How To Evaluate a Chess Position

One of the most confusing subjects to learn in chess is the proper criteria to EVALUATE a position.

There is a saying that the topic with the most written about it has the most confusion! (Love). It goes the same usually in chess. Issues with so much text devoted to them remain unclear.

There are many books with steps to EVALUATE a position, yet people don't think in 8 bullet points. and it's not practical.

At, we have found you can check any position on four basic points.

1. Material

2. Initiative

3. Space

4. Tempo

The beauty of this evaluation is that it's not finite. As your understanding develops the evaluation gets deeper and broader.

Take material, for instance, it becomes

1. Material Quantity

2. Material Quality. Now you are evaluating the gain of material and the value it brings to the position.

Initiative breaks down to

1. Attack

2. Activity

You are not only evaluating the pressure the pieces are putting but how mobile they are

Space becomes

1. Territory

2. Structure

You are no longer looking at how much space you control but the extent of damage in that space.

Tempo becomes

1. Opening Development

2. Improving the worst place piece.

You are not only looking at tempo in the opening but how it's utilized in the middle game.

We have found this to be extremely helpful in the academy and we hope it is to you.

Reuben Salimu

Head Coach

African Chess Lounge

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