I am a good player when I have a plan. If I have a certain goal in mind, I can see the way to it. But in quiet, planless, positions, I have difficulty as an attacking and tactical player. What is the best way to cope with them.

4 Answers 4


When there is no concrete plan of action possible, the general plan should be to -

  1. Improve the position of your pieces
  2. Trade off bad pieces if possible
  3. Try to create weaknesses in your opponent's position
  4. Keep your king safe and see if the enemy's king position can be compromised.

A good middlegame strategy book will help you figure out what sort of plans you can execute besides just attacking ones. I enthusiastically recommend Mastering Chess Strategy by Johan Hellsten, a very nice breakdown of all the standard strategic plans and tactics, with hundreds of problems to test your understanding.


It seems you are good in tactical calculations and you can find combinations well, but you lack in strategical moves.

I think, you should improve your middle-game skills. To achieve this, you can read middle-game books and analyse the games of GMs. For example, try to guess the next move in those games, after that try to understand why they played that move... .

On the other hand, there are many useful middle game tutorials and training sites on the Internet.

  • It is not lack of middle-game skill. I can play positional openings with ease. The problem is with games such as an Berlin Wall middlegame, with nothing to play for.
    – MikhailTal
    Oct 26, 2014 at 12:41
  • You have two choices, avoid those games that you are not so skilled in the opening stage, or read the played games in those variations.
    – masoud
    Oct 26, 2014 at 12:43
  • Well something you can reference. I was playing an d5 Alapin against a FM, and I got out of the opening with an advantage after the queens got exchanged. But then I went on to a worse endgame after the quiet position.
    – MikhailTal
    Oct 26, 2014 at 12:47
  • @MikhailTal: But then I went on to a worse endgame after the quiet position -> post that game as an edit, and rephrase your question a little. Its not the "quet game" that killed you, it is your lack of skill in exchanging the right pieces. This is very important skill to obtain if you wish to play "quiet" positions successfully and is very "slippery" territory... Oct 26, 2014 at 14:53
  • It was not that. I don't have the slip, but the FM pointed out that instead of keeping to the strengths I had, I tried to position my pieces in an attacking position. The attack wasn't successful, so I went on to a rook and bishop vs rook and knight game.
    – MikhailTal
    Oct 26, 2014 at 15:25

You could develop an opening repertoire that prevents quiet games. for example, play e4 as white, e5 or c5 as black. Against d4, play f5(dutch). This will considerably reduce "quiet" games.

  • +1. I think your answer has the right to exist. Still, it is a bit short. And some users seem to enjoy to give silent downvotes.
    – user2001
    Nov 3, 2014 at 20:43

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