Questions tagged [middlegame]

Questions about the middlegame. The middlegame is the stage of the game after the opening has been completed and most of the pieces have been developed, but before the endgame. In the middlegame, the plans usually revolve around trying to improve one's own position and win material from the opponent, or sometimes, to deliver mate to the opponent.

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How to play as black in the exchange Caro-Kann?

I used to be a Caro-Kann player and had great results in it against all lines except the exchange variation. I had a horrible score there and I wish to remedy that. What are some good middlegame plans ...
anti - Marshall's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
95 views

Need more clarity on the following chess concepts - planning, strategy, schematic thinking, backward thinking

I'm studying chess middlegame, specifically about planning. I'm trying to broaden my understanding of the terms - Planning, Strategy, Schematic thinking, and Backward thinking.
Arun J's user avatar
  • 1,857
1 vote
2 answers
225 views

Does this chess variant exist, and has it ever been considered for official tournaments?

Inspired by this question: Why did Magnus Carlsen not play the World Chess Championship in 2023? It's not the first time I've heard about GMs (not just Magnus Carlsen) being tired of the current state ...
walen's user avatar
  • 650
0 votes
5 answers
329 views

Can't understand where is my fault in this game

I played with white. I suspect that not having control in the center might be the problem. Is that true or is there something else? The game GIF: https://lichess1.org/game/export/gif/qtKvS9zz.gif The ...
Gamal Othman's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
140 views

What is the exact difference between <1500 and >1500?

I just finished a video series on imbalances, and I was wondering, why doesn't anyone talk about this? I'm 1440 blitz on lichess and 1373 on chess.com(peak 1391). Based on the video I just watched ...
Jason K.'s user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
131 views

London system plan against Qxb6 when white has time to go a3 and Rc1 getting out of pin

In the London system where white doesn't develop the b1 knight early the Qxb6 followed by a3 is considered a mistake due to the following sequence [FEN ""] 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 c5 4. ...
cmgchess's user avatar
  • 2,388
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to come up with candidate moves or ideas in positions "with no action"?

Here is an example position: [fen ""] [Startply "40"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. e5 Nd5 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 O-O 8. a3 Ba5 9. Bc4 Nb6 10. Ba2 Bxd2+ 11. Qxd2 d5 12. ...
Gulzar's user avatar
  • 226
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why does GM Larry claim that this sacrifice is brilliant?

On this webpage GM Larry Kaufman claimed (at least up to 2012) that the following move was brilliant: [Title "Kasparov vs Shirov (Horgen 1994)"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/...
user21820's user avatar
  • 2,809
2 votes
3 answers
254 views

Why do people play a/h3?

I am very low rated in chess (900 chess.com rapid) and when I play against higher rated players I often see moves like h3, a3 from white, and the equivalent from black. I don't understand why someone ...
jscz's user avatar
  • 39
5 votes
1 answer
183 views

What happened actually in the game Kreschmer - Laue, Aisenach 1951?

[Title "Kretschmar vs. Laue, 1951"] [fen "7k/3R2pq/pb3N2/1p4Qp/5p2/1PP2P1P/1P4PK/4r3 w - - 0 1"] In a German book, Spass am Kombinieren (Joy of Combination) by Albin Pötzsch, it ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 3,399
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

Bishop and Knight exchange with opponent's Rook and pawn

Chess games statistics In Chess, Are there advantages or disadvantages of exchanging your Bishop + Knight with opponent's Rook and Pawn in middle game? Knight 3 points Bishop 3 points Vs Rook 5 points ...
Prashant Akerkar's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
262 views

Why does Stockfish evaluate this position as completely lost?

After thinking for a minute my copy of Stockfish evaluates the position below as +4.7 for white. Why does the computer hate black's position so much? I know that all things being equal, black should ...
Keeley Hoek's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
346 views

Chess middle game puzzle online for free

Recently, I was looking for a website where I can find only middle game puzzles. I found the website, I had solved most of the puzzles in less than a minute (If I get enough time, I can solve any ...
Billy Istiak's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is Silman's book 'How to Reassess Your Chess: Chess Mastery Through Imbalances' any good?

I don't know if book review is allowed in the site or not, but I am just starting with a position I found pretty confusing in his book. [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??...
Billy Istiak's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
221 views

Why Bxa2 is bad according to Silman?

[FEN "2nr1r2/1pp1q1pk/2n1bp1p/p3p3/4P2N/2P1N1P1/PP2QPBP/3R1RK1 b - - 0 1"] 1... Bxa2 2. Bh3 Nb6 (2... Nd6 3. Rxd6 cxd6 4. Bf5+ Kg8 5. Ng6 Qf7 6. Nxf8 Qxf8) I found the above position in ...
Billy Istiak's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can White win this middle game?

