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- Chess and Checkers: The Way to Mastership - 6/41 -


A Pawn is said to fork two pieces if he attacks them simultaneously.

Minor Piece

The Bishops and the Knights are called minor Pieces as compared with the Rooks and the Queen.


To sacrifice means to give up a man without obtaining for him a man of the opponent or to give up a man for one of lesser value.

Discovered Check and Double Check

A discovered Check is an attack on the King caused by a man moving out of the line of a piece which he was obstructing. If the man discovering the Check also attacks the King the Check is called a double Check.


In addition to the symbols used for squares and men, as explained on page 5, the following are used to indicate the moves:

-- means "moves to"

X means "captures"

o-o means "Castles King's side"

o-o-o means "Castles Queen's side"

+ means "check"

+/- means "checkmate"

Thus: R-f5 means the Rook moves to square f5. If either Rook could move to f5 then the original square of the Rook to be moved must also be shown.

Kte3xd5 means the Knight standing on e3 captures the man standing on d5.

o-o-o means the player castles Queen's side and in so doing gives check.

[Footnote: In the descriptive notation alluded to on page 5 every square of the board has two different names, each player counting the ranks from his own side. The files are named after the pieces which stand on them at the beginning of the game. Thus, c4 would be QB4 (Queen's Bishop's fourth) or QB5 depending on whether a black or a white move is described. If a square is referred to without relation to a particular move it is necessary to add from which side of the board the square is counted. It is customary to say in cases of this kind "White's Queen's fourth" or "Black's Queen's fourth," etc.

Instead of naming the square on which a capture takes place, the man captured is named, so that an additional description is necessary in case more than one man of the same kind can be captured.

As a matter of comparison the first ten moves of a game are described above in both notations.]

! signifies a good move.

? signifies a bad move.

(1) P-d4 P-d5 (2) P-c4 P-e6 (3) Kt-c3 P-c5 (4) Kt-f3 Kt-c6 (5) Pxd5 Pxd5 (6) B-f4 Kt-f6 (7) P-e3 B-e6 (8) B-d3 B-e7 (9) o-o o-o (10) R-c1 Kt-h5

(1) P-Q4 P-Q4 (2) P-QB4 P-K3 (3) Kt-QB3 P-QB4 (4) Kt-B3 Kt-QB3 (5) PxQP KPxP (6) B-KB4 Kt-B3 (7) P-K3 B-K3 (8) B-Q3 B-K7 (9) Castles Castles (10) R-B Kt-KR4


If a player having the move touches one of his men he is compelled to move him; if he touches a hostile man he must capture him. This law is void, however, if the man so touched cannot be legally moved or captured.

A man may be moved to any square accessible to him as long as the hand of the player has not left him. If an illegal move has been made it must be retracted and if possible another move must be made with the same man. If a player has castled illegally, King and Rook must be moved back and the King must make another move, if there is a legal one.

If a player touches a man with the sole object of adjusting his position, he must indicate his intention by saying "j'adoube" (French for: I adjust) beforehand. In castling, the King must be moved first as otherwise a doubt might arise whether castling or a Rook's move only was intended.

A game is void if a mistake has been made in setting up board or men or if in the course of the game the position or number of men have been altered in a manner not in accordance with the rules of play and the position cannot be reconstructed from the point where the error was made.

If a player resigns his game before he is actually mated he acknowledges that in the end mate is unavoidable, and the game is counted as a loss to him.

If neither player has sufficient material left to enforce a mate (compare following chapter) the game is considered a draw. A draw may also be claimed by either player if the moves are repeated so that the same position occurs three times with the same player on the move, or if fifty moves have been made without the capture of a man or the move of a Pawn.



The beginner who thinks he ought to be able to play a good game of Chess after learning the moves of the men is like the soldier who is confident that he could lead an army after he has learned how to march.

He may have great strategical gifts but he will not be able to use them to any advantage unless he is thoroughly conversant with the tactical possibilities afforded by the cooperation of the different units of which his army is composed and by the topography of the ground on which the battle takes place.

The different conditions of the battle ground in war which make some positions more easily accessible to infantry than to artillery and vice versa have their equivalent on the Chess board in the different ways in which the men move and which make certain squares accessible to some of them which others cannot reach.

The first thing, then, for the beginner to do is to acquaint himself thoroughly with the characteristic features of each man so that he may know exactly how much work to expect from him. The best way to accomplish this is the study of the elementary problems which are in end games, that is, in positions where only a few men are left on each side.


Considering that the object of the game is the capture of the opposing King, it seems most important to find out whether there are positions in which this capture can be accomplished in the face of the best possible defense. Naturally a player must have a certain material superiority to be able to force a mate, and the first question which offers itself is what MINIMUM force is required to compel the surrender of a King whose men have all been captured during the game.

It is clear that in order to checkmate the lone King it is necessary to attack the square on which he stands as well as all adjacent squares to which he could escape. The most unfavorable position for the King is, of course, a corner of the board as there he has only three squares to go to while in the middle of the board eight squares are accessible to him. Consequently, in an ending in which one player has only his King left the other

Chess and Checkers: The Way to Mastership - 6/41

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