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I guess reading notation will be one of the things I explain. :lol:

After looking at it, most of my suggestions look like they'll be encompassed in the larger concepts I planned on explaining.
 

Harkon Haakonson

I am woman, hear me roar!
Marquis
M&BWB
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The basic and advanced tutorials would be amazing Mag. Sounds exciting to finally learn actual strategies for chess. Then we noobies could play among ourselves to practice with those and eventually give YOU a fun time facing us. Everybody profits!
 

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Mage246 said:
I don't think I've encountered a chess simulator that DIDN'T let you castle. You may simple have breached the conditions that allow it: there must be only empty spaces between your king and rook, and you must not have moved either previously. Additionally castling works slightly differently based on whether you are doing it on the king's side of the board or the queen's.
If I'm not mistaken it's also impossible to castle if you're checked.

/nitpicking
 

Rujasu

Archduke
M&BWBWF&S
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Is that so? I know it's not possible if the king would have to move through a square that would put it in check, but no idea if already being in check prevents it.
 

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That's what I was told when trying to castle in the school tournament. They might have screwed me over though, the bastards. :lol:
 

Vermillion_Hawk

Butthurt Bushmaster
Grandmaster Knight
WF&SWBVC
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I just had a decent game against the level 5 bot on Chess Titans. Ended up using an advancing screen of pawns to trap the Queen and systematically kill a few major pieces, as well as a final kamikaze rush with my Queen resulting in the death of the enemy Queen and paving the way for one of my pawns to make it to the final row, at which point it was not long until checkmate.

Anyone know if Chess Titans saves your turn order anywhere?
 

Ronan

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&BWB
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Started playing chess after reading this article. I've been meaning to learn the game for a long time, but since I know nobody who play it I had forgotten about it. I've been playing Chess Titans on level 5 now.

By far the hardest part is the opening since I don't really know what I should do there. I've read a little about controlling the centre, but it's still hazy. The other hard part is not getting draws in the end game.
 

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Not getting draws in the end just requires a bit of thinking. If you're blitzing it's quite understandable that those things happen, as you might be running out of time and simply move a piece to a promising-looking location without a thought. Otherwise it's just about driving the king into a corner.
 
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Alrighty, here's the first tutorial. I'll post each one twice, both in the first post so it'll be accessible to any newcomers to the thread and for easy review should this go on a while, and as normal in the thread for everyone currently following along. I'm going to assume that everyone reading at least knows how the pieces move, and skip that part. If you don't, it's easy to google.



Algebraic notation.

In order to understand the tutorials that follow, you will need to be able to read the kind of notation that I'll be using. Algebraic notation has become the standard, and is used worldwide. It's very simple. First, we name the squares.


The image above outlines the coordinate system used. The square in the bottom left corner would be called "a1". Black's King sits on e8, and so on. This makes it simple to name and locate any specific square on the board.

The system also includes some other basic terminology to describe the board. The horizontal rows dictated by the numbers are called ranks, while the vertical rows named with letters are called files. So the Queens are aligned on the d file, and White's pawns all reside on the second rank. Finally, the left half and right half of the board are name the Queenside and Kingside respectively, named after the sides the kings and queens reside on in the opening set up. So if I were to say that, "White has good Kingside pressure" I would be referring to the activity of White's pieces on the right hand side of the board. (This is, of course, with the white pieces on the bottom of the board. From Black's perspective the Kingside is on the left.)

Simple enough? Good. Next we name the pieces.

K = King
Q = Queen
R = Rook
B= Bishop
N = Knight (not K again, or we'd be confused!)
And Pawns remain unnamed.

These letters, of course, correspond to the English names for the pieces, and I'll be using them exclusively. Algebraic notation in other languages may use different letters, but it is simple to discern what they mean. For an example of algebraic notation in Dutch, refer to the game Frisian posted earlier.

Using algebraic notation.