I played a game that ended with a draw and this is the end position: [FEN ""] [startply "119"] 1. e4 f6 2. d4 d6 3. c4 b6 4. Nc3 Bb7 5. f4 Nd7 6. Nf3 c5 7. d5 Qc7 8. Bd3 a6 9. a3 ...
Zuriel's user avatar
  • 9,073
1 vote
1 answer
172 views

What goes through the mind of a chess player in the middlegame?

What goes through the mind of a chess player in the middlegame? After learning how to move the pieces, after understanding how the game is divided into stages, and after finding that openings can ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
179 views

Why does the computer recommend to move the rook?

I don’t understand why the computer is suggesting I move the rook to e1 in this scenario.
jrudd's user avatar
  • 123
1 vote
2 answers
481 views

What are some middle game chess books that are good for beginners? [closed]

What are some great middlegame chess books that are for beginners that will help me to improve my middle game in chess? There aren't a lot of books on the middle game.
Ramsey Rashelle's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
306 views

How to find 'Thermopylaes' with engines?

Motivation “You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one." – Michail Tal I am looking for ways to systematically find ...
Peter Fischer's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
168 views

Is attacking the kingside with White when Black kind-of plays the King Indian's defense setup a valid gameplan?

So recently I played an online blitz game with White (you can find the game here and the analysis here) [White "LetMeWinPls45"] [Black "Nord1970"] [FEN ""] 1. d4 g6 2. ...
TheFakeGrandmaster's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
132 views

What is the best way to play the middlegame? [closed]

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, ...
user3576467's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
577 views

How to understand which positions result from certain opening

I was watching Irina Krush's great lecture on YouTube and, at 20:06, she asks "Which opening is this position from?" The answer is apparently the Sicilian, which made me wonder. How do you ...
Sinan Yaman's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
181 views

Why wasn't Ne5 a mistake when I could just win the exchange in one move?

I had this position arise in a game: [FEN "4qrk1/3rppbp/1p4p1/p2P4/1pBP1B2/1P2PN2/5PPP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 2 21"] [White "Kevin"] [Black "lichess AI level 3"] 1. Ne5 {I ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 211
5 votes
2 answers
166 views

Coming up with a plan at beginning of middlegame

I very often encounter the situation that I don't know how to come up with a plan after the opening. See this position, playing as Black, black to move: [FEN "r3r1k1/1pp1qpp1/pb1p1n1p/4p3/1P2P3/...
antonro's user avatar
  • 629
7 votes
1 answer
356 views

Middlegame plan for this position

I'm playing a game against a chess computer as white, my move: I'm struggling to work out what I should try to do. I am up a pawn. I've managed to force the black king to move so it couldn't castle ...
Tarski's user avatar
  • 285
6 votes
4 answers
440 views

Why does Stockfish give an evaluation of +7.42 here?

[fen "r3k1nr/pppqn2p/5p2/b5p1/3PP3/1BP2QBP/PP1N2P1/R3K2R w KQkq - 3 14"] This game was played by me on chess.com recently. (I am white). The material balance is +1 (for white). Then why is ...
CoolCoder's user avatar
  • 199
22 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is ..Kh8 so much worse than ..Kg7 after Nf6?

I just "failed" this Lichess exercise. Main line is Stockfish's, secondary is mine's. [FEN "r5k1/3N1p1p/2p1p1pb/3pP3/p2P3q/5P2/PP2QP1P/R4RK1 b - - 2 19"] 1...Bf4 2. Nf6 Kg7 {-5.4 ...
walen's user avatar
  • 650
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why is this seemingly quiet and normal position actually -3?

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq - 0 1 [Event "Casual Blitz game"] [Site "https://lichess.org/GETmjlLj"] [Date "2021.08.15"] [White "WMArsyHuda&...
Mateen Ulhaq's user avatar
  • 1,304
4 votes
2 answers
268 views

How do you evaluate this position?

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq - 0 1 [Date "2021.08.14"] [Result "0-1"] [UTCDate "2021.08.14"] [UTCTime "22:01:55"] [...
maxmitz's user avatar
  • 675
9 votes
3 answers
540 views

How do I play against the Queen's Gambit Declined Tartakower structure?

I play the Exchange Variation against the QGD, but I'm really struggling against the Tartakower style setup in the QGD, when black plays b6 and c5. As White, I just don't really know what I'm supposed ...
totalpatzer's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is h4 much better than h3?

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1 [Event "Rated Rapid game"] [Date "2021.08.09"] [Result "0-1"] [Variant "Standard"] [TimeControl &...
maxmitz's user avatar
  • 675
15 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is a pawn hook?

