The chess principles serve as a guide to help you find good moves. In the video below I give you an overview of the 3 most important chess principles.
Below is a text/image version of the video on the 3 most important chess principles:
The 3 Chess Principles
If you want to become a strong chess-player, it is important that you know the 3 main chess principles. A good understanding of the chess principles will help you to find good moves and good ideas.
I’m sure you know the feeling you get when you reach a certain position and you just don’t know what to do next. In such case it can be helpful to think about the principles.
Chess tip: Let the principles guide your thinking process when you’re not sure what to do next.
A Summary of the 3 Chess Principles
The 3 chess principles are:
- Principle of Development
- Principle of Centre-control
- Principle of King-safety
Principle of Development
The first chess principle we look at is the principle of piece-development. At the start of a new game your pieces don’t do much. You need to increase their firepower. You do that by moving your pieces to better squares.
Development is about finding the best squares for your pieces. Of course the best square for your piece will depend on the specific situation on the board. In other words, you will try to find the square for a piece where it’s firepower can be maximized in the current situation on the board.
You want to find the best squares for as many as possible of you pieces. Consider your pieces one by one and determine the best way to get them all to squares where you can maximize their firepower.
Principle of Centre-control
The second chess principle we look at is the principle of centre-control.
Most of the action on the chessboard takes places either in the centre, or through the centre. If any of your pieces want to attack your opponent’s territory, he will in most cases need to follow a path that leads through (or near) the centre.
Similarly, if your opponent wants to attack you, he will in most cases need to follow a road that pass through or near the centre.
I hope you can see why it is so important to control the central squares. If you control the centre, you will also control most of the action.
Principle of King-safety
The 3rd principle we look at is the principle of King-safety.
The king is the most vulnerable piece on the board and that is why it’s important to keep him safe.
In future lessons I will also discuss more details as to why it is so important to keep your king safe.
The purpose of the 3 chess principles is to guide your thinking. They can help you find good ideas in positions where you aren’t sure what to do next.
It’s quite common that players know about the principles but they don’t apply them. It’s not much use if you know the principles but you don’t make the effort to apply them. They are there to help you find good moves – use the chess principles to your advantage.