Better King Position:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 1) and the
Chess Strategies Guide (Section 3: Studying the Pieces)

Better King Position
Point Count Chess: [+]

About This Article...

Advanced Beginners Chess Teaser pccThis article includes my notes, additional images and interactive chess positions from my study of Horowitz & Mott-Smith's book, Point Count Chess.

Point Count Chess,
Chapter 22. King Position and Offside Majority (p255-258)

Point Count Chess, Examples:
  • The Confined King
  • Mobility of the King
  • Improving the King Position

For beginners, a quick "rule of thumb," while developing your army in the Opening phase, is to Castle the King to safely (the quickest route being to Castle Kingside).

While castling is often the best course of action, bear in mind that a King can actually be quite safe in the middle of the board, in many games, without castling. It depends if the opponent can take advantage of the fact that he is in the middle.

For instance, if one side's King is stuck on its home rank (say because of Rook on 7th), while the other King is free to march forward to snatch pawns, the second would get the point. The defense of the King is dealt within the scope of the Compromised Kingside.

The following would all be cases for a Better King Position ...

  • Getting the King closer to the Center, before the adverse King. In Diagram 1, below, you can see that Black's King has already set off towards the Center, while White's King is still on its Back Rank.
Better King Position, Image 1, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 1: Black's King is closer to
the Center than White's King.
  • Getting the King closer to the adverse Pawns. In Diagram 2, below, Black's King is just 3 moves from capturing White's e5-pawn, while White's King would take at least 5 moves to capture Black's closest Pawn, and that's assuming it hasn't advanced to c4, where it gains strength and protection by being at the head of the Chain.
Better King Position, Image 2, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 2: Black's King is closer to
White Pawns, than vice versa.
  • The King becomes more powerful the closer it gets to the enemy's 1st Rank. In Diagram 3, below, Black's King is one square closer to White's 1st Rank, than White's King is to Black's 1st Rank. Therefore, in this current position, Black's King is the more powerful, thus it's a better King position.
Better King Position, Image 3, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 3: Black's King is more powerful, as
it's closer to White's 1st Rank, than vice versa.

Moving On: PCC Examples, Better King Position (Page 2).

Return to the Index of Advantages
Return to the Chess Strategies Guide,
Studying the Pieces (The Kings)
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