Questions tagged [strategy]

Questions relating to strategical play and long term planning in chess

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12
votes
2answers
3k views

What color squares should pawns be on with one bishop left?

This slightly confuses me. If I have one bishop left - let's say it is the light-squared bishop - ss it better for my pawns to be on the light squares or dark squares? Let's assume also that my ...
11
votes
4answers
743 views

My bishop is attacked by a rook-pawn, now what?

I usually get into this position, where I just recently moved the bishop to g5 (or b5), and his response is moving h6 (or a6): Usually here, I only consider two possibilities: Take the knight ...
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What are White's advantages against the Greco Defense?

After the first two moves of the Greco Defense [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qf6 what should White's agenda be? I see that the wikibook Chess Opening Theory suggests 3. Bc4, but it doesn't go into ...
11
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

Is the Scandinavian Defence inferior?

As Black, I have never played the Scandinavian Defence, nor have I ever liked the Center Game for White. It seems like 1. e4 d5 wastes valuable time after 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 and Black's Queen must ...
10
votes
6answers
381 views

What strategies should I be thinking about at the beginning of the game?

In the middle and the end of a chess game, there are visible consequences to almost every move you can make, there are more contraints limiting what is logical to move, and it is fairly ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
564 views

Why should I try to put knights on weak squares when they can be taken easily?

Here you can see two weak squares-b6 & d6. That's what my chess book says, and in order to use these two weak squares, one must consider the moves Nf3-d2-c4. Actually, the story is more ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is d5 the best move in this position?

What is the thought process behind playing d5 in this position?
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
952 views

How to play the Albin Counter Gambit

The Albin Counter Gambit starts 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4, and there is a well known and beautiful trap with a pawn to knight promotion if white plays e3. Recently players such as Morozevich and ...
10
votes
4answers
322 views

Advance of d4 in the Ruy Lopez

I was White in this position, and Black had just played f6. [FEN "r1bqkb1r/ppppn1pp/2n2p2/1B2p3/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQ1RK1 w kq - 0 1"] I played c3 to prepare a push of d4 and strike the center. ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

For White, which variation of the King's Indian Defence tends to lead to the most solid, positional, slow, strategic, quiet and closed positions?

I am a 1750 Elo player with a very positional, quiet and strategic style of play. I would like to know which variation I should play when, as White, I face the King's Indian Defence: 1...Nf6 2...g6 ...
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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the best defense against Marshall Attack?

I have usually found the Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez to be very potent and very hard to counter. [fen ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 Are ...
10
votes
3answers
540 views

Counting attackers and defenders, which pieces count?

I've heard multiple times the idea of counting attackers and defenders in estimating whether an attack/sacrifice will succeed. However, I think authors are quite loose in counting who is the attacker ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the goal of a minority attack?

I understand the definition of a minority pawn attack, is when one side has less pawns than other in a flank of the board (or any sector) and advances them to trade them with the oponent. The question ...
9
votes
5answers
403 views

How can I prevent games from dragging on?

How can I prevent a game from dragging on, taking 60+ moves to get anywhere near finishing? I mainly encounter this when playing people at or below my level (~1400). This never happens when playing ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Go for an isolated pawn

I am having trouble deciding whether I should allow getting an isolated by pushing d5. For instance, this is one of many such positions: [FEN "rn1q1rk1/pp2bppp/2ppbn2/8/2PP4/2N2N2/PP2BPPP/R1BQK2R w ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Taking the knight on c6 in open Sicilians

Why is it generally uncommon (unsound?) for white to capture the knight on c6 in open Sicilians? For example (this is just an example; I'm not referring to this specific position, but similar ...
9
votes
5answers
391 views

What opening is recommended if white is only playing for a draw?

If in a tournament game, white is only aiming for a draw, what openings and strategies will be recommended for him? I guess that the answer may depend on the following different mindset for black: ...
9
votes
3answers
256 views

Would you look for mate, if tactics to win materials are easier to spot?

