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 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
120 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. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
61 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, ...
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5 votes
3 answers
539 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
154 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 ...
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  • 181
6 votes
2 answers
143 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/...
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  • 363
8 votes
1 answer
262 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 ...
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  • 285
6 votes
4 answers
305 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 571
10 votes
3 answers
3k 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&...
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4 votes
2 answers
254 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"] [...
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  • 675
9 votes
1 answer
304 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 ...
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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 &...
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  • 675
15 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
151 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 ...
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  • 33
14 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 ...
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  • 151
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 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
252 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 ...
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  • 327
0 votes
1 answer
150 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 ...
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  • 555
2 votes
1 answer
142 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 ...
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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....
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  • 193
5 votes
1 answer
115 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
119 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 ...
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  • 2,485
29 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 ...
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  • 960
13 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 2,485
5 votes
4 answers
390 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 ...
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  • 2,485
2 votes
1 answer
162 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.
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1 vote
1 answer
125 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 ...
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  • 179
-4 votes
2 answers
84 views

Openings vs. Middle vs. End games [closed]

Which among the following is the most difficult to master in Chess games? Opening vs. Middle vs. End
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2 votes
3 answers
308 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, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
350 views

Wwhy was f5 played here?

[FEN "r1b1k2r/3pnpbp/pp2p1p1/2q3B1/3pPP2/1B1P4/PPP1N1PP/R2Q1RK1 b k - 0 1"] In this position, f5 was played. The reasoning is that Black's king is still in the center, so if White decides ...
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  • 2,485
-1 votes
4 answers
165 views

Black to move, is there a possibility to win in this position?

With Black to move, is there a possibility to win in this position? [FEN "3rk2r/1p2q2p/1Q1p1Bpb/1R1N3n/1P6/5N2/1P3PPP/4R1K1 b k - 0 1"]
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6 votes
1 answer
218 views

What should my plans be in a Carlsbad pawn structure?

I often find myself in positions with the Carlsbad pawn structure, and I really struggle to come up with a plan. I am usually the one with the pawn chain pointing toward the queenside, so I assume ...
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1 vote
1 answer
108 views

Help needed to find the big mistake

Below is a a game in which I played as black. A chess engine analysis told me that I made big one mistake. Can someone point out what it is? [FEN ""] 1. d4 b6 2. e4 Bb7 3. Nd2 g6 4. Bd3 Bg7 5. Ngf3 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
695 views

Can someone explain the positional advantages for white?

[FEN "3r1rk1/7p/bq2ppp1/p1R5/Pp2P2P/4QB2/1P3PP1/3R2K1 w - - 0 1"] As far I can see, Black’s bishop has more scope than the white one, White has some isolated pawns, and the Black pawns rule the 5th ...
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  • 2,485
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why, in this Capablanca game, was this move considered bad?

Regarding this position: [fen "r2qr1k/pbpn1pbp/1p1p1np1/4p3/1PP5/3P1NP1/PBQNPPBP/R2R2K1 w - - 1 1"] I have 2 questions: 1)If the game goes 1..c5 2.b5 the engine shows white slightly better but if 1....
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  • 2,485
4 votes
3 answers
144 views

How to visualize in chess?

Skip to 2:08:27 in this video https://youtu.be/nK4SNEbMn7s. What exactly is GMHikaru doing that?How can I be able to do that?Does it comes naturally with practice or their are exercises?
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  • 2,485
5 votes
1 answer
378 views

How to proceed with the book "Pawn Structure Chess" by Andrew Soltis?

Should I memorize everything in the book, or use it in some other way?
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  • 2,485
2 votes
1 answer
178 views

Tips on The Greek Gift

I always have problems in executing The Greek Gift. This a position which I got in a recent game : rn1q1rk1/1b1nbppp/p3p3/1p2P3/3N4/2NB4/PPP1Q1PP/R1B2RK1 w - - 3 13 Even though the Knight is not ...
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  • 1,048
2 votes
1 answer
119 views

Advanced Caro Kann: Queenless Middlegame

I started analysing my games as a means to improvement. I am trying to form my own opinion without looking at the engine that much, as I can't rely on it while analysing a position in game. I really ...
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  • 519
-1 votes
2 answers
121 views

Going from a winning position to losing one [closed]

I often go from winning positions to losing positions. What could I do to stop doing this? For an example, take a look at this games of in which I played as Black. [FEN ""] 1. e4 {0} 1... e5 {4} 2....
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  • 2,485
3 votes
2 answers
99 views

Queenless Imbalanced Middlegame(3)

In the following position white is down the exchange, but up a pawn. Stockfish 10 and Komodo 13.2 evaluate it at 0.00. My Question is essentially which side has the advantage(if any) and if so how ...
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  • 2,118
2 votes
1 answer
627 views

Queenless Imbalanced Middlegame(2)

I analyzed the following position with both Stockfish 10 and Komodo 13.2. The 2 monster engines evaluated it at a dead draw at 0.00. Is this really the case or does either side have some sort of an ...
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  • 2,118
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

Queenless Imbalanced Middlegame

I was analyzing the following position for one of the correspondence games that I am playing. In the position, white is up 2 pawns and with my limited understanding, I can't see any real compensation ...
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  • 2,118
4 votes
1 answer
264 views

Tactics in Firouzja's game round 3

In round 3, Firouzja and Artemiev played a very interesting Caro-Kann game, with white constantly trying to open up the position even at the cost of pawns, in order to exploit black's exposed king ...
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  • 3,320
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

Winning middlegame?

The following is a winning middlegame for White from Capablanca's Chess Fundamentals. It's white to play. [FEN "2nb1rk1/1pqrnppp/p2p4/2pQ1N2/6P1/1P1B1N1P/P3RP2/3R2K1 w - - 0 0"] 1. Nxe7+ ...
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  • 255
4 votes
2 answers
159 views

Explaining middle game computer analysis

I was looking at the computer analysis for a game I played and I need some help to understand a line found by the computer. After a balanced game (started with a Torre Attack) we arrived at the ...
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  • 143
2 votes
0 answers
76 views

Sites to learn the middlegame from [closed]

I have been going through some websites for practising my middle game so that I can get an advantage right away. What are some good sites for practising the middlegame?
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0 votes
2 answers
149 views

Guarding my seventh rank and a king walk assualt

A few weeks ago. I won a game as Black on lichess.com.. [FEN ""] [startply "48"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d5 3. Bd3 c4 4. Be2 e6 5. d4 cxd3 6. Qxd3 Nc6 7. exd5 Qxd5 8. a3 Nf6 9. c4 Qxd3 10....
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