Chess is one of the most popular games in the world, and is still to this day, despite the fact it’s tough to have originated in Asia many centuries ago.
While learning how to play chess is straightforward, developing any skill in the game requires a lot of practice.
This is because it’s very much a strategy game where the players are to create a situation where the opponent’s King is unable to become captured.
While this requires quite a bit of skill— especially if you’re playing against an experienced chess player, the only way to begin is by first learning how to play the game.
This article will tell you everything you need to know!
A regular chessboard is made up of 64 squares. The chessboard is divided into files (letters) and ranks (numbers). The files on a chessboard are the columns which go up and down on the board, and the ranks are the horizontal rows on the board.
Each piece has a name, a specific location on the board to start off and certain move capabilities. This is the first part to know and understand as these pieces are your keys to success.
To begin understanding the chess pieces, their locations, and abilities, you must first correctly position the board.
You’ll know if the board is positioned correctly if each player has a black or dark square in the lower left corner of their side.
Next, place each piece in its correct position:
Put your rooks on the two far, opposite corners of the chess board
These pieces look like part of a castle, and therefore are also known as “the castle”. The abbreviation for these pieces is “R”.
Rooks can move in any amount of available squares either horizontally or vertically.
If your opponent’s piece is blocking the rook’s path, that piece may be captured simply by moving your rook to the square that’s being occupied and removing the piece from the board. Rooks cannot jump pieces.
Put your knights beside your rooks. The knights are also known as the “horse” pieces or “N” for short.
Knights are the only pieces in chess that can jump over other pieces and therefore are the only pieces that cannot be blocked by your opponent.
These pieces move in an L-shape pattern, which is two squares vertically or horizontally and one square perpendicular.
The knight can jump over other pieces and capture a piece wherever it lands.
Put the bishops besides the knights.
Bishops are the piece with the ball and slit on the top of it. It’s referred to as “B” in notation.
Bishops can move a however number of open squares as you want in any direction that is diagonal. They can capture the opponent’s piece if it’s in its path, then can stop on that piece’s square.
It’s important to note that the bishop does everything diagonally and remains on the same color square as it started throughout the entire game.
One of your most important pieces, the queen is placed near the center of the board or the first rank on top of her color.
So, if you’re playing white pieces, the queen will be placed on the fourth file. If you’re playing black pieces, she will be placed on the fifth file from the left.
The queen is the most powerful piece you have on the board because she can do basically anything.
She can move to any number of open squares diagonally, vertically and horizontally.
Queens may attack an opponent’s piece by moving to that piece’s square if it’s on her path
Now, you can place your King in the last empty square. The king is also known as “K” in notation.
The king can move vertically, horizontally or diagonally one space at a time.
Since the king is so valuable, he is not considered an attacking piece. You must keep him protected at all times.
That being said, he can attack pieces if they come close enough.
But remember, if you lose the king, you lose the game.
Pawns are the little guys. You place the pawns in the line in front of all the other pieces, similar to a shield.
Pawns typically move forward by one square at a time. However, the first time your pawn moves, and only the first time, it’s allowed to move forward by two squares.
The pawn can attack an opponent’s piece if it’s one square diagonally in front of the pawn, not directly in front of it.
For each opposing piece you capture, you can earn points along the way.
Here’s a breakdown of how much each piece is worth:
Queen: 9 points
Rook: 5 points
Bishop: 3.5 points
Knight: 3 points
Pawn: 1 point
The king has no value because it’s not used as a weapon until the last part of the game.
Strengths of Each Piece
To strengthen your chess strategy, it’s beneficial to know the strengths of each piece and their ideal positioning on the board.
Typically, pieces are stronger in the center of the board. This is for a few reasons.
First, Bishops and the Queen can control longer diagonals from the center. Also, Knights may lose advantage when placed near the edge and pawns are more useful to you and dangerous to your opponent when they advance further up.
Pawns are strongest when they’re placed together in a position such as a chain, which is a diagonal shaped line.
Knights are weakest at edges of the board. Remember that the maximum amount of spaces a knight can take on is eight, which is why the center is the best place for these pieces. You’ll also simply waste a move in repositioning the knight closer to the center if you have previously moved it to the edge.
