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Positional Principles That Every Chess Player Should Know

principle – a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.

for the purpose of this list, principles are concepts that guide/help you choose useful moves

study and respect; time-honored principles; It is generally a bad idea to break the principles, unless your calculations prove otherwise, and even then you should think twice!

principles vs objectives vs strategies

pareto principle… focus on the top 80%

At the start of a new game everything is balanced – but you want to create a situation where you can dictate the direction and outcome of the game. In other words, chess is a fight for control. To that end, all positional principles aim at a common goal:

Overpower your opponent by systematically increasing the overall firepower of your team whilst, at the same time, reducing the firepower of their team.

The Principle of Development

One of the best way to improve the overall firepower of your forces is to increase the role of a piece by developing it to a more useful position. A developed piece has more firepower than an undeveloped piece.

The Principle of King Safety

The king is the most vulnerable piece on the chess board. An attack against your king could force you to give up all your plans and allocate all your resources to defend your king. And since an exposed king is a long-term weakness, this situation is not good. That is why you should prioritize the safety of your king.

The Principle of Centre Control

-Before beginning a wing attack, make sure your center is secure; interesting–The king is the “second centre”

often derived from one of the top 3…

The Principle of Coordination

what is good for one piece is not necessarily good for the team as a whole.

The Principle of Maintaining Tension

To take is a mistake; maintain pressure; don’t take first

The Principle of Material Gain

Having extra material is a very concrete advantage and, more often than not, your. If your position becomes too good, your opponent may be forced to give up some material, and you should take it.

“Tactics flow from a superior position” — Bobby Fischer

“Concentrate on material gains. Whatever your opponent gives you take, unless you see a good reason not to.” — Bobby Fischer

The Principle of the Least Active Piece

least active piece

The Principle of Maximum Activity

When developing a piece, choose the most active square for it. maximize their role, not only squares (though often same thing).

however, this must be balanced with the next principle:

The Principle of Stability

Avoid weaknesses in your pawn-structure.. Only move a pawn when moving it helps you to achieve an important objective. Don’t move pieces where they can be easily attacked. Undefended pieces are unstable. A weakness in pawn-structure…

don’t grab what you can’t support

The Principle of Restriction

essentially the principle of maximum activity applied to your opponent. In other words, how can I minimize my opponent’s firepower. domination; how it differs from prophylaxis

The Principle of Prophylaxis

blunting/preventing opponent’s plans is equally important to advancing your own plan.

restriction is to minimize activity, prophylaxis is to take the sting out of your opponent’s plan.

The Principle of … Avoiding Weaknesses

The Principle of Trade

you want to trade your worst (role) pieces for your opponent’s good/better pieces.

Principle of Flexibility

keep options

Principle of Neutralization

neutralize opponent’s most active pieces

The Principle of Two Weaknesses

adding pressure on a weakness can force your opponent to expose a second weakness. This principle is equally useful in middlegame or endgame positions.

The Principle of Attack

Always look to attack something in your opponent’s position IF you have more attackers than they have defenders.

Force your opponent’s pieces into defensive positions; an attacking piece is more flexible than a defensive piece

The initiative is an advantage. Take it whenever you can, and take it back when you don’t have it, if at all possible.

give your opponent problems to solve… is this a principle?

Be relentless when you can; Relentlessly attack pinned pieces, weak pawns, exposed kings, and other immobile targets.

The Principle of Minimum Force

Use pawns, or lower valued piece, or piece with less role, to control important squares… pieces need to do other work. free up other forces.

The Principle of Maximum Force

Planning a local majority of force; Fight to control something; Every move is an opportunity to interfere with your opponent’s plans, or to further your own plans.

The Principle of Over-Protection

protecting an important piece or square more than needed in order to increase your flexibility

The Principle of sustained fighting…

every move fights for something

The Principle of Understanding your opponent can’t improve their position.. Zugzwang

then you improve slowly whilst not giving your opponent anything

The Principle of a Favorable Pawn-Structure

The goal is to outnumber your opponent somewhere–break through

The Principle of Accumulating Small Advantages

The Principle of Simplification

If you have a tangible advantage such as extra material or a protected passed pawn, you can amplify that advantage by trading pieces in order to simplify the position.