by Larry Evans
5-time USA National Champion
1. Bad Development
The opning is a fight for time, territory, and material. The first dozen moves or so are a prelude to the battle that lies ahead. Your main task is to emerge from the opening alive, especially when playing Black.
2. Neglecting the King
Nothing is more important than safeguarding your king by castling early, within the first dozen moves if possible.
3. Misjudging Threats
Each time your opponent makes a move, stop everything and ask yourself, "What's he theatening?"
4. Ignoring Pins
In general, it's a good idea to break pins as soon as possible.
5. Premature Aggression
Don't make the mistake of launching an offensive with too little, too soon. A successful attack requires patience and firepower. You need to harness your forces to overcome resistance.
Many players are so busy hatching their own plots that they seldom pay attention to what their opponent is doing - until it's too late.
When you see a good move, look for a better one.
8. Pawn Snatching
9. Creating Weaknesses
Weaknesses are the result of damage to the pawn structure, such as holes which can't be repaired.