"Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece." -Ralph Charell

While it is true that to become a good chess player, learners must hone their technique and study critical game skills. However, little do many people recognise that there is something equally important to becoming an expert chess player. What's that? Chess players need to pay attention to their opponents. In what ways?

Fantastic chess learners recognise that to win a lot of games; they need to read their opponents like a book by anticipate their future moves and concentrating on their playing style. In all honesty, it may be much more challenging to study competitors than review significant moves and playing techniques, especially when playing against an opponent for the first time.

Who knew that being good at chess meant studying human behaviour!

Also, it is essential to state that humans are unpredictable, and your opponent knows that you are trying to study his playing style, so they will most likely do all they can to throw you off. However, does that mean it's impossible to capture pieces or ever reach a checkmate and win? Not!

There are special chess moves and techniques that prove to be even more beneficial than effectively studying your opponent's behaviour, and we shall consider them in today's article.

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The Origins of Chess

chess is old
Not only is chess one of the world's favourite games, but it is also one of the oldest datings back many centuries (Source: Unsplash)

Before getting to the "meat" of our discussion, it's worth mentioning that to appreciate a game or anything important for that matter entirely; it is wise to consider its history and origins. Not only is a general appreciation garnered but also a sincere curiosity to learn more about the best techniques, most acclaimed players, and up to date information.

So, what are the origins of chess? Like most games, languages, and other aspects, it is sometimes quite challenging to trace back the exact roots of chess. Nonetheless, historians have done a fantastic job tracking down the history of chess, and its origins can be detected more than 1500 years ago.

It is essential to state that early forms of chess date back to the 6th century AD in India. Although the earliest origins, once again, are not 100% certain, there is a lot of evidence pointing to the creation of the game of chess in India. After a few years, chess spread to other parts of the world, such as Persia.

The earliest form of chess developed in India was known as chaturanga, a popular four-player war game that prefigured several critical aspects of chess. 

The game of chess that we widely recognise today took shape in Persia. How's that? For example, a type of chaturanga that started in India travelled to Persia, where the piece of the game known as the "king" changed from the Sanskrit word rajah to the Persian word shah. Why is that significant? Well, the English word "chess" or "check" derives from the Persian term "shah."

All tongues have translated the game of "chess" from the word shah in their respective languages. 

But what about modern-day chess? When did it effectively become what it is today? According to research, the chessboard, pieces, and rules became what they were in the middle of the 15th century in Europe to the 1880s. You could say that it took nearly three centuries for chess to progress and prosper to become the way it is now; there's not a lot of games like that!

However, before concluding this section, it's worth mentioning that although most historians claim that chess originated from India, some contest this fact and believe it started much earlier and in China. What can we think? Well, you can do your research and determine which points are most credible to you, but we have the game of chess, and that's the critical part.

Now let's learn a little bit more about capturing the opponent's chess pieces and how to win with a checkmate!

How to Capture Pieces in Chess

knocking down an opponent
Knowing the strategies to capture your opponent's pieces makes a beginner chess player ready for greatness. (Source: Unsplash)

Although it might be clear for those who have played chess beforehand, for complete beginners the term, "capturing an opponent's piece" might not be reasonably understood. What does it mean to capture? 

According to many reputable resources, the definition of capturing is identified as a move by any piece that removes from the board the opponent's pawn piece. It is essential to mention that capturing the piece of your competitor occurs when you occupy the square of the captured piece. The competitor then has to take his/her piece off the chessboard.

Also, it's worth stating that when a piece is captured en passant, French for "in passing", the chess piece of your opponent is taken off the board, yet your piece might move forward a square or two depending on the function of the piece you are using.

But how does one effectively capture piece after piece and win the game of chess against their opponent? The following are a few things to keep in mind on how to capture chess pieces like a pro:

  • Know the Rules: if you want to get better at playing chess, you will need to regularly examine the rules and dedicate time to learning them to the best of your ability. Reading through some blog posts, books on chess-playing, watching YouTube videos, and receiving tips and tricks from the experts helps a novice chess player become familiar with tactical ideas and the rules of play. It is important to remember that one of the most significant rules is avoiding bad trades at all costs.
  • You Can't Capture Without Practice: learning how to capture your opponent's chess pieces has a lot to do with practising techniques either by yourself, with a computer, or with a trusted playing partner. Through regular practice, you will be readily able to utilise the new rules of capturing that you've learnt. Also, through playing chess with an opponent, you will become accustomed to when and how others capture.
  • Know Your Pieces: a primary key to success when playing chess and capturing your opponent's pieces has to do with knowing the pieces on the board and their value. Knowing the numerical value lets, you know that trading a knight for a bishop is alright and that you want to keep your queen safe by all means. You always want to capture as much or more value as your competitor.
  • Familiar with the Special Moves: the best chess players are familiar with special moves and use them as tricks up their sleeves. Special moves and techniques such as en passant, castling, forks, pins, piling up, skewers, and hanging pieces are the tools needed that make a good player great.

And while it is essential to know all the rules and techniques behind capturing pieces in chess, it is necessary to state that everything leads to the final moments of the game and a little thing known as checkmate. Keep on reading to find out how to get checkmate in chess!

Cornering the Opponent's King to Get a Checkmate

winning at games
Working towards a checkmate is the primary purpose of the game of chess. (Source: Unsplash)

Before highlighting all of the possible ways a chess player can finish the game and get a checkmate, it is vital to state the definition of a checkmate. How can it be defined? For instance, when the king is attacked on a chessboard, it is called a check. A checkmate, also known by many in the chess community as "mate", is when the king has been placed in check by the opponent, and there is no way that it can move.

What happens next? When a checkmate has been called, the game is automatically over and the player who successfully introduced the checkmate wins. No matter how poorly you do throughout the entire game, getting a checkmate should be your primary objective since that's the only way you can win at chess.

Also, it is essential to state that the only way to attack, check, and triumphantly deliver a checkmate is by trapping the king. 

Many strategies, tips, tricks, and advice on getting a checkmate can be found using various chess resources. Such as? First and foremost, taking the time to read chess blogs and watch Youtube videos highlighting certain aspects of playing chess are highly recommended. We powerfully suggest searching for checkmate patterns that can effectively trap the king and win the game.

Chess.com emphasises the multiple checkmate patterns used along with short videos and photos that feature necessary details. The following are a few checkmate patterns that are worth learning or even memorising:

  • Checkmate With Two-Rooks,
  • Checkmate With King And Queen,
  • Checkmate With King And One Rook,
  • Checkmate With King And Two Bishops,
  • Checkmate With King, Bishop, And Knight,
  • Arabian Mate,
  • Fool's Mate,
  • Scholar's Mate,
  • Legal's Mate,
  • Back Rank Mate,
  • Smothered Mate,
  • Anastasia's Mate,
  • Epaulet Mate,
  • Boden's Mate,
  • Dovetail Mate,
  • Swallow's Tail Mate,
  • Opera Mate,
  • Blackburne's Mate,
  • Damiano's Mate,
  • Morphy's Mate.

All of the previously mentioned checkmate patterns are used in specific circumstances that greatly depend on where the pieces are on the board. Chess is a game of infinite possibilities, but by having a few patterns recorded into your memory, you'll be better prepared to win as many chess games as you can!

In conclusion, we are confident that the information provided in today's article is enough to prepare you for capturing pieces and getting a checkmate in chess. We suggest taking the time to test your skills through regular practice. Happy chess playing!

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Shana

A South African in France who loves to travel and discover new cultures, is passionate about photography, and who is happiest near the ocean.