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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44
votes
6answers
4k views

Strategy in middlegame from boring positions

I get into these rather vanilla, or as I call them, boring positions. Not much is happening tactically, and I can't fathom what the right course of action should be strategically. Here is an example....
38
votes
8answers
4k views

When does the middlegame end and the endgame begin?

Is there any specific point where the middle-game ends and end-game begins? E.g. after x number of pieces are exchanged, or say 40 moves, etc.
15
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3answers
1k views

Understanding Kramnik's play in game 1 of Candidates 2018

The position I'm studying is the middlegame part of the game 1 of Berlin Candidates 2018 between Kramnik and Grischuk, which Kramnik won with the white pieces. In particular, I'm interested in ...
14
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8answers
8k views

Database of every possible move in chess

Imagine that there is a chess database of every possible move and position. This database contains all possible moves from opening to end game. If I played using my intuition against a chess engine, ...
13
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4answers
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 ...
13
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4answers
17k views

When is a Queen stronger than two Rooks?

Two Rooks are stronger than one Queen. Let's assume that the material is equal, except that one player has a pair of Rooks while the other player has a Queen. In what situations is the Queen stronger ...
11
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4answers
2k views

At what point does the opening end, and middle game begin?

Just curious if there's a set of guidelines to determine when a player can call the opening pretty much done, and move into the middle game. I know some rules of the opening that would apply are All ...
10
votes
2answers
402 views

Is there an objective measure of how “complicated” or “tension-filled” a chess position can be?

Probably most chess players will have the intuitive notion of what kind of positions are not "tension-filled" and what kind of positions are. Usually these are middlegame positions. Here's an idea of ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Is there a good method to come out with a plan during a game

I started to play chess more serious those days, through playing some tournaments. During all the games on those tournaments I face serious problems coming out with plans during the middle game, is ...
9
votes
3answers
350 views

How to improve on the early endgame?

The late middlegame/early endgame is by far my weakest point. I often get some kind of advantage in the opening, but then struggle to convert. I do study endgames, for example I am currently reading ...
8
votes
3answers
544 views

How do I trap the queen once she pins my rook?

I am playing black in this game, and after 10.Qg4 I realize white wants my rook, and I knew I could trap the queen once she went for the rook (11.Qxg7) but I forgot how. I went on to win the game but ...
8
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3answers
854 views

Chess book for kids (9-11 y.o.)

Are there any chess books accessible for kids in the 9-11 age range that don't waste the first half of the book teaching how the pieces move, castling rules and en passant capture? I am expecting some ...
8
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1answer
355 views

Carlsen vs Gelfand World Championship Candidates (2013). Could Gelfand have held it with 44…Bxf1!

[FEN "8/5p1k/1P4p1/2P4p/2b4P/5Q2/5PP1/4qBK1 b - - 0 44"] This position occurred on move 44 in the Carlsen vs Gelfand game in the World Championship Candidates, 2013. Here, Gelfand played the losing ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Why are opening books so popular?

As title above, why are opening books so popular? I am sure that most players know that middlegame and endgame books are ultimately much more important for improving one's chess strength. That is not ...
7
votes
5answers
8k views

Can playing against Computer help?

I am a begineer level player on chess.com with rating around 1500. I play daily 2-3 games with 15|10 mins time control for each player. I find it difficult to get time to study chess books, and was ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How to Break Through His “Great Wall of China”?

It's my move (white). I have no idea what to do. I feel like I'm going to get squashed to death. What would be my best move or strategy in situations like these? [fen "r2q1rk1/4b3/p1n1p1b1/1p1pPpPp/...
7
votes
2answers
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....
7
votes
2answers
366 views

Why is `a5` a better move in this position?

I was playing with a friend and we come to the following position (me white): My friend played b5 but computer analysis says that this is a mistake and he should have played a5. Now, I don't see why ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Sicilian Scheveningen versus Najdorf: What are some of the characteristics that differentiate the two openings?

I would like to compare the Sicilian Scheveningen [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 with the Sicilian Najdorf [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 ...
7
votes
2answers
690 views

Can't find long term plan for Black

I am working on multiple lines from Scandinavian defense, with the goal to resurrect them. One line I'm working on is 3...Qd8, and I have managed to achieve quite playable positions ( the results are ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Best books on middlegame strategy?

What are the best works trying to systematically summarize all middlegame themes and strategies: e.g. space advantage, pawn structures, exposed king, minority attack, isolated pawn, hanging pawns, etc....
6
votes
4answers
551 views

Choosing one move from the two moves

From the given position, is it better to take with rook or the a-pawn and why ? Black to move: The engine suggested the move axb4, why? There must be some strategical or tactical point (ignore the ...
6
votes
2answers
920 views

Pawn Sacrifice Justification

A few weeks ago, Magnus Carlsen (White) played against Anish Giri (Black), and this position was reached on the board on move 17 after black had played exf4: Here is the full game: [White "Magnus ...
6
votes
2answers
740 views

I would like to know if this game is winnable for black?

