusing on the main topic.

Therefore showing respect, remaining silent and following up your colleagues analysis, ideas and variations will only help you to learn more and improve your chess and also will enhance your ability and skills to talk and explain your ideas.

Never forget that there will always be a turn where you will be declaring opinion of yours!

Start Calculation with Forced Variations First!

The right approach to start analysing a chess problem is to focus on the forced variations first. The idea behind analysing forced variations is that it will put limitations and restrictions on your opponents number of choices. For human beings, it is quite natural to start variations with limited options and alternatives where we will be able to perform calculations much more effectively.

It is very common to observe that many tough chess problems consist of non-forcing moves in other words, the trickiest part for a chess player is to offer your opponent variety of possibilities as this will force you to calculate too many variations and many chess players intuitively ignore the most flexible moves initially when they analyse a chess position as they are less concrete and there is more risk and room for miscalculations.

Different from humans, the computers will calculate every single possibility or move that exists on the chess board, however, as human beings we have to use our intuition to spend our energy and time more efficiently on particular choices.

In the case of solving a chess problem, it is therefore highly recommended to first look on the forced lines and if that doesn’t work we will have to expand our analysis on other candidate moves one by one unless we are convinced about the outcome.


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Tips4Chess Endgame Training Series #4 (New: Solution Video Included!)



Click Below to watch the solution video for Endgame Training Series #4 – FM Deniz Arman


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Tips4Chess “What are the advantages of having digital chess clocks over analog chess clocks?”

The fundamental rules of game of chess has remained more or less the same over decades, however, incremental changes in technology has brought brand new hardware and software products and solutions into the chess world such as electronic chess boards,  chess computers and programmes, game databases for openings, middle-games and endgames and applications for mobile phones etc. that has not only changed our practical way of training and practices but also created new opportunities in the way we organise chess events and tournaments.

Today, digital chess clocks are one of the major products that created massive change in chess practice over the last decades.There is no doubt that today there are only few of young generation chess players have experience of playing chess tournaments with analog chess clocks, however, almost one or two decades ago it would be quite common to see chess tournaments for professional chess events.

If you would ask one senior chess player about the time when they played with analog chess clocks, you would most probably hear some of the very interesting stories about how time control system in chess tournaments have effected chess games in practice where players had extremely stressful situations such as having pressure of losing games on time in winning positions etc.

Below you can find a list by Tips4Chess illustrating the fundamental differences observed in tournament play and practice.

Digital clocks allow us to play chess with time increment & additional time options

Our experience from the past has proved that playing chess without incremental time system has its own disadvantages in itself such as losing games on time in winning positions as mentioned. The main advantage of having digital chess clock is that today we are able to play chess tournament games with incremental time control.

This means players are able to get additional time in the form of 30 seconds (most common choice in rated & international tournaments) where the main idea of this time control system is to prevent players from having serious time trouble by offering time increment options after each move whereas with the old school mechanical clocks the players did not use to have additional time to be able to proceed the game if they are under serious time pressure – so called “Zeitnot” situation.

Having digital chess clocks in classical chess games where players are able to play 5-6 hours chess game, plus, both players get the opportunity to proceed endgames as can be sometimes highly crucial for tournament level players to play accurately and this time increment option will allow chess players to be able to continue playing these critical positions without having the risk of losing on time. As after each move players get additional 30 seconds of increment, this will also allow players to reduce their level of stress and will allow them to have sufficient time to make a sensible move or moves to finalise their games.

It is also very common to see that in certain tournaments, you will get 1 hour extra time added to your time control after completing the move 40., and the idea is to allocate additional time for players to increase the quality of the game as many players in the past experienced the issue that the opening and middle-game quality is extremely high whereas the endgame is played poorly and the result therefore is usually hard to estimate if the time factor would play a significant role.

Therefore digital chess clocks in some way contributed to the fighting chess spirit by allowing players to take chances to continue their games to the extend possible.

Digital clocks are more accurate and balanced

When we set time control for both players with analog chess clocks, we are most likely eager to experience imbalance or slight inaccuracies in terms setting up equal time interval for both sides. This can become crucial even though players did not mind about this initial few seconds difference in a blitz match where both players are expected to have 3 minutes, however, every second becomes extremely crucial under serious time pressure.

Having digital chess clocks prevent the risk of setting unequal time margin in terms of minutes and seconds. Time accuracy can become highly crucial in speed chess games such as rapid, blitz and bullet chess games where every single second and minute may determine the result of the game. Especially in less time control games the time margins may effect the result of the game although in percentage we do not consider error margins such a big factor however still makes digital chess clocks much more preferable in this perspective.


Digital Chess Clocks represent more visual for chess players

One other feature that digital chess clocks allow is that there is more precision and visibility. In a digital clock a player is able to see as many details as possible regarding his time situation, for instance with DGT2010 clocks you will see minutes and seconds on the screen when your time is lower than 20 minutes.This information is getting crucial when players have less time on their clocks, however, with analog chess clocks you more or less need to play intuitively by guessing approximately how many second would left on your clock for instance in a situation where you see that there is less than a minute left.

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Tips4Chess Combinations #1

Here comes a great chess combination for Tips4Chess fans.

Lets see how good you are at solving tactics 🙂

Do not forget to leave your tips on the comments ! 😉 Enjoy! 😉

White to move and win! (+-) 1. ?



Click below Video to watch the Solution for Chess Combination #1:



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