The 3 Golden Rules of chess strategy are:

 

Control the Centre

Develop your Pieces

Keep the King Safe

 

These are strategies that apply throughout the whole game, though they tend to be thought of as opening strategies. There are openings which can make the game more open, or more closed, and by trying these different ideas, we can see if we prefer positions where the centre has no pawns (Open Centre), or is blocked (Closed Centre). Games that start with both sides pushing their pawns into the centre 1. e4 e5 can often lead to fairly open centres, while the French Defence is an opening that can easily block the position up.

 

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The French Opening 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 where white has advanced 3.e5 closing the centre. Do you know what strategy you should be using here? I tell you what, have a practice from this position and I’ll tell you the strategy for closed centres next week.

Last week’s puzzles were quite hard, as both had stalemate ideas which is one of the most difficult tactics to work out. We have to lose our pieces to save the game.

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