When playing chess there are moves, positions and spaces that any player will need to know. When a player wants to become a better chess player, learning to evaluate chess positions becomes essential. Evaluating chess positions begins with looking at the board and making a plan to move your pieces into an advantageous position.
When chess players have just one advantage the game can continue to go back and forth and could go to either player. When you can effectively evaluate chess positions you can gain more advantages and the more you have the better chance you have of reaching your goals, which ultimately should be to win the game. Evaluating chess positions will involve knowing the value of the pieces on the board, control of key squares and groups of squares, and possible moves by the opponent.
When you first look at the chessboard evaluating the chess positions of the pieces and the squares will necessitate the knowledge of what a chess piece can do and how much the piece is worth. There is a simple scoring system that goes like this. Pawn- 1 point, Bishops and Knights- 3 points, Rook -5 points and Queen- 9 points.
These points can change throughout the game depending on the square the chess pieces are on, but for the most part these are the points that each piece holds. For example a pawn that is in its starting position will have less value than a pawn that has advanced.
When evaluating the chess positions you need to know that you do not want to exchange a 1-point pawn for a 3 point bishop. This means that you do not want to kill a pawn with your bishop and place your bishop in a position to be killed. The type of position that a chess piece holds can change the value also. For example knights usually have higher value in closed positions with many pawns around them. On the other hand bishops are more powerful in open positions.
Knowing the positions of the pawns is also very important when evaluating chess positions. A chess player will not want to have a weakness in the pawn structure. Weaknesses can include isolated pawns, doubled pawns, or backwards pawns. Holes, if created, can also pose a problem and these are usually permanent once created.
Next step in evaluating chess positions is knowing the importance of squares or spaces. Quite basically, if you have control over more space you have the advantage. When you can control more space on the board or have more options for your chess pieces to move you can have a better strategy or tactic to gain a greater advantage over your opponent.
There are times when a chess player will want to lose some space in order to set up for a counter attack in the middle game. The center of the chessboard is where you will want most of your control. This control can be accomplished from the center or from the sides at a distance, depending what your strategy and plan is for the game.
When evaluating chess positions, you will need to be aware of the moves your opponent could make. Whatever your move is your opponent will most likely have a counter move. In the beginning game you will want to get your pieces set up for your particular plan and strategy. In the middle game you will need to carefully evaluate each piece and the possibilities with the different pieces.
The middle game allows you to get control of more space on the board. You can accomplish this by knowing what moves your opponent’s pieces can make after you do this or that move. There are times when you will want to exchange one of your pieces for one of theirs.
Evaluating chess positions can improve your game of chess. You will need to know the value of the chess pieces and the squares they are on. Evaluating will also include knowing what spaces will be most advantageous for your game plan and getting control of more space. Don’t forget to think ahead as to what your opponent can do with his or her pieces when you are evaluating chess positions.