Chess Introduction to Chess How to Play Chess


Chess Moves

Opening Moves

Opening Moves Part 2

Middlegame Moves

Middlegame Moves Part 2


Endgame Part 2

Endgame Part 3

Chess Tactics

Special Chess Moves

Chess Terms

Chess Sets

Chess Clocks

Chess Tables

Chess Computer



Chess Terms


Below is a list containing several chess-related terms.

Analysis: A complete examination of tactical and positional possibilities, usually containing explanatory comments.

Backward pawn: A pawn that is weakened, because it has not advanced as much as the pawns on the close files.

Blocked pawn: A pawn that can not advance because an enemy pawn blocks its way.

Blunder: To totally miss something which is obvious, so that the opponent will now benefit.

Center pawns: The pawns d2,e2 and d7,e7 in the initial position.

Check: To threat the opponent's king.

Checkmate, Mate: To threat the opponent's king, so that it he has no escape.

Combination: A sequence of moves that results in an advantage, either material or positional.

Compensation: A positional returning to compensate for the material loss.

Dark-squared bishop: A bishop, either white or black, that moves on the black squares.

Development: The procedure of moving the pieces from their initial positions into more active squares. It is very important to develop one's pieces in the opening.

Doubled pawns: Two or more pawns of the same color residing on the same file.

Endgame, Ending: The last of the three phases of the game, when only a few pieces are left on the board.

Exchange: To capture an enemy piece and let the opponent capture a piece of the same value.

File: a column in the chessboard.

Forced move: A move that one is obliged to make, because it is the only valid move in the position. Sometimes used to describe a move that if one does not make he will lose for sure.

Free pawn: A pawn that may advance easily, for there are no enemy pawns in front of it on its own file or on the close files.

Gambit: A pawn sacrifice in order to achieve something, usually a valuable tempo or the opening of files, diagonals etc.

Heavy piece: A queen or a rook.

Initiative: The privilege to be a little more active than the opponent. It is considered to be a slight advantage, but if not exploited it may vanish.

Isolated pawn: A pawn is isolated, when no pawns of the same color exist in the close files.

Light piece: A bishop or a knight.

Light-squared bishop: A bishop, either white or black, that moves on the white squares.

Manoeuvre: A sequence of moves that places a piece on a target square.

Material: One or more pieces, not including the king.

Middlegame: The second phase of the game. Most of the action takes place in the middlegame.

Opening: the first 10-15 moves of the game. It is the first phase of the game.

Opposition: In an endgame a player has the opposition if his King is placed opposite to the enemy King in the same file, rank (or diagonal, in the case of the diagonal opposition) with 1, 3 or 5 squares in-between. The opposition is of significance importance is certain endings.

Pawn majority: To have more pawns than the opponent has in a wing.

Patzer: A player who can not improve his play, though he is playing for years. A patzer is blundering all the time.

Pin: to make a move that prevents an enemy piece from moving, or if it does, another enemy piece behind it (lying in the same rank, file or diagonal) can be captured. The pin is an "absolute pin" if the second piece is the King; in this case the pinned piece can not move at all.

Plan: The result of a mental process concerning how one should proceed in a position. It consists of moves sequences, intended piece locations and other observations. A plan often uses general concepts.

Positional: Anything relevant to the pieces positioning and to how it affects the evaluation of a certain position.

Practical chess: Chess played at tournaments mainly. In practical chess a player needs not only care about the best move he can find, but also about time issues, psychology etc.

Rank: a row in the chessboard.

Sacrifice: A purposed loss of material in order to bring in (usually after a combination) a bigger advantage.

Simplification: One or more exchanges lead to simplification of the position.

Stalemate: A player is stalemated if he has no valid moves at his disposal, but he also is not in check. The game is drawn in this case.

Staunton: Past World Class player. A particular set of pieces is named after him.

Strategy: The methods one player is using in order to accomplish a plan. Must be based on the strategic factors that are present.

Tactics: When several captures, threats, pawn thrusts etc. may take place, a position is said to have tactical possibilities. To play correctly, the players need to examine the tactics (calculate or "count" the variations).

Tempo: The time to play a move. To "win a tempo" means to proceed in such a way, that it is as if one was making two moves instead of one. This may happen, for example, when threatening the enemy Queen, whilst proceeding in development; the opponent will have to move the Queen and delay his own development by one tempo.

Threat: A move that practically forces the opponent to defend against, or he will lose something.

Time-trouble: The situation where a player must make a number of moves in a short time.

Trap: A move that is trying to induce a mistake.

Variation: A possible sequence of moves that arises from a position.

Waiting move: A move that leads to zugzwang.

Wing, Side: The board can be divided into two halves : the queen's wing or queenside (including files a-d) and the king's wing or kingside (including files e-h).

Zugzwang: A move that leads to defeat and is such that, if one could avoid making (say if he could "pass"), he would not lose.



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