Bishops are their strongest when near or on the long diagonals where they can take on the most amount of squares.
Rooks are most powerful inside open files. You should put rooks on files that don’t hold any of your pawns.
Queens contains the most amount of power when in the center of the board. That being said, they are in the most danger here as well. Keep the queen one move away from the center position and don’t block your queen’s important movements with other pieces.
No matter what, your king should always be protected and shielded by pieces that are of lower value.
How to Win
In order to win, you need to checkmate the opposite player’s king.
This involves having to trick or force the king into a situation where he will be captured by your pieces no matter what. It involves making it impossible for the king to escape.
Checkmate is the end of the game.
While capturing your opponent’s king through strategy is the ultimate goal, you could also try to capture the most amount of your opponent’s pieces as possible, which makes checkmate easier.
Remember to always protect your king as well while attempting to take your opponent’s king.
Quick Tips on How to Play Chess
While learning the basics is the best way to start on the road to playing and mastering the game of chess, you should also keep a few tips in mind along the way.
1. Control the Center of the Board
As discussed earlier, if your pieces are at, or near, the center of the board, they’re the most dangerous to your opponent.
The game is typically a fight for the center of the board. Once there, the opposing player has few promising options to choose from, forcing him/her into a defensive mode when you have many squares and space to play with.
Remember that pawns are a great help with this. Keep a pawn or two in the center while other more powerful pieces are busy attacking.
2. Utilize All Pieces
Not using your pieces is wasting potential power. One of the wonderful aspects of chess is that there’s no one piece that wins the game.
Starting a new hobby can be tough work. And learning how to sew seems to be an intimidating one to newcomers.
The effort required mentally to simply decide on a sewing project, invest in the supplies and equipment then find the time to sit down and sew can seem daunting – more so, when it’s your first time. However, once you master it, it can quickly become a hobby that is addictive.
It’s fun, useful and even a bit therapeutic.
No matter what your level of skill is, there’s only one way to become better in order to reach that level of hobby satisfaction.
And we’re here to help you along that path.
You should know that the best way to take up a hobby such as sewing, is by taking it slowly.
First, read over our instruction, let it seep in for a while, then come back to it in a few days. Taking everything on in an afternoon can turn out to be frustrating and result in a quick and powerful burnout.
No matter what you want to learn to sew, from simple darts to a full-on dress, this step-by-step guide will lead you in the direction towards mastery.
First, let’s talk about language.
Why language, you ask?
Well, many new hobbies involve some sort of specific terms, most of which we will be using in this guide on how to sew.
So in order to properly follow along, we should get them pinned down.
Learning how to sew and be able to communicate with people who have been in the business for a while will allow you to understand sewing terms, and the craft itself, a bit better.
Since there’s quite the list of terms and definitions to learn from, we’re going to direct you to this site for you to study from.
While it can be a bit disheartening learning something new at times, since your passion and imagination are usually a lot greater than your skills, keep at it.
And remember, everything is becoming easier as the culture of sewing is changing.
Modern Sewing: Learning How to Sew is Changing
Most people used to learn how to sew by purchasing a large sheet of cloth or fabric, picking out a DIY paper manual with only a sewing machine and some colored thread to rely on. This typically resulted in awkward looking outcomes and strange fashion pieces.
However, now, the modern age has offered a range of different options for learning how to sew.
These days, you can learn how to sew almost anything by following blogs and tutorials online made by master sewers who want to help beginners create all things beautiful.
You can also find awesome shops to purchase from online and in-person classes that offer one-on-one lessons and tricks from pros.
While there are many options for individuals looking to learn how to sew, the actual task of sewing still isn’t necessarily — easy.
The way to get ahead of frustration and beeline for success in this hobby as quickly as possible is by choosing one skill at a time.
One skill per project.
By focusing on learning one new skill with every project you true, it will help you build your skills over a period of time.
Before we get into some beginner sequences, it’s important to learn some of these skills.
5 Beginner Skills to Start With
By mastering these five basic skills, you’ll be on your way to learning how to sew like a pro.
