The Pawn Gets No Respect

  Sometimes thought of as the weakest pieces in a Chess game, the pawns have often lacked the respect of novice chess players. These pieces are seen as disposable, powerless, and meant to be trampled upon by other, more important Chess pieces. However, you might be surprised to know that pawns can be some of the most dangerous pieces in a Chess game, and they deserve your respect. Pawn Chains Are Stronger:  Despite your level of Chess play, you can decipher at first glance that some pawns are in better positions of power than others. A lone pawn is in danger, but a pawn supported by his diagonal buddy has a strong chance of breaking through enemy lines.  Amazingly, pawn chains are stronger because they can protect each other and even other pieces. That pawn chain is far better than doubled and isolated pawns; one in front of another, which cannot defend each other and are easy prey. Protect Your Points: Sometimes the Chess pawn is seen as insignificant because each one’s only worth a single point. However, there are eight pawns on each side, which means you’ve eight points to gain from your opponent or eight points you could lose. In Chess, even 2 points can make or break a game, and you want to protect your points while collecting the pawn points of the other Chess player. Pawns Can Be Promoted:  In a serious game of Chess, pawns that successfully clear the board and make it to the other side can be promoted to any piece of its own color – except for the King. This means...

5 Key Decisions You Need to Make During a Chess Game

  Chess is a game of strategy and smarts, so it doesn’t actually matter how experienced your opponent is: If you can out-think them to the very last move, you can claim a victory every time.   Here are just five questions to ponder during your next chess game.   Which Game Are You Playing? Chess actually has three games in one. The opening game involves your first few moves and can immediately establish yourself as an offensive or defensive player. You can also win or lose in the opening. So be watchful! The middle game’s when pieces are captured and the pawns form the battle structure. The endgame’s when you’re closing in on your opponent or when they’re closing in on you. If you can develop one of these games into a specialty, you’ll have a much greater chance of becoming a chess champion.   How Important is your Queen? As the most powerful piece on the board, it’s an understandable impulse to protect your queen at all costs. And you should, so watch every move your opponent makes in case a tactic threatens her. But a well-timed “trade” or giving up your queen for the capturing of your opponent’s at the same time, could be a good choice if it leaves you with a slightly favorable positioning for the rest of your pieces as you enter the endgame. You’ll both be short your most versatile piece, but you won’t have to worry about tactical prowess any longer. Entering an endgame with superior piece placement can be one of your secret advantages.   Are You Controlling the Center?...

How to Set Garde Digital Chess Clock, 30/90, SD60, D5

Let’s say you want to use the clock for USCF tournament with 1st time control 30 moves in 90 minutes, 2nd time control, Game in 60 minute, all with a 5 second delay. Setting time controls that work for USCF tournaments is a bit tricky on the Garde clock, until you know what you’re looking for. On Page 8 of the manual, there is a Preset 10. This Bronstein method is not the same as delay, but is for the most part equivalent. It adds the delay after your move for the next move. So when you complete your turn, the 5 seconds are added to your displayed time. I realize there is dispute about the practical difference between Delay and Bronstein, but for the most part they accomplish the same thing. This clock is made in Germany, and FIDE time controls are the emphasis. There is also Fischer mode (increment that...

Monk Design: solid hardwood chessboards made in New England

Monk™ chessboards were designed with monastic life in mind. Simple and to the point, these fine quality solid-hardwood chess boards made in America are fabricated of Northern White Ash, omitting the typical heavy inlays of Summerville New England chessboards, and lowering the cost. What results is a premium quarter-sawn American Walnut playing surface, the hallmark of Summerville-New England quality, plus floating surface mounts, a fully splined stage, triangulated support pads for perfect stability, and solid premium oiled and hand-rubbed hardwood throughout. Visit Summerville-New England chessboards at ChessHouse to learn...

Finishing Brooklyn Castle Chess Movie

BROOKLYN CASTLE from Rescued Media on Vimeo. Amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts I.S. 318 in Brooklyn, New York has assembled the best junior high chess team in the nation. Brooklyn Castle follows five chess team members for one year, and documents their challenges and triumphs both on and off the chessboard. See the full write up here ChessHouse and Chess4Life are helping fund the movie due out in...