This article is by WIM Alexey Root
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) wrote many plays, some of which you will read in high school. His line from Hamlet "To be, or not to be" is often quoted. That line summarizes a decision faced by the character Hamlet.
During chess games, you decide whether "To take, or not to take." The first diagram below reviews counting. It teaches to capture with your lowest-value chessman first. For the values of the chessmen, read the articles Bishop, Rook, and Queen: Point Values and Knight, Pawn, and King: Point Values.
Before you look at the moves played, figure out how capturing could win material for white. Then play through the diagram's moves to see if you are right.
To analyze the diagram above, count the attackers: There are four attackers (Queen, Bishop, Knight, and Pawn) aimed at d5. Then count defenders: There are three defenders (Queen, Knight, and Pawn). Then try to figure out if the defenders are of equal or greater value than the attackers. Only capture if it will make your pieces (especially your queen) happy!
Sometimes, even if you have more attackers than defenders, you will not want to capture. That's because your attackers are of higher value than the defenders. You might win more chessmen, but you will lose points overall. In the next diagram, white has three attackers aimed at d5. Black has only two defenders. But white still shouldn't take!
The rules from Count attackers and defenders apply:
1. Count the number of attackers.
2. Count the number of defenders.
3, Make sure that the defenders are of equal (or higher) value than the attackers.
In this article, we added a couple more rules:
4. Capture with your lowest-value chessman first.
5. If all the attackers are of higher value than all the defenders, DON'T capture.
Follow these five rules to get ahead on points in a chess game.