While it won’t be overnight, by pairing at-home projects, practicing these skills and specific sewing patterns, and maybe even taking a part-time class on the side, either online or in person, you’ll be able to jump-start the process.
1. Learn How to Use Your New Best Friend: The Sewing Machine
Sewing machines can be intimidating at first, however, once you get a hang of them, they truly are a sewer’s best friend.
Since learning to use a sewing machine can involve quite a few steps since there are a lot of different parts to a sewing machine, we have chosen the perfect guide here for you to follow.
While sewing machines aren’t mandatory for sewers to learn, they can be fun and can help you zip through projects.
2. Learn How to Cut a Pattern and To Transfer the Pattern Marks
After you learn how to set up and use your sewing machine as a real pro, it’s time to make sure you have a purpose for your newfound skill.
Knowing how to cut and prepare the special fabric you’ve bought is the first step to a great sewing project.
You’ll want to learn how to sew a zipper pretty soon since they’re a fairly integral part to many types of accessories and pieces of clothing.
They’re almost impossible to avoid if you’re getting into sewing for clothing, so may as well master it as soon as you can.
Also, no one likes a faulty zipper, so learn how to do it well!
Buttons are also an item that is hard to avoid when sewing clothing. They’re everywhere for practical reasons and can make a piece of clothing super fashionable as well. Get funky with your buttons and have a blast!
Here are some pattern sequence examples to help any beginner start on their first sewing project.
While it’ may seem intimidating at first, remember, just try to learn one skill per project, and of course, have fun with it!
1. Make a Pillow
This can be easy and a lot of fun to do. You don’t need to find a pattern; you just need to learn how to cut and sew and can use almost any type of fabric you fancy.
Pillows are an awesome way to start practicing straight line stitching, or any beginner stitches you feel like taking on.
2. Make a Skirt
Skirts are also fairly simple to make, although they do require measurements. By making a skirt such as this one, you’ll also be able to start practicing sewing on zippers.
3. Make a Sorbetto Top
With only two pattern pieces, this type of free pattern project will help you learn some basics. Try this great pattern to start off with. No need for zippers or extras, just sewing, taping and learning some fundamentals.
These are three great basic patterns and lessons to start with. While your finished product may not be perfect or exactly what you had in mind, it’s all a learning curve. Keep trying to master certain techniques challenge yourself with new ones whenever you feel ready.
There are tons of different patterns and opportunities out there, all you need to do is nail down some of the basic skills first.
Become a Curious Crafter: Final Tip
The absolute best sewists or crafters in the world are extremely curious.
They’re always looking for inspiration, new ideas or enlightenment in any relevant place they can sniff out.
By choosing projects based on what you want to learn, you’ll always get ahead. You’ll be learning something tangible and achievable that you can use over and over again.
As soon as you start feeling overwhelmed, keep learning and think of ways that can help you.
Luckily, sewing is becoming a popular hobby, so there’s so much material and guides available online and in your city. All you need to do is pinpoint what you need to get you over that learning hump, and grab it!
Featured image credit: CC0 Creative Commons, Gadini via pixabay.com.
It’s fair to say that most people associate summer with fresh, cool cocktails, right?
I mean… what’s better than a cocktail on a patio?
Well, picture this:
You’re at home, fixing up your backyard for your first summer party. There’s a cool breeze in the air and the sun is booming down on your freshly cut grass. The table is set and the flowers are blooming.
A home bar!
Everyone loves homemade drinks. It really spruces up a party and gives the atmosphere a bit of class and unique flare. However, once you have some of these cocktail recipes practiced and almost perfected, making the cocktails yourself can be a lot of fun as well.
Not only that, but it can be a lot cheaper than by heading to a restaurant or patio or purchasing pre-made cocktails at the store.
Which is why we’ve put together the best and easiest 13 summer cocktail recipes for you to start experimenting with. In this list you’ll find everything, from classics to new and unique cocktail recipes.
No matter what your party list is like, there’s a beverage on this list for everyone!
Best 13 At-Home Cocktail Recipes
If you’ve never been a bartender before, don’t worry. You don’t need expert experience for these cocktails.
