What is the 20-40-40 Rule in Chess?

Question And Answers
image of pie chart showing 40, 40 and 20 sections

This article might possibly contain affiliate links. If you decide to click on any of these links and make a purchase, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

The 20-40-40 rule is a simple chess strategy that can help you win more games.

The idea is to spend:

20% of your time on the opening. The opening establishes how your pieces are positioned, so choose something standard and consistent. Don’t waste too much time on the opening.

40% of your time on the middlegame. This is where you develop your pieces and try to control the center of the board.

Look for weaknesses in your opponent’s position and try to gain small advantages. This phase requires more time and thought.

The remaining 40% on the endgame. Once most of the pieces have been exchanged, you’re left with just a few pieces like kings, queens, and pawns.

Precision and technique are key here to convert any advantages you have into a win.

If you follow this basic time allocation, you’ll have a balanced approach to your chess games. Don’t get bogged down in the opening or rush through the complex middlegame.

Spend the bulk of your time and energy where most games are won or lost – the middlegame. Get your pieces active, control the center, and look for opportunities to launch an attack.

Then when the major pieces start coming off the board, make sure you understand basic endgame positions and the technique to win or draw.

With some practice, the 20-40-40 rule can become second nature and help make you a more consistent player.

Here are some helpful resources to improve your openings:

Here are some helpful resources to improve your middlegame:

Here are some helpful resources to improve your endgame:

Was this helpful?   Share it with a friend :)
Chessforsharks Editorial Team

hello@chessforsharks.com

Our team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers and chess experts with combined 28 years of experience.

Follow ChessForSharks on social media
  • 7 reasons you lose at chess

    This is just placeholder text. It's just here to fill up space until we have real copy.

    Download
  • join the conversation

    Leave the first comment


    Work With Us

    We help chess brands create engaging and converting content
    We help innovative Chess brands and influencers create content that sparks engagement and drives revenue
    Content WritingContent PromotionContent StrategyContent Optimization

    Subscribe to our Newsletter

    Google reCaptcha: Invalid site key.

    Call to action

    You may also like...

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

    Unlock your chess potential:

    Discover the '7 Reasons You Lose Your Chess Games' in this ebook and elevate your game!

    Google reCaptcha: Invalid site key.

    No spam, ever.

    Once we have your content finalized, we’ll replace this placeholder text with your real content.

    Or Call(123) 456-7890

    Unlock your chess potential:

    Discover the '7 Reasons You Lose Your Chess Games' in this ebook and elevate your game!

    Google reCaptcha: Invalid site key.

    No spam, ever.

    Once we have your content finalized, we’ll replace this placeholder text with your real content.

    Or Call(123) 456-7890