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Is there a particular strategy or principle you can use to drag out the first stage of a game, namely, to preserve all your pieces as long as possible.

One way I can imagine this being useful, if early on you exchange your bishop for an opponent's knight, having a crowded board would thus become in your best interest, as knights are generally more valuable on crowded boards. (Or so I am told)

So once again, the goal is to lose as few pieces as possible for the longest stretch of time.

Some questions were posed to me for clarification:

Why do you want to avoid exchanges?

To see if it is possible to avoid exchanges without hurting your positioning, or by only hurting it in an insignificantly marginal manner.

What is your goal?

To prolong the game. Perhaps if it were a game of speed-chess, and you wished to run down the clock to play for a draw; this could be a good strategy. Perhaps if you knew your opponent to be impatient, this could be effective against him.

Do you aim for a mating attack?

No.

Do you need a middlegame position that gives lots of maneuvering and has a high chance of dodging the endgame ( maybe you do not like to play endgame )?

Great Question; This would be ancillary.

  • 2
    can you clarify what you mean by 'dragging out' the first stage of the game? – guru Mar 17 '14 at 13:54
  • @guru My guess is that it has to do with delaying the enemy from bringing their king to safety (castling) for as long as possible. – Rauan Sagit Mar 17 '14 at 13:58
  • 2
    Can you reword your question to clarify the intent of prolonging the opening phase of game? Once your pieces are activated and you've done your best to shape the battlefield with your pawn formations, the opening is pretty much over (time to leave book!) and you're thrust into the next stage of the game, often kicking and screaming if you played the opening badly. :) – shivsky Mar 17 '14 at 15:30
2

From my experience (I am Fide Master) the main rules for the openings are:
1. Protect the King - Castle Kingside or Queenside.
2. Fight for the central squares (e4, d4, e5, d5).
3. Develop your pieces.
4. Don't move your piece twice in the opening.
5. Play standard opening moves.

2

Closed positions (no open files and 0-2 semi-open files) give a better chance to keep the majority or even all pieces on the board. Check out the Spanish system, Sicilian Hedgehog and Stone Wall for example.

Have a strong control over the center and place your pieces well. You can try to be exclusively prophylactic. Check out Petrosians games. Yet to master such positions, you need to develop your understanding of pieces and pawn structures.

2

Is there a particular strategy or principle you can use to drag out the first stage of a game?

One way I can imagine this being useful, if early on you exchange your bishop for an opponent's knight, having a crowded board would thus become in your best interest, as knights are generally more valuable on crowded boards. (Or so I am told)

This entire question is unclear, but I will give it a try to answer. Let us start one by one:

Is there a particular strategy or principle you can use to drag out the first stage of a game?

Now why would you want to do that?

One way I can imagine this being useful, if early on you exchange your bishop for an opponent's knight, having a crowded board would thus become in your best interest, as knights are generally more valuable on crowded boards. (Or so I am told)

Aha! So you wish to keep the board crowded in order to exploit the "advantage" knight has over a bishop!

Well, it is time to answer:

You can not keep the board crowded unless both you and your opponent "agree" to do so.

He can always try to exchange pieces and reduce the tension if he chooses, and the best thing you can do is to try and stop him by making the exchanges unfavorable for him.

Unfortunately, the opening theory has advanced a lot, and there are ways for both sides to obtain a good game, so the above plan will be very hard, if not impossible, to execute.

Another thing: simply exchanging the bishop for a knight, and trying to keep the pieces on board will not give you an advantage. It will all boil down to the placement of your pieces. By the way, exchanging the bishop for a knight early leaves your opponent with the bishop pair, which may give him the advantage.

I would strongly suggest you to find a resource ( book/online tutorial ) for playing the opening.

EDIT IN RESPONSE TO THE OP's EDIT:

Why do you want to avoid exchanges?

To see if it is possible to avoid exchanges without hurting your positioning, or by only hurting it in an insignificantly marginal manner.

This is not possible, I am afraid. You will have to exchange at some point and here is why:

When amateur wants to exchange pieces, he uses his own to "chase" the opposing one until the exchange has been made.

Master, on the other hand, puts the piece he wants to exchange on the strong squares, thus forcing the exchange. That way the piece becomes annoying and strong and opponent is forced to exchange it or else he will stand worse.

In a strong game, versus strong opponent you will not be able to dodge the exchange.

What is your goal?

To prolong the game. Perhaps if it were a game of speed-chess, and you wished to run down the clock to play for a draw; this could be a good strategy. Perhaps if you knew your opponent to be impatient, this could be effective against him.

This is very much possible, but you will need to play typical middlegame positions in order to achieve this. Furthermore, you will need to be the one who dictates the game. This is very important requirement.

You can play positions with an isolated pawn. My answer provides comprehensive coverage of the plans for both sides. Still, let me remind you-side with the isolated pawn exchanges pieces only when it can get a definite, visible-with-the-naked-eye benefit. As long as the board is packed with pieces the advantage is on its side. Side without isolated pawn strives to exchange minor pieces and enter endgame. Again, in the endgame you can prolong the game as much as you want as you will have the advantage. Usually you will be the only one who can play for a win and your opponent usually will have no counterplay but will be forced to passively defend.

Another typical position that has a lot of maneuvering and is slow is Carlsbad pawn structure and it arises from Queen's Gambit Declined after White exchanges on d5 with the move cxd5. White again has lots of plans here, but you would be interested in minority attack. Minority attack creates a weak pawn for Black on c6 and allows White to perform long maneuvers in order to take it ( just don't underestimate Black's mating attack on the kingside! ). This would be ideal choice for you.

You could try French defense with both colors. With White you can try Advance variation, and with Black Winaver sounds good. Again, both positions require long maneuvers.

END OF EDIT:

Best regards.

  • It would give him the advantage late game on an empty board. – Akiva Mar 18 '14 at 0:49
  • @Akiva: It could is the right word. It seems that OP believes if he exchanges bishop for a knight and keeps the board "packed" he will 100% get the advantage, which is a false assumption. Best regards. – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Mar 18 '14 at 0:51
  • What was said, was, as knights are generally more valuable on crowded boards. (Or so I am told) "100% will get the advantage" ergo was not the intended inference. I appreciate the suggestion, but I think you read the op too strongly. – Akiva Mar 18 '14 at 0:59
  • @Akiva: You are correct, I did exaggerated there, but still it does not change the core point of my answer that he can not prolong opening, nor he can avoid exchanges. I apologize, but the question is so poorly phrased. By the way, please stop "speaking in third person", it confuses me :) Best regards. – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Mar 18 '14 at 1:03
  • That redaction was very big of you; thank you. I apologize, but the question is so poorly phrased. ; I think this is a fair criticism, and I do really appreciate the advice given. Best regards. – Akiva Mar 18 '14 at 2:13

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