All you need are the right ingredients and proper direction. We got you covered for the last bit.
Not only are these cocktail recipes easy, but they’re delicious and super refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
This classic cocktail is common for being the basis for creative variants due to its perfect equal parts of bitter, sweet, and boozy. It’s classy, delicious, and easy to make for your friends and family.
1 oz. gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth
Add ingredients, stir with ice for about 30 seconds. Strain into short glasses and garnish with a fresh orange peel.
Pink grapefruit wedges, jalapeno slices and cilantro for garnish
Rim a 12 oz. glass with salt. Fill the glass with ice and top it up with the grapefruit juice, tequila, and simple syrup. Stir and add garnishes for a little extra something.
Another classic, the Manhattan has been around for years and its exact origin is still under debate – although it’s safe to say it was first poured somewhere in Manhattan around the 1870s.
While this drink has experienced a few changes in its recipe over the years, it never veers far from the classic due to its absolute perfection.
2 oz. whiskey or rye whiskey
2 drops of Angostura bitters
1 oz. sweet vermouth
Stir all the ingredients with a handful of cracked (not crushed) ice and strain into a chilled glass. For garnish, you can use a brandied cherry or an orange twist.
4. Mint Julep
This is a Southern drink and is perfect for summer due to its refreshing capabilities. While it looks like a fancy drink, don’t be fooled. It’s super easy to throw together just in time for a backyard bash with buds.
2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. simple syrup
First, crush up the mint leaves to extract their oils, and rub them inside of your glass. Add the bourbon, simple syrup and crushed ice. Stir and garnish with more ice or mint.
5. Dark n’ Stormy
While this is a classic winter drink, the island life feel you get from drinking one of these makes it perfect year-round.
Apparently, this drink was made by Royal Navy Officers who lived on Bermuda who loved mixing rum with ginger beer as it helped with seasickness (and was delicious.)
2 parts ginger beer
1 part dark rum
Fill your glass with ice, then add the rum and top it off with ginger beer. Use a lime wedge for garnish.
6. Ginger-Peach Soda
Similar to the Dark n’ Stormy, this ginger and rum drink has a bit of a summery twist with its splash of peach. Perfect for summer nights, watching the sunset.
2 very ripe peaches
1 c. sugar
2-liter carbonated water
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
16 fresh mint leaves
8 shots of rum
In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water, ginger, and sugar to a simmer, dissolving the sugar until it becomes a syrup.
Pour syrup into a medium bowl through a sieve. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.
Put peach slices in tall glasses and release the peaches juice with a spoon.
Pour two tablespoons of syrup over the peaches, add carbonated water and rum, stir and garnish with mint leaves.
This popular cocktail uses uniquely French ingredients such as Cointreau and Cognac. It looks fancy, tastes great and is easy to make!
3/4 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. Cognac
3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Rim a short glass with sugar and add all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice until the concoction is entirely chilled.
Strain the mixture into the rimmed glasses and finish with a fresh orange peel on top.
8. Sweet Tea Sangria
This is the drink for the days when you can’t decide between a sangria and sweet tea on a summer day.
Loaded with fruits and chilled to perfection, this is a perfect drink to have by your side while reading your book or sunbathing in the backyard.
1 bottle white wine
6 c. sweet tea
1 pt. Berries
+ other fruit of your choice
Put the sweet tea and full bottle of white wine in a pitcher then add the fruit and let it chill for a few hours. An overnight chill will make this cocktail even tastier! Garnish with mint.
Another classic, Gimlet has made it to our list due to its extremely easy recipe directions. Apparently, this drink was given to sailors in the Royal Navy to help them battle scurvy (gin and lime).
However, you don’t need scurvy to appreciate this drink today. It’s refreshing and super delicious.
⅔ oz lime juice
2 oz gin (or vodka)
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with cracked ice and strain into a chilled glass of your liking.
10. Champagne Cocktail
This sparkling wine cocktail is the classiest of them all, so get your flute glasses ready.
It’s another classic that dates back to 1862, known as “Chorus Girl’s Milk.”
While we just call it Champagne Cocktail now, there’s no doubt it’s still wildly popular among cocktail lovers.
