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33

"Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do. Strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do." -- Savielly Tartakower What follow are the most salient features of the position that jump out at me, and these are the sorts of things one needs to look for when there seems to be nothing to do: You have no structural weaknesses ...


31

I believe your question essentially boils down to the topic of whether it is possible to completely "solve" chess. Wikipedia has an excellent article on the topic which should give you a good overview. To summarise, the number of possible game variations in chess is estimated to be 10^120. This is a staggeringly huge number, for comparison, consider that ...


20

The short answer is: white's making it difficult for black to challenge the center with their central pawns. But that's not really revealing much, so let us dig deeper into this beautiful middlegame. The rook doubling is in fact part of a grander scheme that Kramnik has in mind. Once black commits to d6, Kramnik targets a very concrete objective: To ...


19

There isn't a clear-cut definition of endgame, or a set of criteria where you could draw a line and say "after this move, we have reached the endgame." Quoting Glenn Flear in his excellent book Practical Endgame Play - Beyond the Basics: The word 'endgame' is widely used and generally implies the final phase of the game (however long!), assuming that ...


15

One old definition of the endgame was when the main objective is to "queen a pawn," (as opposed to other goals such as forcing an imminent checkmate). Now there is an exception noted in the comments where one side will try to mate the other side's lone king with a king and two bishops, or a king, bishop and knight. But it's likely that one side obtained ...


11

I think there are number of reasons why these are so popular: It is easy to start learning openings. You can read about ideas and memorize some lines. It is not so easy to learn middle game or end game in similar fashion. A lot of players want to get an edge from the start- hence the focus on openings. People enjoy reading them They are easier to write than ...


9

The only opening move I really didn't like is 6…Nc6. Usually you don't want to put something in front of your c-pawn in these d-pawn openings. And incidentally it also seems to lose a piece (because of 8.cxd5 with Bb5 to follow). It also leads to all your positional problems: The pressure on d5, the slightly weakening move f6, the inability to free yourself ...


9

As was stated in the answer to this post made by D M, one idea of capturing in this manner is to open up the g-file for white's rooks to attack black's king. In the game this proved to be a very potent idea, and in general it's a good idea to open up lines for one's rooks against the enemy king if one intends to attack it. But there is another point to ...


8

I'm going to speak more to the general question and not the specific board that you provided. In my experience this is where it is important to know yourself, what you do well and what you struggle with. Additionally it is important to know your opponent as well as possible, but if this is your first game against someone that is not always possible. Some ...


8

For computer engines it is much harder to simulate a "human" style than just playing good. If you want to improve your play against humans, play against humans. Use the engines to analyze your games. As already commented, fast or blitz games (but please not faster that ~5 min, as the "quality" of the games decreases rapidly at this point) are a good way to ...


8

Given that you are a piece up with a dominating position, exchanging the bishops isn't a problem at all. Note, that it is just an exchange, not a sacrifice. You could have played 19.Bc7 instead, in that case black has to react 19…Ra8 or he will lose even more material (for example 19…Rb7 20.Rxc8 Kd7 21. Rxf8 with three pieces for a rook, which is a bit much ...


7

I don't think you can trap the Queen, but you ought to be able to force the Queens off the board. Once you do that your extra piece becomes very powerful. After 11... Qf6 white can only avoid a queen trade by 12. Qg4 but is followed by 12... h5 and preparing for an eventual Rg8. Black's having a great game though his King is in a drafty place. Razor ...


7

Winning Chess Strategy for Kids by Coakley is EXACTLY what you want. Barely a few pages explaining basics. Then tons of practical content that even adults will find useful. Wastes no time in getting intermediate lessons in strategy/tactics presented in an astonishingly kid-friendly way. :)


7

Although your question is quite broad, the general ideas in the middlegame are the following- 1) Improve the position of your pieces- knights on outposts, bishops on open diagonals, rooks on open files, etc. 2) If a piece is badly placed and cannot be improved, see if you can exchange it for one of your opponent's better placed pieces. 3) ...


