Evaluation Criteria

When you perform thought process in chess, the two main components of it are Analysis and Evaluation. Analysis involves the use of your move tree; which moves is good and which is not reasonable. When the smoke clears and you have a better idea of your candidate moves, there comes the Evaluation: who is better, by how much and why. When people start their chess career, they are told to evaluate the position mainly by material, and that makes much sense indeed; then they are given some tips, such as "if you have more pieces out that's good", "if you mess up your pawn structure that's bad", etc. Being able to objectively evaluate a chess position is one of the fundamental piece of knowledge to improve your game. What are the criteria to evaluate a position? They are Material, King's safety, the activity of your army and pawn structure. It is easy to misevaluate a position, for example when you think you're better because you have more space, but you miss to see that your army is not activated properly to take advantage of that space. Don't miss another piece of basic chess theory, brought to you by ICC and NM Dan Heisman!

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