⅓ oz. Cognac
3 oz. Champagne
2 drops Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube
Add a sugar cube and two dashes or drops of Angostura bitter into a flute glass.
Next, add cognac and slowly pour the cold champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.
11. Pina Colada
Pina Coladas are the epitome of vacation – it’s like having a tropical paradise in your mouth, something that needs to be experienced to be understood. Here’s your chance.
50ml white rum
25ml coconut cream
25ml single cream
200ml pineapple juice
Mix the ingredients in a shaker or blend them up in a blender for extra frothiness.
Mojitos are super popular right now and for good reason. They’re perfectly sweet, tangy and boozy with a load of mint that can help headaches or stomach aches!
tablespoon of sugar
50ml golden rum
5 fresh mint leaves
Put the lime and mint leaves into a glass, add sugar and mash them together roughly with a suitable utensil. Add rum and soda water and then stir. Garnish with mint, lime and raspberries!
13. Singapore Sling
While our cocktail recipe list has mostly consisted of refreshing summer drinks, this one is for all of you who have a sweet tooth.
While it does require a lot of ingredients, the procedure is quite simple and the result is worth it
25ml cherry brandy
50ml pineapple juice
Add everything except for the soda water to a shaker and pour the concoction over ice in a chilled glass. Top it off with your soda water.
Your Best 13 At-Home Cocktail Recipes Overview
There you have it – all the easy, at-home cocktail recipes you need to bring your backyardparties into full-gear this summer.
All you need beforehand is your party list to see who’s coming, and guess what sort of drinks they may like, the basic ingredients for each cocktail recipe, a shaker, some fancy glasses, garnishing, and a lot of ice.
Why a lot?
Because your entire party will keep coming back to you for refills. Guaranteed!
Automotive tools are highly important if you are involved with cars. Without these tools, it would be impossible to figure out what to do in the event that your car will break down or needs maintenance. How often do you check your cars for maintenance purposes? Are you familiar with all the tools needed. It might be your own cars in your garage or your own car business. You might be involved with classic cars from the 1960s or latest and highly admired rides that everybody wants to own. Despite the case, there is that need to be knowledgeable on tools that will make your work easier.
Most Common Automotive Tools
There are different types of automotive specialty tools that you can use, with each type focusing on a specific part of a car. Some of these include brakes, wheels, fuel, doors and engine. Below is a list of most common tools (automotive) that you will need;
Brake bleeder vacuum
Fuel injection probes
Tire repair kits
Torque socket sets
Wheel stud installers
Fuel injector testers
Automotive diagnostic tools together with other types of automotive tools are exceedingly noteworthy. However, each one of above listed tools has its use. Brake bleeder vacuums and brake bleeders are used for brakes. You will need them whether you are using an old or new car. For fuel problems, you need fuel injector testers as a diagnostic tool and fuel injector probes to work on outlined diagnosed problems.
There are cases where you need to learn specific automotive scan tools or any other tool types you need depending on which car you have. For example, if you have a small sports car, tire tools that you will need will be different from the ones used for USVs or trucks. However, some of the most commonly used tire tools include wheel stud installers and tire repair kits. Tire repair kits have all tools you need for basic repairs. Together with a stud installer, you cannot be stuck on the road because of a punctured tire.
Automotive Tools Selection Tips
When on the market looking for automotive tools that you will be using, there are several tips that can make this venture successful. They are as follows;
Understand what works for your car. If you have a large car, its tire tools will be different in size from those of a smaller car.
Go for quality as some low quality tools can fail you when you are in need.
Ensure you know how each tool is used before you make a purchase
Read user reviews to know the best tools for your car.
Automotive tools are highly significant if you own a car or you are in car repair business. Make sure you purchase the tools you need. Among the numerous names selling car tools, Lisle has been known for its product’s high standard and quality. Lisle tools offers highly competitive tools that anyone can use from a simple garage to the high octane formula one circuits.
