Learning Chess: How To Keep Your King Safe

There is nothing more vital when learning chess than learning to keep your king safe. An exposed king means you could be wasting turns trying to get out of check while your opponent develops their pieces. But that’s not the worst case. You could be in for a very short game. There are a few key strategies that will help you maintain the safety of your king.


What is an Exposed King?

An exposed king is one that doesn’t have the necessary protection against opposing threats and checks. It’s important to always keep an eye on your king when learning chess, and ask yourself if your king is exposed. Your king may be exposed if he is in the centre of the board or the middle back rank. Leaving your king in the centre opens up many lines of attack. When you’re learning chess, it’s easy to miss one of these threats and find yourself in a bad situation.


Castling for Safety.

Castling is a key thing to understand. Your king is quite vulnerable in his starting square, so it’s imperative to move him to a safer location quickly. A great way to do this is to castle. Not only does castling move your king multiple squares toward safety in a single turn, it also helps you develop your rook by getting it out of the corner. Explore the merits and mechanics of castling here.


Aggression as a Deterrent

As a beginner learning chess, it’s important to keep close attention to your King’s safety. Make sure you try to castle as soon as possible and ensure that once castled, you have pawns in front of your King acting as bodyguards. One effective countermeasure is aggression. After your king is castled and protected, engaging in an offensive play style will make your opponent focus on their own positioning and self preservation. See how this works for you and experiment! You may find yourself facing completely new challenges when you try this, but that’s a part of growing into a chess legend!

We all need a little help learning chess. If you feel you could use a guiding hand from an experienced coach, or just a group of like-minded people to play with, get in touch! We have some of London’s best coaches offering group and private lessons.