Black to move but unsure of the pieces that would give black a better advantage. Any help would be greatly appreciated. r5k1/pp1qpr1p/3p2p1/2pP4/1n2P3/1P2N1Pb/2PQ1P1P/3RR1K1 b - - 0 1
6
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3answers
3k views

Midgame Ideas in the Caro-Kann

Most of the writing I've found on the Caro-Kann online simply makes vague assertions about how "Black's endgame is better" or how White should try [some dubious move or other] to get a good attack in ...
6
votes
3answers
239 views

Unclear endgame / late middlegame position: looks like advantage white to me, but engine analysis suggests draw

Came across this position as part of some variation analysis of one of my previous games. To me it looks like a noticeable (though probably not decisive) advantage for white -- based on pawn structure ...
6
votes
3answers
922 views

Need some helps with the tactics in the middle game

I sometimes find it very difficult to determine the accurate moves in middle game. When a tough opponent is in front of me I dont let to attack at first. I strengthen my defense. But if I ever try to ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

How can Black free his game?

What are Black's long term plans in below pawn structure? How can Black free his game? The position arose from the Rubinstein variation of the French defense: [Title "White to move"] [fen "r2rb1k1/...
6
votes
2answers
389 views

Can someone describe a good/easy mental procedure to choose the best move here?

This is kind of like magic to me. Once they show you it becomes obvious :) :( Can someone point out a good/easy strategy that a player can mentally train/use to decide what is the best move here for ...
5
votes
4answers
333 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
535 views

What should be my plan?

This is a game I played recently. After 12. Be2 ..., I really didn't know how to proceed. Eventually, after thinking for a very long time (>30 minutes, it's a correspondence game by the way), I moved ...
5
votes
2answers
559 views

How to improve my early endgame / late middlegame?

When I search for books on the middlegame versus the endgame, I usually find discussions about positions that have almost nothing to do with each other: the former being rich with strategies with ...
5
votes
1answer
335 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?
5
votes
3answers
890 views

How to improve king safety

I really wish to improve my chess skills a bit, albeit I am pretty sure that I do not want to become a grandmaster. One of my problem is my king's safety. Chess is very different from some other ...
5
votes
3answers
326 views

Was this sacrifice a good one?

Upon reviewing a game I played. I started to feel bad about exchanging my attacking bishop for my opponent’s useless one. But I believe that I had no other choices. I want your opinion about what I ...
5
votes
2answers
670 views

Queenside vs Kingside pawn majority: Looking for comprehensive resources

I am looking for a resource that describes plans for both sides in the following pawn structure: [Title "Queenside vs Kingside pawn majority"] [fen "8/pp3ppp/4p3/8/2P5/8/PP3PPP/8 w - - 0 1"] This ...
5
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
332 views

Was I right to capture the pawn in this position?

I played a blitz game against a 1900 player which I won. I'm interested in this position, I'm black, with black to move. The computer recommended to take the bishop, but I didn't want to take ...
4
votes
2answers
391 views

Longest period with each piece “hanging”

What is the longest period in a real game with a position in which all pieces were "hanging"? The game can also be rapid, blitz or blindfold, but both players should have at least a 2000 ELO....
4
votes
4answers
240 views

Can the Black still win the game? How?

It’s Black to move. [FEN "r3k2r/pppbn2p/4p1p1/8/3PNq2/2PB2P1/PP3P1P/R2QR1K1 b - - 0 1"] Here's a picture of a groovy little portable chess set with the position above
4
votes
7answers
662 views

What's a good middlegame book like My System for Expert Class? [closed]

I just finished reading My System. What's a good book to study afterwards for Expert Class?
4
votes
3answers
676 views

Choosing the best move in the given position

I was just guessing the best move in the position.(white to move). I thought Rc1 would be the best move forcing white to exchange the white's dark square bishop and preserving the white's light ...
4
votes
3answers
123 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?
4
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
140 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
475 views

How to work out quiet positions?

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
255 views

What should I study?

My ELO is 2050. I had not played chess for 4 years until I moved to Amsterdam. In Amsterdam I joined a chess club which has many strong players. Every Tuesday we play 90min + 15sec incremental games ...
4
votes
1answer
412 views

How many materially equal positions are there?

Reading about the Shannon number, I see that there are about 1043 positions in chess, but how many of them are even? That is, materially (as an approximation). A position with one king vs 8 pawns and ...
3
votes
5answers
870 views

Endgame player vs middlegame player: Is the result inevitable?

I recently asked this question: Why Anand and Carlsen insisted on playing the same opening/defense FM Rauan Sagit answered: In my view, in terms of opening preparation, the Anand team failed to ...
3
votes
4answers
321 views

Why are these sacrifices good moves? What are the winning follow-ups?

I was using a phone-app called Chessrating to get an estimation of my ELO rating. It gives me 16 chess positions and I have four attempts to find the best move. There were some positions that I did ...