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Chess Strategy for Beginners: Finding the Best Squares for Each Piece

After learning the basics of the game and how the pieces move, players should focus on finding the best squares for each piece. Once you learn the value of proper positioning, it will drastically improve your gameplay.

Best square for every piece can change multiple times in just one game, but there are some general rules and they will give good results if followed correctly. In every chess game, there is a positional concept of good and bad squares. One should build their chess strategies after ensuring that most of their pieces are placed on good squares.

The idea of moving your pieces on the best square is that you have to gain centre control. We need to control the centre because our pieces become more mobile there and hence more powerful too. On the other hand, a piece on the edge of the board doesn’t have a lot of places to move around and it blocks their potential. This article is aimed at beginners who want to develop chess strategies and learn more about the game. If you apply these simple rules to most pieces when you play chess online, your gameplay will improve drastically and you will understand the logic behind centre control as you keep playing.

Understanding Best Squares

Whilst playing a game of chess, it is obvious that our pieces will be spread out across many squares. Out of these, some squares are better for plotting the best chess strategy. There are several reasons for a piece being placed better on a certain square than others. Best squares give a piece better mobility, more control over surrounding pieces and squares, a safe position and attacking influence.

The Blockading Knight

The knight is a great piece for blocking dangerous pawns that are advancing from the opponent’s side. This piece has control over many squares in different directions and physically blocking the knight by placing a piece in between is not possible. One good chess technique is to fork two or more pieces at once by using the knight and putting the opponent in a dilemma.

The Safe King

At the beginning of the game, the king’s default position is centre. Since the whole point of chess is to protect your king and capture the enemy’s, it is not a very clever move to keep your king hanging in such a vulnerable spot. The opponent can easily corner the king within a few moves by launching powerful attacks. An ideal position for the king is being surrounded by pawns and a rook in the g file, after a short castle.

Centralized Rooks

The position of Rooks seems to be directly opposite of the king, their starting position is in the corner files a and h. This limits their potential and therefore it is best to move them towards the centre. Centralized rooks support other pieces and control the centre of the board at the same time.

Active Queens

Many grandmasters and world champions suggest that one shouldn’t bring out their queen at the starting of the game. Which is true but you also shouldn’t use it as a decorative piece on the board, the queen’s movements are versatile and strong. So it is important to keep the queen in a position that is spacious where it is free to move and annihilate the opponent. Try keeping the opponent’s queen under control and pin it in a spot if you can, capturing this piece is like hitting a jackpot.

Active Bishops

The bishops move diagonally, so it is somewhat obvious that they need central control. This unleashes the true power of your bishops. It’s mobility almost doubles when placed in the centre, giving it 6 extra squares which it couldn’t cover in the default placement. If possible, try placing your bishops on the four centre squares and keep them away from the edges.

Useful Pawns

Pawns should always be connected, only in exceptional cases do advanced players continue their game with isolated pawns. They use this chess technique, to formulate advanced strategies but we’re only going to stick to the basics as of now. As of now, use your pawns to defend other pawns and pieces on your board.

Final Thoughts

At any given time, most pieces will have one or two squares that are suitable for them. During a chess game, these squares are bound to change but there are some universal rules that a player must follow to advance their gameplay. Understanding the concept of best squares gives you an advantage over your opponent. It enables you to defend as well as plan amazing attacks. Play chess online on MPL app and keep practicing to get a hands-on experience of this concept.


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