Many people may be of the belief that going on a cruise holiday can be quite an expensive proposition because of the general perception prevailing among the masses. However, this is far from the truth as there are many ways to book your tickets on low cost cruises and to avail hefty discounts that allow you to visit spectacular destinations at nominal prices. There are many ways in which you can successfully strike good cruise bargains and enjoy a holiday without burning a hole in your pocket. Some of the ways in which you will be able to purchase discounted cruise tickets have been mentioned below. These tips will not only prove to be helpful to the first time traveler but also to the seasoned one who may not be aware of these easy ways to acquire tickets of low cost cruises.
1) The easiest way to buy tickets on low cost cruises is to visit your local travel agent and ask for tickets of cruise companies that fit in with the amount that you are willing to spend. After you have specified the range that you can afford to spend in, your agent will be able to scout for offers that suit this budget and will recommend the same for you. This prevents you from splurging on high cost tickets that you are otherwise unable to afford without going out of your means and income range. It is best to stick to low cost cruises in order to enjoy a stress free holiday if you are on a limited budget.
2) There are innumerable cruise companies that are operating on the oceans and seas during all times of the year. They have different and diverse itineraries ranging from the shores of Africa to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Popular tourist destinations like the Mediterranean usually have a high demand and the cruise liners operating to these places tend to cost more. You can however go on low cost cruises on little known but equally spellbinding destinations that are thronged by a fewer number of tourists. This can help you go onto the best cruises for low cost.
3) Certain websites on the internet specialize in providing tickets for various cruise liners all over the world. You can just log on to these websites and purchase tickets directly thus eliminating the price that is eaten up your agent. If you are a frequent visitor to these websites and check on the regular updates, you may even be able to catch great discounts that may only be offered for a limited period. These can result in huge cost savings and allow you to go on low cost cruises.
4) The timing for your ticket purchase can also be a major determinant for the price that you may have to pay for your cruise ticket. Sometimes, if you proceed to buy a ticket at the last moment, perhaps a day before the cruise is set to sail, you can find yourself bagging great deals as cruise companies struggle to fill in their vacant seats. You can also get discounts by purchasing your ticket six to nine months before the cruise is set to sail.
Going on a cruise can be an exhilarating experience that you will remember for a long time to come. It is possibly the best way to take a vacation and visit the places that you have always dreamed of visiting. If you are engaged in making plans to go on a cruise with your friends or family in the near future, you need not shell out huge bucks to enjoy a quality experience. There are many helpful methods that can allow you to avail the best cruise prices and help you travel as per your budget. Some of the useful pointers that will help you while searching for the best cruise prices have been listed below:
1) Most people usually take the route of approaching a local travel agency to purchase tickets for cruise liners. Although certain agents may provide good deals, most of them are likely to provide tickets at generally high prices as a way to extract their own profit share from these sales. Thus, it is deemed as a much better option to arrange your tickets entirely by yourself if you wish to avoid the commission cuts when looking for the best cruise prices.
2) If you wish to know how to find cheap cruises, you can log on the internet and start looking for websites that specialize in providing tickets of different cruise liners at a single platform. At such websites, you can compare the prices offered by different cruise companies and possibly lay your hands on the best cruise prices that the marketplace has to offer. There is no involvement of any middleman here and you can purchase your tickets at the minimum possible cost.
3) The best pricing on cruise lines can also be availed if you proceed to book your tickets way ahead of the date on which you intend to travel. Most companies follow the practice of increasing their ticket prices as the date of the cruise comes closer. Initially, the tickets are priced much lower as the cruise companies strive to fill their capacity. You can get an unbelievably good deal if you buy your tickets as soon as a certain cruise liner starts to offer them by planning your holiday well in advance.
4) Another way to gain access to the best cruise prices is by scheduling your vacation during the off-season. Off-season is generally deemed to be that time of the year when the minimum numbers of people take holidays or vacations. This is generally the time when school is on or just before or after the holiday season in your country.
5) If you wish to know where to find the best prices for a cruise, you can visit the internet to look for certain discount coupons or limited period offers that are launched from time to time as promotional campaigns by cruise companies. You must also keep a look out for cruise companies that are just beginning operations as they are likely to provide tickets for their first cruise at throwaway prices in order to build a standing in the market for themselves.