Sidebilder
PDF

of more use than when obstructed by Pawns, which cannot be got out of the way.

THE BISHOP, The Bishop is very useful in supporting the attacks of other pieces. Travelling only on squares of one colour, the attack of a Bishop can be avoided by playing the threatened piece to a square of the other colour. The Bishop and the Knight are considered to be about equal in value; but one Knight is generally of more use than one Bishop, as the Knight is not limited to squares of one colour. Two Bishops, however, as they have between them command of the whole board, and have a greater range, are generally more useful than two Knights.

THE KNIGHT. The peculiar move of the Knight gives it an advantage not possessed by any other piece, as it can attack another man without putting itself en prise. It is, therefore, very useful against the opposing Queen, which, if attacked by an adverse Knight, cannot, of course, take him, as she could any other piece, but is compelled to remove to another square. Care must be taken not to venture a Knight too far into the opponent's game, as it is often very difficult to get him back again when he is surrounded by opposing pieces and Pawns. It will be useful to remember that when a King and an opposing Knight are on the same diagonal, with one intervening square (White King on his Bishop's 2nd, and Black Knight on his Queen's 5th, for example), the Knight cannot check in less than three moves ; and that, in any position, when the King and opposite Knight are on different coloured squares, the Knight cannot check in less than two moves.

THE PAWNS. Young players are very apt to undervalue the Pawns, and to take in consequence but little care about their preservation. This is a great mistake, because, in a well-fought game, as much depends upon their being properly played as upon the movements of any of the pieces.

The Pawns are of most value when united-i. e., on adjoining files; they are then able to protect each other: whilst two Pawns—the one say on KR 3rd, and the other on K B 3rdcannot be of any service to each other. On the other hand, four Pawns, placed respectively on K 5th, Q 4th, Q B 3rd, and Q Kt 2nd, are very strongly posted, as the first is protected by the second, the second by the third, and the third by the fourth,

A doubled Pawn-viz., a Pawn accompanied by another on the same file-is generally a disadvantage, for the same reasons.

It is generally better to protect pieces with Pawns, rather than with other pieces. Always defend with the least valuable piece available.

Be cautious in advancing your Pawns. It must be remembered that an unsupported Pawn, advanced too far into the adversary's game, cannot retreat like a piece.

If you are left towards the end of the game with a Pawn against a Knight or Bishop, you may win, whilst your adversary with his minor piece cannot, except in rare instances. A Pawn, therefore, becomes, at this stage of the game, of more yalue than a minor piece.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. Take care to have no preference for either white or black men.

Always play according to the rules. If you recall a move, and afterwards win the game, your adversary naturally considers it might have been otherwise if the rules had been adhered to. If you make an egregious blunder, it is best to resign, and begin another game.

Never let your hand approach the board until you have determined your move. Many players allow their hands to hover over the men some time before making the move, which not only obstructs the sight of the game, but induces a habit of indecision in their style of play.

Always accept odds from a superior player-nothing will more improve your play: whereas, if you play even with a much stronger player, you can only expect to get a game through his carelessness; and if he plays properly, you can but act throughout on the defensive. In playing much with an adversary who can give you the Rook, you may soon expect to beat him at those odds. You may then accept a Bishop or Knight, until you have won a few games with that advantage, when you may either venture on a game even, or at the odds of Pawn and move.* In taking odds, you should endeavour to exchange pieces, where it is safe to do so. On your attacking his pieces, as he cannot afford to exchange, he is often compelled to retreat. This line of play will help to initiate you into the mysteries of attack and defence.

On commencing the game, the primary object should be to

* The odds of Pawn and move consist of King's Bishop's Pawn and first move; the law being that the player giving the odds has the first move, unless ir is otherwise expressed in the terms.

bring all the men into play as early as possible. With this view, care should be taken, in advancing the Pawns, not to move them to squares where they impede the march of the pieces. In bringing the men into action, the power of each should be brought to bear-either on the weakest point of the adversary's position, where you may gain some manifest advantage-or upon the stronghold of his King. Recollect that the ultimate object must be to checkmate; and that, though winning your adversary's pieces may, by increasing your relative force, enable you to do so, a plan of operations may frequently be organised and carried out resulting in checkmate, not only without winning your adversary's men, but even by sacrificing your own. In making your attack, however, you must not forget your own defence. We have often won by playing simply a strong defensive game, and waiting until the adversary laid himself clearly open to attack. After each move of your adversary, examine well its effect, and see whether there is any fresh danger to be guarded against before proceeding with your attack. The simple advance of a Pawn may expose you to a formidable attack from a piece, in a manner which may easily cause you to overlook the danger. It often occurs that a player, who fancies himself within a move of checkmating his adversary, neglects in his eagerness his own defence, and suddenly finds that he himself is the checkmated party.

When compelled to act on the defensive, it is good play to make a move, if possible, which parries your adversary's attack and attacks his position at the same time. You may often move a threatened piece, for example, to a square where it makes a formidable attack on your adversary.

In playing over games and openings from book, it is advisable to adopt some method of distinguishing the King's Rook, Bishop, and Knight from the corresponding pieces on the Queen's side, otherwise mistakes are liable to occur as the game advances. A slight dot in ink is sufficient. The “Staunton Chessmen” have the King's pieces distinguished by a small crown,

THE RELATIVE VALUE OF THE MEN. The following estimate may be taken as nearly correct, subject, of course, to modification by peculiarities of position, &c.:

The Bishops and Knights are considered to be of equal

value, and are worth each about three Pawns. The Rook is equal to a minor piece and two Pawns. The Queen is equal to two Rooks, or three minor pieces.

CHAPTER VIII.

TIIE OPENINGS.

W e will now proceed to describe the recognised and established methods of commencing the game, which are divided, for the sake of convenience, into the following classes :

THE KING'S KNIGHT'S OPENING;
2. THE KING's BISHOP'S OPENING;
3. THE KING'S GAMBIT;
4. THE CLOSE, OR IRREGULAR GAME; comprising-

The Queen's Gambit;
The French Game;
The Sicilian Game;
The Centre Counter Gambit;
The Fianchetto;

&c. &c. &c. In a book of this elementary character, we should only perplex the learner were we to attempt to exhibit the almost endless variations of the different Openings. We shall, therefore, content ourselves with a general description of each Opening, giving the most usual moves in each case up to the point where the greatest number of variations commences,

The following is a Synopsis of the Openings described in the succeeding pages. The moves here given are those which are peculiar to the Opening in each case.- In the pages which follow, we have endeavoured to indicate the best mode of continuing the game up to a certain point. We would wish, however, to impress upon the beginner that, in most cases, there are other moves equally good, and that we would by no means recommend him to adhere always to the line of play marked out. Indeed, we would advise the learner occasionally to disregard the recognised débuts altogether, and to begin the game in any manner that occurs to himself. He will find that this will assist in giving him a knowledge of “the why and the wherefore” of the established Openings. In short, though a given move may be the best and the only safe one in certain cases, between first-rate players, it does not follow that the same move is the best that can be recommended to the tyro.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »