Subscribe To LoaSite RSS Feeds!     Your Browser OR  Google Feedburner

Hidden Principles, Every Chess Player Should Know!

When you try to improve your chess skill, you hear the terms like openings theory, middle games, strategy and end games. This article explains important principles, which are unknown by many chess players.

Pieces and limited moves

Every advanced and beginner chess players know how each piece moves in chess, because that is part of the chess rules. By repeatedly using those rules, the mind will be programmed to recognize them immediately. However, advanced chess players would realize later that those rules cannot be always applied, because sometimes would cause disadvantage in the position.


In many chess positions, some pieces can have limited moves. Without recognizing that fast, you will not be able to play the right move. Here below are some examples to explain that. We learn that each piece has a specific way to move according to rules. To make that clear I am going to explain you different examples for the possible moves of chess pieces.

Limited moves of rooks

A normal rook can move according to the chess rules with which we are familiar. There are rooks in some chess positions, which have limited moves. It could be horizontally, vertically or not moving at all.

  • Horizontal Rooks

Before I explain, what a horizontal rook is, would you like to test your skill by solving the following problem. Find the best move for white in the following diagram!


If you could not find the answer then that was because you do not master a very important rule. Remember that I did not say you do not know it but knowing things is different from mastering them. You might know that the black rook is a horizontal rook and will cause damage to black’s position if it moves vertically.


By applying that principle, you can move pieces to the “c” file and assuming that the rook can’t take them. Most beginners will have doubts to do so because they forget that the rook can’t leave the 8th rank.


The highlighted squares indicate that the black rook can move horizontally on the eighth rank but cannot move vertically because white would play Rf8 mate. The best move for white is Qc5, which leaves black, defenseless. By playing Qc5, white attacks the black rook and the weak square f8.


Your mind says oh no I lost the queen but understanding the limited horizontal moves of the black rook on c8, would be soon realized that white wins the game as shown below:

Qc5 Qxh3+, gxh3 h5, Qxc8+ kh7, Qg8+ kh6, H4 g5, Qh8+ kg6, Bf7#

  • Vertical Rooks

A vertical rook unlike the horizontal one can move vertically but not horizontally.

Find the best move for white in the following chess position!



When you understand that the black rook on b6 cannot move horizontally, you can take advantage of the weak squares. The best move for white is Qc6+ any other moves results in losing the game for white. Qc6+ Rxc6, Rb8#

  • Inactive Rooks

An inactive rook cannot move vertically nor can it move horizontally. It can’t leave its place without causing damage in black’s position. Can you find the best move in the diagram below?


Do you realize that the black rook on e6 cannot move vertically nor can it move horizontally? If the rook on e6 leaves its place that will cause loosing the game for black, because white would play Qg8#. The best move for white is Re3 to attack that weak rook, which cannot move and following by taking it. The white rook on e3 wouldn’t be protected, but anyway, the black rook on e6 cannot take it. We can apply the same rule to other chess pieces.

Sar Maroof chess problems mate in 3

Feel free to leave your opinion beneath the article! It is easy and does not require registration. LoaSite offers simple and practical knowledge designed to help every level of education. Please share your thoughts, feelings, and questions in the comments below!

Suggested Articles:

Subscribers get notified by publishing new articles. Registration is easy and free.
Author: Sar Maroof
Education: Bachelor Science and Applied Science in Physics.
Professional Java webdeveloper as well as several certificates in different branches

 Subscribe To LoaSite RSS Feeds! (Your Browser)
 Mail This Page To A Friend!
 Bookmark This Page!
 Subscribe To LoaSite Website!


Add a Comment
  1. hey there and thank you for your information ?I have certainly picked up something new from here.

  2. Merely a “drive by” comment, after watching one of your videos, which linked to this post. I got here from a comment on Temposchlucker’s chess blog at Temposchlucker.

    The underlying concept is referred to as the function motif by Dr. Emanuel Lasker in his book Lasker’s Manual of Chess. The tactical concept “overworked piece” is a subset of the function motif.

    Your point regarding the difference between what the less experienced chess player “sees” contrasted with what the more experienced player “sees” is essentially the difference between the “surface” and the “essence” of the given chess position. This idea comes from Hofstadter and Sanders book: Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking.

    Thank you for publishing your thoughts! Best regards!

    1. You are welcome!

Leave a Reply