I'm black, I defeated a 1830 very easily in a 11 + 10 game and I had plenty of time, but I played fast and didn't see mate, he was low on time. Analyzing with lichess engine [fen "2k2r2/ppp5/7p/...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Trading off two rooks for queen and pawn

I have hardly if ever seen 2 rooks being traded off for queen and pawn (or for just queen) in common games. Under what conditions is this trade-off advisable? Why is it fairly uncommon?
9
votes
1answer
4k views

How to handle the standard Bb4 (or Bg4 / Bg5 / Bb5) pin?

Here are two extremely common pins, given from white's perspective for clarity: A black bishop at g4 pinning a white knight at f3 to the white queen at d1. A black bishop at b4 pinning a white knight ...
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
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 ...
8
votes
7answers
4k views

How do strong players think during a game?

What is the best chess technique? I mean, how do World Champions think in a game? What happens in their minds? Do they think of their moves in advance or they just know what to move because they have ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Strategic implications in this puzzle by S. Polgar/P. Truong

Usually chess puzzles at my level (beginner) have just one or two forced variations and a clear achievement, like a substantial material gain or checkmate. Once in a while, though, a puzzle leaves me ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
478 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
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
285 views

Who has the advantage in this position?

I was in a three%day turn bame, I played almost played a line that would have led me to this position. Black’s central pawns seem to be an advantage, although White being up the exchange scared me. ...
8
votes
6answers
599 views

How did I go wrong?! Embarassing Loss

this is a recent online game I played. I'm usually about an 1800 USCF player, but I had this very disappointing loss to a 1400 level player. Stronger players might look at this sub-par game and wonder ...
8
votes
2answers
913 views

What are some of the main ideas in the Grand Prix attack?

I was looking at ways to improve my game by making it more sharp and be able to attack the kingside as quickly as possible, and I found a move that looks interesting called the Grand Prix Attack in ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is 'control?'

One of the important factors to take into account is 'control' of squares, ranks, files and diagonals. But what exactly, does it mean when we say that a player 'controls' space? The reason I ask is ...
8
votes
1answer
953 views

Why are these weak squares important in this situation?

I'm watching a video on weak/strong squares. I think that I understand the concept, but not exactly why they are important in this game (Carlsen-Karjakin): The video explains how Carlsen maneuvered ...
8
votes
5answers
342 views

What are the techniques one can use to for chess board?

What are the techniques one can use to keep all pieces on a board ? It is like an n-queen problem Is it a combination of n-queen
8
votes
3answers
1k views

When is it a good idea to capture the fianchettoed bishop?

According to Simon Williams, from 25:10 and forwards of this stream, his opponents attempt at capturing his fianchettoed bishop with a bishop and queen battery is not a good idea "in these types of ...
8
votes
2answers
199 views

What counter-measures for cheating exist?

Given how huge an advantage real-time external feedback to a player during championship games would give the player, do any of the major chess championships deploy counter-measures to prevent the same ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What are some good books on the Caro-Kann which propose a Black repertoire based on positional, strategic, solid, boring and quiet variations?

I'm a 1750 Elo player, and 6 months ago I bought the book Grandmaster Repertoire: The Caro-Kann by Lars Schandorff, and I was disappointed. In my opinion, the repertoire proposed in the book is too ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
819 views

What is a logical move?

I'm not sure as to what constitutes as a logical move. Sometimes I hear that chess is a discussion using statements, arguments, questions and answers. Can someone explain to me what a logical move ...
8
votes
1answer
289 views

Elements to take into account when evaluating 'board strength'

As part of a demo for a rules engine I'm dreaming up, I'd like to do an evaluation of a chess board that communicates each side's general strength at that point in time. Advanced things like ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Does 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 have to be a bad opening?

There seems to be a pretty nifty attack for White after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6: [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 fxe5 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Qxe5+ Qe7 6.Qxh8 I've played as White with this opening several times, ...
7
votes
3answers
555 views

In the Dutch Defense, why does white play b3 and Ba3?

In the Stonewall Dutch Defense, why does white play b3 and Ba3? Should I try to avoid it, or does it not matter? [fen ""] 1. Nf3 e6 2. d4 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. b3 O-O 7. c4 c6 8. Ba3
7
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

Don't know what moves to make/Feeling lost all the time?

My tactics and calculation abilities are fairly decent since I practice chess puzzles a lot but I seem to be lacking in other areas? I always feel uncomfortable in a lot of chess games even though I'...