All that we need to do to describe the movement of a piece is combine the letter that names the piece with the coordinate of the square it moved to. So Nf3 means that a knight moved to f3. The move list from a game, including numbers for moves, would look like the following:

1. Nf3 d5
2. g3 Bd7

In other words, White began by moving his knight to f3 and Black responded by pushing his d pawn to d5. Then on the second turn White pushed his g pawn forward one square, and Black moved his Bishop in front of his Queen. If I wanted to describe only White's first move I would write 1. Nf3. If I wanted to describe only Black's second move I would write 2. ... Bd7. The ellipse indicates that White will have moved, and I'm describing a move by Black.

The last things to know about algebraic notation is how to notate capturing, castling, promoting, check, and how to explain which piece moved to a square when several can.

Capturing: Simply place an "x" between the name of the piece being moved and the square it moves to. Nxd5 means that a knight took a piece on d5.

Castling: 0-0 is used for castling on the kingside. 0-0-0 is used for castling on the queenside.

Promoting: e8=Q means that the pawn moved to e8 and turned into a Queen. Remember, you can promote to any piece except a pawn, and a Queen is not always preferable.

Check: Check is denoted by a +. So Bb5+ means that a Bishop moved to b5 and placed the opposing King in check. Checkmate is shown with a #. So Bb5# means a Bishop moved to b5 and the move resulted in checkmate, ending the game.

Finally, it is possible to have your Rooks or Knights positioned so that either can move to the same square. If both your rooks are on the first rank in either corner and there are no pieces in between they can both move to e1, for example. So to say that the Rook on a moved to e1, rather than the Rook on h, it would be notated as Rae1 (Rook on a to e1).



Basic movement.

I'm assuming that we all know how the pieces move, but there are a few moves that always cause confusion. I'll explain them here.

Castling.

There are two ways to castle, either on the kingside or on the queenside.


In order to castle, the King must not have moved yet, the Rook that you're castling with must not have moved yet, the King may not be in check, and the King may not move through or into check. So if I have moved my kingside Rook I cannot castle kingside, but I may still castle queenside. Further, the Rook may be under attack or move through a square under attack. Only the King must worry about coming under fire.

En passant

Many beginners have never seen an en passant move, and many more don't understand it quite right. En passant is a special way in which a pawn may capture another pawn, and certain unique conditions must be met for this move to be possible.

Pawns capture diagonally, and this capture is no different in that regard. But that is the only similarity. This is the only capture in chess in which a piece does not have to move into the square occupied by the piece it is taking, and it is the only capture that is only legal on a specific move. Let's take a look with visual aids.


So we have an unmoved White pawn on c2, and a Black pawn one file over on d4. Let's say that White plays c4 creating the following position.


Now, on this next move and only this next move, Black would be allowed to capture White's c pawn en passant and their pawn would move to c3.


If Black does not capture in this manner this turn, they will be unable to on future turns. En passant is only possible when a pawn moves forward two squares (only possible on its first move), when the capturing pawn is on a neighboring file, and can only occur the turn the first pawn moves.



That'll be it for this first one. Nothing terribly instructive here, but it'll lay the groundwork for all future tutorials. Next I think I'll cover basic opening principles and checkmates.
 

Vieira151

Duke
M&BWB
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Magorian Aximand said:

1. Nf3 d5
2. g6 Bd7

In other words, White began by moving his knight to f3 and Black responded by pushing his d pawn to d5. Then on the second turn White pushed his g pawn forward one square, and Black moved his Bishop in front of his Queen. If I wanted to describe only White's first move I would write 1. Nf3. If I wanted to describe only Black's second move I would write 2. ... Bd7. The ellipse indicates that White will have moved, and I'm describing a move by Black.
Surely for the 2. it should read g3 rather than g6?
 

Vieira151

Duke
M&BWB
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I wish I understood why half of those moves were taken. Then again, I didn't bother to study it properly.

[me=Vieira]shrugs[/me]