Questions tagged [strategy]

Questions relating to strategical play and long term planning in chess

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39
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 ...
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?
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Strategy in Isolated Queen Pawn Positions

What should Black's plan be in Isolated Queen Pawn Openings like this one arising from the Caro-Kann Panov attack? [fen ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 e6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.cxd5 Nxd5
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
357 views

Conceptually, what makes the Sicilian opening sensible for black?

We all know the Sicilian as shown below, is one of the most famous and commonly employed openings in chess. But compared to the other replies, which tend to be more about fixing the center (such as e5,...
25
votes
7answers
3k 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, ...
24
votes
11answers
20k views

Is chess a solved game?

Chess is a zero-sum game of limited decisions. The number of possible moves at any given point, and the number of possible states of the board, are all finite. Tic-Tac-Toe, is one of the easiest ...
18
votes
3answers
5k views

How to deal with an opposing pawn storm?

During some recent games I played, I have lost because my opponent advanced their pawns very far, attacking my pieces and forcing them to retreat. In some cases the pieces became trapped as well. ...
13
votes
3answers
16k views

Why is the centre of the board considered important in chess?

Yes, we have all heard phrases like 'control the centre'. I would like to know the concrete reason why the centre of the board - in particular the 4 squares - e4, e5, d4, d5, are considered important ...
4
votes
5answers
742 views

What advice would you give a novice in Chess?

I am a bit of a new blood when it comes to Chess. Oh I know how to play but before I started getting more serious it was more like flailing about and hoping for the best. Recently I came to the ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How can one get the best possible result against a player of very different strength?

I (about a 1500 player) once took White against a 2100 player, and played a Queen's Gambit. I lost of course, but the other player complimented my play. He said, "You played well for about 20 moves, ...
10
votes
2answers
8k views

endgame with single Bishop or single Knight?

If given the choice should I opt for an endgame with a single Bishop or a single Knight? I understand Bishops increase in value in the endgame but is the disadvantage of covering only half the squares ...
16
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the main strategic concepts in the Grunfeld?

I recently picked up on the Grunfeld and I am quite pleased with this opening. To improve my skill at playing this opening; What are the most important strategic/thematic concepts that I should ...
6
votes
3answers
334 views

Chess variation where the goal is to lose all pieces

A friend challenged me to a chess variation I have never heard of. All chess rules apply. If you have an opportunity to take a piece, you must take it, you cannot avoid or block exchanges. The only ...
2
votes
3answers
364 views

Attacking play in chess

How do I play in an attacking manner? I know it sounds silly, but whenever I play, I am usually on the defensive. My opponents attack, forcing me into a corner, and usually won. The few times I attack,...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

General advice for middlegame [duplicate]

This is a very basic and general question (and my first on this website), so feel free to tell me if this is inappropriate. Besides specific strategies and opening sequences, there are some fairly ...
0
votes
3answers
390 views

What is zugzwang in chess?

What is the zugzwang? I have read this term in chess book but the term not much clear to me. Anyone know to to use this and what are the advantage of this?
-1
votes
4answers
137 views

In the middlegame, can one avoid compromising the balance one's opening has achieved? [closed]

A polite duplicate asked last week by @57Jimmy mentions an incidental matter I find interesting: But when all the pieces are out, well placed, and I have castled, I have no idea about what I should ...
26
votes
14answers
9k views

How to learn chess if you're still a 3-digit rating after a few years

I know how all the pieces move and I've learned about castling and en passant. But all I do is play online against other people and get wrecked because I don't know how to "play." I make moves like ...
42
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....
16
votes
9answers
12k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What are some advantages/disadvantages of accepting/declining gambits?

Most of the time I see gambits are declined, but what are the advantages or disadvantages of accepting or declining gambits? I know this depends on the type of gambit, but I am looking for a more ...
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 [...
11
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2answers
12k views

What are the main ideas and goals in the Queen's Indian Defense?

There's no real surprise when it comes to the strategy for the King's Indian Defence: storm white's king side, maybe sac a few things, and mate (ideally). But what does a practitioner of the QID hope ...
19
votes
15answers
8k views

Should you always try your best (play as if your opponent is a grandmaster)?

Should you always play with your "best" skills no matter how (un)skilled your opponent is? Is there a situation where intentionally not playing to the best of your abilities is a good strategy? Like, ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Improving the endgame: Principles

I find I am weakest in the endgame, which is arguably the most important part of chess. Usually when I reach the endgame I have an advantage, often a pawn or a "winning" pawn formation, but I am not ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Opening Moves: Pawn Chains and Countering Attacks

What is it called when your opponent opens with their pawns in a zigzag formation, leaving the front line defended by the back? (Pawn Chain) Also what is the best way to counter this move?
4
votes
5answers
426 views

What are the mistakes committed by players who take many years to become an expert?

