Many times, I can play the opening correctly and find myself in a favorable position. This is because the opening has clear principles that I can follow (i.e. develop minor pieces, control the center, safe king). This positional advantage is especially exaggerated when my opponent makes mistakes that cost them some tempo, for example through early queen attacks.
However, upon securing a comfortable position, I am usually clueless as to how to play the middlegame. Usually, I end up pushing pawns recklessly or shuffling pieces and hoping for the best.
So, what are some things that I can do after I develop to milk a positional advantage? It would be great if you can address specific cases such as:
- What to do when your opponent is underdeveloped?
- How do you pawn storm without creating weaknesses?
- How do you conceive long-term plans?
- Aside from attacking pieces outright, are there better strategies for putting pressure on your opponent?