While I may be no "Bobby Fischer", years of playing chess has helped me to refine my skills of complex strategy that revolves around such a time-honored game. With each time I played chess, I gained a great appreciation for the degree of skill, dedication, and concentration that was required in order to emerge victorious over my opponent. In order to excel at a game like chess, a player must master the delicate balance between patience, decisiveness, and agressiveness, when necessary.

Like any game, a players evolving into a skilled professional requires nothing short of a tremendous amount of practice and experience couples with a fundamental understanding of the rules, as well as, basic, proven, underlying strategies.

Things You Will Need

2 Chess Players
a Chess Board
Chess Pieces

Step 1

When attempting to learn how to play chess like a professional, it is absolutely imperative that a professional chess playing hopeful understands the fundamentals of how the game is actually played.

With 32 total piece, these pieces are divided in 1/2 and allocated to two opposing armies, that will do battle strategically one army's king succumbs to the other army. In the most common traditional layout of this game, one army is of a completely white color, while the other army is of a black color. Variations of the game may resort to using entirely different colors in order to differentiate the two opposing armies, however this presentation would have absolutely no relation to how the pieces are actually moved and how the game is ultimately played. Upon one player's movement of a piece, the opposing player will move their piece, in an effort to strategically outwit their competitor and ultimately win the game.

Regardless of how a piece is actually moved, it is both player's goal, in medieval-like fashion, to completely trap the opposing player's king. In order to win, the victorious player must be able to trap the opposing player's king to the extent that their king cannot be move to any other square without being directly threatened wherever it may move. This is call a "Check-mate", and is the ultimate goal of both competitors.

As opposed to the "check-mate", placing another player's king in simple "check" would mean that the king, with one move, could move out of position of being threatened or another member of the king's army could move strategically so that the threatened king is no longer in "check". Placing your opponent's king into "check" can be done for strategic purposes, by essentially forcing the king into a position of even greater vulnerability.

Step 2

Along with a player's understanding of the fundamental rules of chess, one also needs to fully understand the specific movements that are attributed to each specific piece on the board. With each opposing army being designated eight pawns, two bishops, two knights, two rooks, a queen, and a king, each piece can have a great value that should never be viewed in isolation. Dependent on the situation, you may find that least likely piece, such as the pawn, could actually be the most valuable at any given time.

While each piece can have this great value, the pieces in this Info Barrel article, are listed in order of escalating general importance, utility, and value. Even though a king would little value in the caturing of opposing players, the king's overall value is reflected in the fact that the game could no longer continue and progress without the king (since the ultimate goal of both opponents is to capture the other side's king).

Step 3

With a small handful of special cases and considerations, chess piece movement is generally simply and straitforward. In this step, of this Info Barrel article, I have listed each piece, and their respective movement, in accordance with how the pieces are displayed in the previous step.
  • Pawns -- For the pawn's initial move, it can move forward either one or two block spaces. This same rule applies to all the pawns, that appear on the board, in both armies. If you initially move one pawn one block, you can only move it oe place for every preceeding move. A pawn can capture any opposing piece, just so long as capture is made one space diagonally, to the left or right, from where the pawn is presently situated.

  • Bishops -- The bishops, of both armies, reside on a white square, and the other resides on a black square. Their movement occurs strictly diagonally, and can be conducted to the rear and to the front, for a total of 4 possible movement ways. Bishop movement can be as deep as from one end of the board to the other, to as shallow as one block movement diagonally any way.

  • Knights -- The knights, unlike the bishops, cannot move diagonally. With perhaps the most unique movement, the knight can move 2 spaces forward, to the rear, or to the left or right. Following this movement, in the same turn, the knight can also move 1 space to the left or right (if it is moved 2 spaces forward or backwards) or 1 space forward or backwards (if it is moved 2 spaces left or right). What ensues, in simple terms, in the knight's movement essentially being conducted in a L-shape from where it resides.
  • Rooks -- Otherwise known as "castles", the rooks, in both opposing armies, are nestled on the furthermost block, from the King, in the back rank directly behind the pawn on the edge of the board. Rooks can be moved similarly to this bishops, except that they, instead, can only move forward, backward, or side-to-side. Like the bishops, the rooks can be moved to the furthest extent of the board in the previous mentioned directions, or as little as only a single space in either direction. They cannot move diagonally.
  • the Queen -- One can view the queen's movements essentially as a combination of the rooks movements and the bishops movements. While the bishops and rooks are both limited to their respective movement directions, as mentioned before, the queen can be moved forward, backwards, or diagonally in any direction. Typically, the queen is treated as the most valuable piece on the board, however, situation dependent, circumstances may dictate that the pawn could actually be more valuable. Like the bishops and rooks, the queen can be moved in any direction, to the furthest extent of the board, or as few as one space in either direction.
  • the King -- While his movements would dictate that he is the least valuable piece on a chess board, the inverse is actually true. The game of chess ultimately comes down to which army is best able to serve and protect their king from the opposing army. Without a king, there is no game, and a new game must begin. The king is really quite limited in his movements, with the allowance of only once space movement to either side. Castling is a special move, in the game of chess, the involves both the rook and the king, and can be done for purely strategic purposes.

One's ability to excel in chess requires nothing less than dedication, hard-work, and passion. As you practice, and play new people, you should hopefully learn what elements of strategy will ultimately favor your winning. If you want to learn to play chess like a professional, you really have to begin by acting like one, and practicing hard to try to emulate them and their successes.

Tips & Warnings

Chess can be a very time-consuming, yet rewarding, game to play. It is important to know this so that you can apply the necessary patience required to think analytically and contemplate future moves strategically.

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