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3 Things to Consider If You Get Stuck in Chess

Learn the three things to consider if you get stuck from Chess NYC in this Howcast video.


Hi. Coach Russ here with Chess NYC. Today, we're going to look at a very
popular and common question; I'm stuck and what do I do? So after the
normal developing moves in the game of chess where we control the center,
we develop our pieces, and we castle our king, we get to a position in the
game of chess where many people ask the question, what do I do, I'm stuck?
I like to teach when you're stuck and you're looking for an idea or a next
move in a game of chess, you should look at the three forceful moves. The
most forceful move in a game of chess is always a check. So as you
continue the game of chess and you're getting out of the opening, the first
move we want to consider are checks. How many different checks or how many
ways can we check our opponent's king in this position. Let's consider

So in this position, there's, actually, one possible check. Bishop can
take pawn, checking the king. But as you can see in this position, if
bishop takes pawn checking the king, the bishop will simply be captured by
our opponent's rook or king. So giving up a bishop for a pawn, in most
situations, is not a good trade.

Then, we can look at our second type of move, which is captures. In this
position, we have several types of captures on the board. The knight can
capture our opponent's pawn. Once again, bishop can capture opponent's
pawn, which is a check we already looked at and considered. And, the third
thing is bishop can take our opponent's knight. So we're in a position and
we don't know what to do, we can consider captures. And in this position,
the only capture that would make logical sense would be bishop takes
The third type of forceful move in a game of chess is a threat. So we've
looked at, first of all, we look for checks. Are there any captures in
this position and are they plausible and that make sense. And after we've
looked at both those options, the third option we look for, are there any
possible threats.

Now, a threat can be you are threatening an unprotected piece, you're
threatening a piece of value, you are threatening to incorporate a tactive
element, such as a pin or fork, a skewer or an x-ray.

In this position, we can simply look at knight goes to D5. The threat in
this position is knight threatens knight on F6. And, this knight on F6 is
pinned by the bishop. So, that move is actually going to force black to
come up with an additional good move and this gives us an idea on how to
make our moves in chess.

So once again, we're stuck and we're in the middle of a game. We've
already controlled the center. We've developed our pieces. We've castled
our king. What do we do next? And, I encourage you guys to look for three
forceful moves.

First of all, look for checks. Second, look for captures. And the third
look for threats. Once you've exhausted all of these three options, you
should be able to find a good next move in the game of chess.

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