7

In order to make progress, one or both of you need to break through that wall. Each of you seem to have the best chances on the side near the opponent's King--you have a passer on the kingside; your opponent has a lot of pressure on your queenside. First, look at his threats. ...b5-b4 seems to force the issue on the queenside by kicking your Knight and ...


7

After axb4 the a2-pawn is a fixed weakness that can easily be further attacked with Ra8. Defending this pawn will force whites heavy pieces into passive positions. Taking with the queen or the rook on b4 will allow Rb1 with a rook exchange. Even if this rook exchange happens on b4 and therefore creates the same pawn structure as after an immediate axb4, ...


7

Black is very weak on the black squares, on the e file, his e pawn is very weak and his knight and bishop are short of good squares because of his cramped position. You should try and get your knight to f4 and double your rooks on the e file. I would start with Nc3. This also helps against Black's obvious plan to undermine your center and give himself more ...


7

This is a very long question. And you can use Stockfish to check tactical solutions. Solutions of all positions except the 5th ends with mate or huge material gain. In position 5, Black plays a positional sacrifice, to turn that cramped position into a nice attacking one. Position 1 - Black to play, why Rh2? [FEN "1r2k2r/p4pp1/2n1p3/q2pP1N1/3P1PB1/1Pb5/...


7

There are quite a lot of basic principles. Whole books have been written on the principles of strategic play, for example. Basis rules are useful and will get you on your way. For more advanced players it is actually more important to understand when to break the rules. A couple of rules 'off the top of my head': A knight on the rim is dim, meaning that it'...


6

According to the classic old book of Romanovski (which was one of the cornerstones of the Russian/Soviet school of chess) the endgame starts when the King assumes an active role.


6

The opening is for "deploying." The middle game is for "fighting." So the middle game begins when the fighting begins in earnest. Think of two armies marching to a battlefield. The opening is when they "leave camp." The middle game is when they arrive on the battlefield and get down to fighting. If there is serious "fighting" a middle game can begin as ...


6

No, it would not be possible for such a database to exist. Calculating it would require an infeasibly large computer and the calculation would take so long that your computer wouldn't exist for long enough to complete the task. Claude Shannon estimated that there are around 1043 possible positions in chess and your database would need to store the outcome ...


6

Black has an overwhelming advantage and should win easily. Being up by a whole piece is a huge advantage that basically can't be overcome by purely positional considerations. The most straightforward way for Black to win is to try to trade pieces and end up in an endgame where he has one piece to White's zero; a win at that point would be trivial. He could ...


6

White cannot break this Great Wall of China in this position. In fact, White is slightly worse and here's why - 1. Pawn chain Black's pawn structure is better than White's. The pawn on e6 is the base of Black's pawn chain and it is almost impossible for White to have any attack on that. True, White could possibly bring a knight to f4, but that's not ...


6

When there is no concrete plan of action possible, the general plan should be to - Improve the position of your pieces Trade off bad pieces if possible Try to create weaknesses in your opponent's position Keep your king safe and see if the enemy's king position can be compromised.


6

After 1. Rac1, Black has the intermediate move 1...Nxc3, attacking the rook on d1, which forces White to play 2. bxc3, and then the pawn on a3 is hanging. So Black would likely go 2...Nxe3 followed by 3...Bxa3.


6

The two books by John Watson about strategy. These themes are considered from a historical viewpoint usually in contrast to the way they are presented in textbooks. Even if you find a favorite textbook then later you should verify everything against John Watson's books because he always gives counterarguments and counterexamples to what is established as the ...


6

It sounds like you are looking for strategic guidelines in non-theoretical endgames. Then a modern classic is Endgame Strategy by Mikhail Shereshevsky. Strong players tend to like this book, which should tell us something, but I'm not sure exactly what (causation? correlation?). Another decent choice is Practical Endgame Play - beyond the basics by Glenn ...


5

I don't remember the exact wording or even the source but I have seen a definition of where the opening ends and where the middle game begins as the point where the players leave prepared opening lines and start to innovate. This would vary from player to player, new players may leave their understanding of prepared opening lines in one or two moves, while ...


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