I am a beginner and am targeting to become an expert. I see many people who barely takes 4 years to become an expert and many people who take 10 years to become an expert. I don't want to repeat the ...
17
votes
2answers
828 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? ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Caruana vs Carlsen game 10 (WCC) why not 18…Nxb6?

In game 10 of the Caruana-Carlsen WCC, why did Carlsen (black) not take the terribly annoying and strong dark squared bishop on b6 on move 18 when given the chance? Instead, Carlsen moved the queen ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I promote my pawn when the king blocks it?

I was playing ChessEndGames and ran into this position (white to move): [fen "5k2/8/4PK2/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] I can't get my pawn to promote. As soon as I do e7, black follows with Ke8. If I do Ke5,...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do Chess GMs need coaches?

Today chess.com did an interview with Carlsen's coach. Someone like Carlen or Anand, why do they still need coaches? Their Elo is higher than their coaches, they can use engines to analyze the games, ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Which openings give a winning pawn-structure in the endgame?

For example in the Exchange Variation of the Spanish 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6, White gives Black the Bishop pair, but gains a potentially winning pawns-only endgame. Are there other ...
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
7k views

How do players “see” several moves ahead?

How can you predict what your opponent will play in the next 5 turns, 7 turns, 10 turns? If the game is like a tree, then the more the turns the more it will branch out. How can a player accurately ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

When to push centrals pawns?

Lets consider you have e4 d4 pawns with white or e5,d5 with black. When your opponent challenge your center with e5 or d5 with black, or with e4 or d4 with white of course his pawns are protected. How ...
4
votes
6answers
8k views

Tips on how to beat a computer?

What strategy should I use to win a chess game against a chess computer? The engine is able to make decisions on an about 3 moves deep search graph. Please do not say check every move in the next 4 ...
2
votes
2answers
680 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

To what extent should you prevent your opponent from castling?

I normally try to prevent my opponent from castling if possible, by forcing their king to move or keeping an attacking piece on a diagonal or file. I tend to make this a priority, giving up the ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Giving up Knight and Bishop for castled Rook and Pawn

The opening showed here is quite common. Is it generally a good or a bad idea to give up a Knight and a Bishop for the King-side castled Rook and the f-pawn? In terms of their "standard" value, both ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

Is pawns supporting pawns a good opening strategy?

For my opening strategy in most chess games I play, I usually move my pawns forward two, then one in an alternating strategy, until I have a sort of WWW shape with my pawns. That way, if anyone takes ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Fianchetto bishop vs. normal bishop?

I have found the following disadvantages of the fianchetto bishop: 1) The diagonal it controls is often blocked by the knight in its natural square. 2) The diagonal it controls is often blocked by ...
10
votes
5answers
578 views

Why do players attack one apparently unimportant square?

I've noticed one thing players tend to do in chess is concentrate on building up pressure on one square. I can understand early in the game if it's a central square like d4 or e5 and the king is ...
8
votes
9answers
838 views

What is the best way to free your queen as soon as possible?

We can open games in many ways (any of the pawns or knights) and then go ahead with different strategies. The queen being the most important piece, I would like to get it out in the field without ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the f6 pawn break in Advanced French so important for black?

I am new to the French (so forgive me if the question seems elementary). I've just come across the pawn break ...f6 for black in the French advance variation, and I find the pawn break quite dubious ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the best strategy against the Hippo?

What's the best strategy against the so-called Hippopotamus opening or defense, in which White or Black pushes almost all of her pawns on the 3rd or 6th rank, except perhaps the a and h pawns, and ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Why not 1.d4 Nf6 2.d5?

Why isn't 1.d4 Nf6 2.d5 a good move? It gains space in the center. As beginners we are told that after 1.d4, 1...d5 directly opposes White's ambitions in the center, stopping d4-d5 (similarly, in some ...
6
votes
4answers
476 views

How to know how good an opening/defense scores?

I play Philidor defense, Lolli attack, Fried Liver attack... Other people choose to play well known openings/defenses, so i decided to ask the following questions. Everyone learns the Najdorf defense ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Weak and strong squares

I somewhat understand the concept of attacking the king and pieces, but "attacking" squares is a bit of a vague concept for me. What are weak and strong squares? When do you use them? How do you ...