Whitcomb Chess Castle

Learn about chess; improve your game.

A game of chess is like a battle . . . sort of. The difference between chess and a military battle, however, is significant. Look at a game of chess in progress and notice that the size of the field and number of playing pieces is limited. Look at the chess position above: the position (after about twelve moves on both sides) early in the game between Jose Capablanca and Vidmar. Notice how cramped the position appears: The white queen and one of the black bishops each have only one possible move available. Once the middle game is well underway, however, some of the pieces will have been captured and their will be more room. Still, the battlefield of a chess board is small and, after a few captures, the pieces even fewer.


For a beginner or intermediate player to improve significantly, the nature of chess battles requires understanding. Itís nothing like moving armies long distances or digging long lines of trenches; chess more resembles a series of precise martial arts skirmishes between two platoons. To win more chess games, learn to better understand the values of pawns, knights, bishops, rooks, and the queen. Most important, understand the supreme value of the king. Learn the unique tactics that make up most of the key decisions of competition-level chess players.

Capablanca vs. Vidmar† New York, 1927