Questions tagged [positional-play]

A style of play emphasizing capture of strategic squares and prophylactic moves.

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42
votes
10answers
16k views

How do I learn to understand the middlegame?

I am trying to train tactics as well as my general understanding of the beginning/middlegame. I spent a good bit of time understanding endgames, per chessmaster recommendations and those I can ...
32
votes
5answers
21k views

How do chess engines “think”?

What I want to know is how engines are programmed to find moves. I'm sure they first calculate the most forcing lines such as captures and checks. But what about subtle, deep positional moves? They ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the theory behind center control?

Center control is an important aspect of playing chess, most openings are built around controlling the center, but why? Is center control really that important for winning a game?
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Assessing an early c4 against white's Stonewall structure

I made a horrible decision as black in a game, and I do not understand why it's incorrect. [fen "rn2kb1r/pp2pppp/1q3n2/2pp4/3P1P2/2PQPN2/PP4PP/RNB1K2R b - - 0 1"] I played c4, Stockfish considers ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Positional thinking by Grandmasters

How do Grandmasters think in an unknown position and make the best move?
25
votes
7answers
4k views

What are the reasons why I should not try to take a Knight with my Bishop if it'll result in doubled pawns?

For instance, in the Ruy Lopez, after [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 why shouldn't I take the Knight? 4 Bxc6 dxc6 Now Black has a doubled pawn. It isn't a very popular line of play, ...
16
votes
10answers
7k views

What is the correct definition of a bad bishop?

Is a bad bishop a bishop that is trapped by your own pawns? (For example, all your pawns are on dark squares, so the dark squared bishop is bad.) Or is it when your opponent's pawns trap your bishop'...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to improve positional chess understanding?

I am a normal player with ~1500 FIDE rating, and I am quite good at tactics and trap things. But I falter at the positional games and I am bound to make mistakes where the things are non-tactical. So ...
6
votes
10answers
4k views

Switching from 1.e4 to 1.d4?

I've only played 1.e4 as white so far (in clubs, tournaments, online, everywhere!), in the past 5 years since I learned chess. And it has been very fun, but I want to explore the dark side as well, as ...
15
votes
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the bishop pair worth?

It depends on the position but with all things being equal how much material value would you say the bishop pair is valued at?
21
votes
10answers
10k views

What are the things that a 2000 player knows that a 1800 player doesn't know?

I'm stuck at 1600-1800 in chess.com. My rating fluctuates within that range. There must be something that I still don't understand that is already understood by a 1900-2000 player. So I am asking for ...
16
votes
9answers
13k views

What is positional play in chess?

I have played chess so many times, understood tactics (pins, discovered check, overloading, deflection, skewer), but I never understood clearly the positional play. I have noticed not many tutorials ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

In the Classical Variation of the Caro-Kann, what is the most positional, strategic, quiet, slow, closed, boring, dry and solid variation for Black?

I am not sure what to play as Black in the Classical Variation of the Caro-Kann, after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 [...
19
votes
12answers
2k views

I lost a game without making tactical mistakes; how can I avoid this happening in the future?

Here's a game of mine from last night. It was my first tournament game for many years. (This game is David Kenney vs. Douglas Stones [me] 1-0. Press F to flip the board.) [fen ""] [Event "Bluenose ...
4
votes
3answers
804 views

Overprotection and prophylaxis

My understanding (and I may be wrong there) is that prophylaxis is a wider concept than overprotection, and so there are some prophylactic moves that don't have anything to do with overprotection (...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

For Black, against the Caro-Kann Advance Shirov variation 4. Nc3 which move tends to lead to the most positional, slow, solid and strategic positions?

I'm a 1800 Elo player that likes positional, quiet, drawish, slow, boring and strategic openings. As Black against 1. e4 I play the Caro-Kann. But there is one variation of the Caro-Kann that I ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Pawns in the center: strength or weakness?

In most openings, pawns typically end up at some of the centre squares. There is really no other way to open up the long diagonals(c1-h6,a6-f1) for the bishops. However, how desirable is this? ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Since each engine has its own style of play… which engines are more positional/strategic and which engines are more sharp/tactical?

I’ve heard that each engine has its own style of play. Some are more positional and strategic, while others are more sharp and tactical. And so my question is: could you roughly sort the following ...
2
votes
2answers
770 views

What is chess style?

People talk about chess stylet. Obviously, some players such as Tal or Shirazi sought out highly tactical positions but is there anything more to it than that? The only alternative to being a ...
17
votes
2answers
912 views

Is game analysis based on “squares” instead of “pieces” of any value?

Most all analysis I've seen in chess focuses on pieces development, and not the development of unoccupied spaces. Is there any value in analyzing game play in this way, and if so, how is this done? ...
7
votes
2answers
673 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Ways to evaluate a position?

I was wondering if the only way to evaluate a position is by looking for next moves like a chess engine does. Is it possible with only a static evaluation of the board to get a correct evaluation ...