Increase chess ratings

How to increase your chess rating?

How a should a chess player think?


We have always heard from experts that after every move we should check for all checks, threats and capture

 What are your opponent’s threats?

 Threats can be:

  1. KING safety: a mate attack or other threats against the king.
  2. Material safety: is a piece is being threatened with capture.
  3. Positional safety: Is the opponent threatening to occupy an important square for an important piece.
  4. Control Safety: Control of central squares, file, or diagonal.
  5. Tactical Safety: any tactical shot for our opponent that will give him winning chances.


Not all threats are real. You can be looking at a threat that may be complete waste of time because that may not be enough for your opponent to win it. So careful analysis of the position and the scope of the threats will establish a clear line of thinking. I call them real threats vs fake threats. Giving a check or if your opponent can give a check may not be a threat because the lines leading after a check may not be forcing enough or may not give enough advantage to win.


Changing Board Geometry:

Moving pieces create changes in the board geometry. What is threatened or protected before is not threatened or protected now? That comes with every move, so think about the changes that created threats and opportunities. Below diagram shows that Whites previous move Bg5 created a weakness on b2 as well as black threatens to capture white’s knight on d4. If white knows what he is doing, he can retreat the knight Nd4-b3



When the board geometry changes, a chess player must evaluate all chess pieces on the board. Initially this may take some practice but then you will learn to recognize the patterns and those will become second nature.


One must look for:

  1. Opportunities for opening a file or diagonal for you and your opponent.
  2. Weakening squares or pawn structures
  3. Are you blocking your pieces? Or is your opponent threatening to block your pieces?
  4. Unprotected pieces
  5. Checks that may lead to forcing moves (this should be for every move)


Let us apply these principles by looking at a Sicilian opening:


  1. e4 c5

Geometry Analysis: …..e4 controls d5, f5 squares for white so black plays sicilian with c5 controlling the d4 square threatening to capture whites d4 pawn with its c pawn that is not a central pawn thereby creating a center control from the flank.

Sicilian Chess Opening

  1. Nf3

Geometry Analysis: White decides to control d4 using his knight

 Chess opening




2…d6 3.  d4 cxd4  4.  Nxd4

 Geometry Analysis: Though white lost control of e5 and c5 due to the d4 pawn exchanged for blacks c pawn nevertheless he controls the center with his knight with far larger reach.

 Chess Opening - Sicilian Chess Opening

  1. …Nf6  5. Nc3

 Geometry Analysis: Nc3 fights to control the e4 square and Nf6 attacks the e4 pawn. Number of attackers are the same as defenders. NOTE: You must always calculate how many attackers are there vs how many that defend it. You can only capture if you have outnumbered the defenders.



 Geometry Analysis: a6 is a classical response in Sicilian but it defends b5 square where the white knights can jump in future to attack.

 Chess Opening for beginners


  1. h3

 Geometry Analysis: Please analyze this move yourself. How does this move change the square it defends now as opposed to its previously protected square?

 Chess Opening for patzers


 Geometry Analysis: Please analyze this move yourself. How does this move change the square it defends now as opposed to its previously protected square?

 Chess Pieces



Please pick up latest game of a grandmaster and start analyzing the game identifying all the attacking squares on each move and all defended square. It is best done for all the opening moves of any game. This will give you great practice in thinking like a strong player..


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