Every single piece of the entire board has its own use. Even the pawns that are greatest in number can prove to be the most important individual piece in the game, and a loss of one pawn may end up reversing the tide and let the opposite player win. So, your goal in chess is to never underestimate a single piece in the entire game.
One of the pieces that tend to get underestimated in the game of chess, paradoxically, is the king. After all, since you have rooks and bishops and knights and queen – what good will the king be able to do? People tend to ask this question because of the fact that the king can only move one square in every direction – unlike the potential of the other pieces that can move all across the board easily.
Moreover, the king is the only piece of the game that has infinite value – lose it, and you have lost the game. So, combining the knowledge of these two facts may make it seem to you that the king should never be talked about for attacking moves – only for defence.
Not just a boring piece to defend
Well, you’re right, up to an extent. It’s true that at the beginning of each game you will have much more powerful and less vulnerable pieces that you can use for improving your position and taking on your opponent. At the beginning of the game, one of the wisest moves that you can make is to protect your king – and the best way to do this is through the use of the special move of castling. This move will help you switch the positions of your rook and your king, so your rooks will get connected, and your king will move safely to the side of the board where he will be less vulnerable from attack – well protected by the rook and the pawns in front of him.
But the fact of the matter is – and most people fail to realize this – that the king can become a very powerful weapon as the end of the game draws closer. In any given chess game, as the game marches on, you will find out that there are fewer and fewer pieces on the board. Eventually, you may find out that the board has only a few pawns left along with both kings. This is the best time to activate your king from a piece stuck at the end of the board to a piece that will take the centre of the board and fight to capture your opponent’s pawns while defending your own. In fact, if you have one pawn left, and your opponent has only his or her king, then you will have to learn how to help your pawn reach the final rank and get promoted.
If you don’t know how to do this, then your opponent will easily be able to get a draw – which is not something that you’d like to happen in a position such as this one.
Final words of making the most out of the chess king
So, the king should be protected early on in the game, and as the game progresses you should start thinking of activating it and letting it help you win the game. Though it may not seem like it – the king can be a very powerful piece.