1. Know the values of the chess pieces. Some pieces are better than others because they can do more stuff. Queens, for instance, do a lot more than bishops. So follow this guide to know the value of each piece: pawn-1, knight-3, bishop-3, rook-5, queen-9, king-1,000,000,000. Knowing these values are important, because now you know that if you have to decide between losing a pawn or a rook, you're better off losing the pawn. Trade-offs happen all the time in chess, so knowing the values give you a better sense of what is worth losing (it's often worthwhile to lose your bishop to get your opponent's rook).

2. Get control of the center squares. The middle four squares on the board (d4, d5, e4, and e5) are the most important squares on the board because they let you control everything that's going on. So grab control of these squares.

3. Don't expose your good pieces too early. You don't want to risk losing a queen or rook early on. They're too darn valuable. So take your time in taking them out of their homes

4. Knights are good for attacking. Because knights can jump over pieces, they make for good attackers. So don't be shy about bringing them out early. They're usually the first major pieces that a player will bring out of the back row.

5. Think teamwork. Don't just move a piece for the sake of moving it. Have a plan, and think about the repercussions of moving a particular piece. Will it make other more valuable pieces vulnerable? Will it actually do any good? The secret is that very rarely will a piece do anything by itself. Always think of your pieces as being part of your team. So don't just start moving pawns randomly; move them so that they protect each other (if your opponent captures your pawn, you have a pawn that can capture the capture-er).

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW learn how to play chess?