On my question (Why is 11. .. h6 such a bad move?) someone commented that I should read about the concepts of hooks. One definition that I found was: A hook is an advanced pawn which can be exploited ...
maxmitz's user avatar
  • 675
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to attack in Scandinavian Defense

After 10 moves as Black, I often end up in a position very close to this, where I still have left my options open about castling. [FEN "r3k2r/ppqn1ppp/2pbpn2/5bB1/2B5/P1NP1N1P/1PP2PP1/R2Q1RK1 w ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
173 views

How did chess change over the 2010s and should I keep anything in mind for buying books from before 2010?

I presume I am being overly paranoid regarding this, and I definitely don't intend to turn away from older books at all, but were there any developments opening-wise, middlegame-wise, or endgame-wise ...
Jag's user avatar
  • 33
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why is capturing the bishop in this position a blunder?

[FEN "r2n1rk1/pp1bppbp/1n4p1/q1N5/3P3N/PB2B2P/1P3PP1/R2Q1RK1 w - - 3 18"] Why is Nxd7 a blunder in this position? I think that once the light squared bishop comes to c6 it will become very ...
Tabludif's user avatar
  • 141
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why is 12... d4 a blunder?

I recently played a game featuring the Old Sicilian with a bit of a branch-off. White played 3. Bc4 after 2. Nf3 Nc6, which I don't deal well with. I ended up playing 12... d4, attacking the White ...
randomlurker's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
265 views

Why are lots of different moves usually considered equivalent in the opening, but not in the middlegame?

When you go to websites like chess.com and analyze your games, you'll notice that most of the first moves are marked as being "book moves"—which I assume are considered equivalent to each ...
Labba's user avatar
  • 337
0 votes
1 answer
246 views

A certain game with a knight promotion checkmate

I once remember (this happened 2-3 years ago) one of my friends showing me a game that was about 20 moves long. It was maybe a little longer, but it definitely ended in the middle game. It ended with ...
fartgeek's user avatar
  • 605
2 votes
1 answer
153 views

What to do with space?

I sometimes find that after an opening, I have created "space" for myself, and control most of the board. But then I'm not sure what to do next. For instance (0 6 time control on Lichess, me ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why is this position considered to give white a significant advantage?

In this position, black's king is safe, has a secure queenside pawn structure, and has taken out white's left pawns and is up 2 points of material. Despite this, lichess evaluates this position at +3....
qazwsx's user avatar
  • 193
5 votes
1 answer
138 views

Increase in pawn value towards endgames

I’m writing my own chess engine where I’ll be implementing something called a tapered eval which is one that evaluates the position with an endgame specific evaluation function and a middle game ...
Niels Abildskov's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
124 views

How does his 3 step plan by Petrosian works?

[FEN "r6k/3q2bp/1p6/2pPp1p1/2P1QpP1/5P2/1P2R2P/2B3K1 w - - 0 1"] Here Petrosian gives the following 3 step winning plan: Stage 1: Tie down the black pieces to defense of the e pawn: 13.Bd2 ...
bretlee's user avatar
  • 2,515
30 votes
4 answers
7k views

As a beginner, how do I learn to win in "won" positions?

I'm fairly new to chess (~3 months) and I have almost entirely been playing on chess.com where my rating sits somewhere between 1000 and 1100. Recently, I decided to sign up for lichess.org, where I ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 992
13 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is it good to have a tendency to exchange pieces?

This is how I am playing nowadays. I can beat ~1500 player 50% of the time (the rest is due to tactical errors): Play the opening (upto 12 moves) Don't blunder At the point where my pawns and pieces ...
bretlee's user avatar
  • 2,515
5 votes
4 answers
444 views

Having knightmares, what to do?

I just hate when my opponent has the knights because most of my blunders happen due to them. I generally like endgames where my opponent doesn't have the knight. I also hate when the Knight enters my ...
bretlee's user avatar
  • 2,515
2 votes
1 answer
166 views

What is the best approach to this situation?

So I am still learning chess and I have a lot of trouble in these situations. Please help me with what to do in the next few turns.
Usman Naveed's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
141 views

How to avoid blundering in chess? [duplicate]

I realize that there is no point in playing good chess if you end up blundering away a rook or a bishop. I end up blundering atleast once in two games which generally ends up with me resigning due to ...
user15740's user avatar
  • 179
-5 votes
2 answers
111 views

Mastering: Openings, Middlegame or Endgame [closed]

Which of the following is better to master: The openings, middlegame or endgame? Also, which is worth mastering?
Prashant Akerkar's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
451 views

Looking for instructive examples on how to defend against the Giuoco Piano or Giuoco Pianissimo (?) opening from Black's perspective

e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 (The Two Knights Defence is my choice) 4. d3 and I am obliged to play the Giuoco Piano 4... Bc5. I am afraid of the middlegame positions that arise after this opening, ...
kissasakari's user avatar