Walking into my first chess tournament I notice people wandering around and talking before the games. I wondered what all the commotion was about. Finding a chair to sit in and taking in all that was going on around me. I realize that the pairing for the games was posted on the wall right behind a table with computers. Joe was sitting behind the desk sipping on some coffee when he looked up and greeted me with a smile.
Looking at the pairings I found who I would be playing against and took my seat. To tell you the truth I didn’t know the first thing about playing in a tournament. I had to learn as I went. I highly recommend you join a chess club and practice tournament style games before playing in your first tourney. For your sake and the sanity of everyone playing know the rules. I repeat know the rules and how to keep track of the game by writing your moves and your opponents down.
I was able to wing it as I will call it through my first tourney. Most of the folk playing was new comers themselves. Not at playing chess but playing competitor chess. I remember I lost every game in my first tournament and came in dead last. I was not mad but pondered how I lost so severely. I took to heart what I was told by my Grandfather through my childhood. Learn from your mistakes and don’t you ever stop trying. For if you fail and you try you are not a cowered if you don’t try you will never succeed in anything in your life.
Having congratulated the winners and my opponents I drove home. In the car I started to think about how to improve my game. I looked at the value of each piece the opening to the endgame. The values of each piece are.
In the Middle game the Pawns are worth 1 point each. The Bishop is better than three Pawns in most cases. However I love to use Pawns as a decoy or to obstruct the flow of the game. Many people say that a Knight is equal to 3 Pawns. Yes in material value a Knight does equal 3 Pawn but it is how you use a Knight or Pawn that really matters. We will look at what I mean a little later on.
A Rook is worth more than 5 Pawn material speaking, equal to a Bishop+2Pawns and equal to a Knight+2Pawns. A Queen is the most powerful piece on the board in regards to firepower. The Queen is worth one Rook, Bishop and a Pawn. But if you trap a Rook it becomes worthless to your opponent. If the King is Checkmated you lose.
Last but now least the Endgame. I personally love the Endgame. All the chess piece have the same value as they did in the Middle game in regards to material value. You need to keep in mind that even one Pawn can make a difference in a win or a loss in the game of chess. A Pawn can be promoted to any piece but the King when the Pawn reaches your opponents end of the board. Imagine the reaction that your opponent shows when you checkmate him by promoting your Pawn to a Queen and they didn’t even see it coming. Remember if the King is checkmated you lose.