One of the benefits of membership to the Barber Shop Chess League is a monthly newletter..

Six Tips

1. Keep all your pieces safe!

2. Make sure all your pieces are doing something all the time!

3. Pace yourself to use almost all of your time every game.

4. When you see a good move, look for a better one.

5. When considering which move to make, consider first your checks, captures, and threats.

6. Think defense first!!

Controlling the Center of the Board

Why is it that chess grandmasters are able to beat computer opponents again and again? It's probably because they have elevated chess strategy to a more abstract level, which computers can't do. Rather than thinking, "If I move my rook here, then he could either 1) take my queen, or 2) move his pawn here, or 3) etc...", they think "Let me control board center, this will allow me to control more squares, and prevent my opponent's movement." Computers cannot think at that level, and so grandmasters can beat out the computer using the human mind.

Celebrities Play Chess!!!

Many celebrities play and enjoy chess. Some of them were actually very good. Many Nobel Prize winners have played chess. Children also benefit from playing chess improving decision making, creativity logical and abstract thinking. Celebrities that play chess include Will Smith, the RZA, Bill Gates, Al Gore, Ray Charles, Martin Lawrence, Albert Einstein, Larry Bird, Lennox Lewis, and many more.

Learning About Tactics

The way to keep your pieces safe and to win your opponent’s pieces is through tactics-

Pins – this is when you freeze a piece in time

Forks – this is when a piece threatens multiple pieces at the same time

Checkmates – Game over you trapped the King.

Skewers – is an attack upon two pieces in a line and is similar to a pin. In fact, a skewer is sometimes described as a "reverse pin"; the difference is that in a skewer, the more valuable piece is in front of the piece of lesser or equal value. The opponent is compelled to move the more valuable piece to avoid its capture, thereby exposing the less valuable piece which can then be captured.

This newsletter includes a wide range of tips on Chess.


The Ruy Lopez

The Ruy Lopez (also known as the Spanish Game) is named after the Spanish priest who analyzed this opening in 1561. Nearly half a millennium later, the Ruy is now one of the most popular chess openings at all levels. Numerous variations have been deeply studied, and a wide variety of strategic plans are available to both White and Black. Review as shown below:

The King's Gambit

The King's Gambit is a chess opening characterized by very lively and aggressive play which is the case for most gambits. It was very popular in the 19th century, the era of romantic chess, where playing chess from the attack versus the defensive position was at its peak. Now a days it is rarely seen in top level chess tournaments because due to theory advancements it now offers little more than a sharp starting position for the middle game. White's purpose of sacrificing his f pawn is to open lines for his pieces and weaken black's center, thus creating ideal circumstances for an attack. Indeed, in this opening white attacks very early in the game, unlike most other chess openings. If black does not take the pawn, white will still have some open lines but play will be calmer. Another important point to note about the King's Gambit is that white, by moving his f pawn, weakens his king's defense severely and this more or less forces him to start an attack. Passivity will quickly result into a losing position.


The History of Chess

The history of chess spans some 1500 years. The earliest predecessors of the game originated in India, before the 6th century AD. From India, the game spread to Persia.. When the Arabs conquered Persia, chess was taken up by the Muslim world and subsequently spread to Southern Europe. In Europe, chess evolved into roughly its current form in the 15th century. In the second half of the 19th century, modern chess tournament play began, and the first world chess championship was held in 1886. The 20th century saw great leaps forward in chess theoryand the establishment of the World Chess Federation (FIDE).