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1. 09 Dec '11 12:58
Hi all
recently I've been managing to suvive the opening (but still dropping pieces on occasions)but at times I've found it difficult to formulate a plan for the middle game. I'm Just looking at the board and thinking what the hell should I do now???
2. 09 Dec '11 13:25
I am by no means an expert of the game, but if I don't see any clear way of getting an advantage immediately then I will just try to get my minor pieces onto better squares. Usually while you are moving your minor pieces into a better attacking position your opponent will move his and you will see something open up where you can attack.

Alot of times this is done by you opponent moving his pawns which once moved can't be retreated.

Don't move a pawn if you don't have a good reason.

Make sure your pieces are protected and check all checks to your king.

Never force an attack... if you feel like you aren't sure what to do? Don't force it.

But, like I said, I'm not a great player so you might get better advice.
3. 09 Dec '11 14:38
Originally posted by rob39
Hi all
recently I've been managing to suvive the opening (but still dropping pieces on occasions)but at times I've found it difficult to formulate a plan for the middle game. I'm Just looking at the board and thinking what the hell should I do now???
Why don't you create a pgn of a recent interesting game you've played (result unimportant, but losses are sometimes more instructive), annotate it saying what your ideas were during the game, then some of us that have the time can go through and annotate it saying what we would be thinking in the same situation.

To insert a pgn, use the following notation minus the fullstop at the beginning:
[.pgn] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 [/pgn]

To annotate particular moves put the annotation in these brackets {...} after the move.
e.g. [.pgn] 1.e4 {this is my favourite opening} e5 2.Nf3 [/pgn]
Just so you can visualize it, here is the same line as above without the fullstop before the first "pgn", which the website makes into a board:

You can "preview before post" to see whether the board is loading properly. The pgn's of your games can be found in the "info" section near the Analyze Board button. you only need the moves, not all the game information given beforehand.

All the best!
4.  Ragwort
Ex Duris Gloria
09 Dec '11 15:15 / 1 edit
Originally posted by rob39
Hi all
recently I've been managing to suvive the opening (but still dropping pieces on occasions)but at times I've found it difficult to formulate a plan for the middle game. I'm Just looking at the board and thinking what the hell should I do now???
Most chess middle-game strategy books will tell you to look at the pawns and then demonstrate schemes for making the most of your position when checkmate or a big gain of material is not within the range of vision.

They'll describe open centre

and instruct you to find piece placements that force the opponents pawns forward to produce holes or weaknesses, as well as discussing opposite side castling structures

They'll describe the closed centre

and talk about piece placements in preparation for pawn advances on the wing to open the position advantageously

Fixed Centre

Fluid Centre

5. 09 Dec '11 18:59 / 4 edits
Originally posted by rob39
Hi all
recently I've been managing to suvive the opening (but still dropping pieces on occasions)but at times I've found it difficult to formulate a plan for the middle game. I'm Just looking at the board and thinking what the hell should I do now???
Hi Rob,

Looked through your last loss Game 8872523 and here are my thoughts

First of all you missed a chance to win on move 23

Another thing to note is basic developing rules, on move 3 you were here

The move screaming out to be played is Nc3, developing the knight and attacking the queen - killing two birds with one stone (you played Nf3).

Again, there's the same thing here on move 8

You can attack the queen and get your rook into the open with Re1, the other best move is probably d4, trying to control the centre. Qc2 (the move you choose) isn't really that useful in developing your pieces or controlling the centre - the main two aims of an opeing.

From here you played really well, developed quite nicely and defended quite well (except when you lost your rook) but there's one more missed chance:

You should always look for unusual moves, moves that aren't immediately obvious and you notice the pawn on e7 is pinned, so you can play 25. Nd6. The king is forced to move to d8 where upon you play Nxb7 forking the king and queen.

Edit: I know he'll take your queen but that little exchange will win you a piece.

In this game your middle game plan seemed to be to attack the pawn on f7 which was the right thing to do, and I think you've just missed a few tricks and moves which if you found you would have won the game. Generally the plan should be the same in every game, spot your opponents weakness and attack it!
If you can't find a weakness then the thing that I do is throw pawns forwards and hope a weakness appears!

Hope some of this is helpful,

VE
6. 09 Dec '11 20:06
Originally posted by VelvetEars

The move screaming out to be played is Nc3, developing the knight and attacking the queen - killing two birds with one stone (you played Nf3).

After Nf3, the idea of Nc3 hasn't gone away.

You can attack the queen and get your rook into the open with Re1, the other best move is probably d4, trying to control the centre. Qc2 (the move you choose) isn't really that useful in developing your pieces or controlling the centre

The idea of Qc2 is to defend the c4 pawn.
7. 09 Dec '11 21:17 / 3 edits
Originally posted by VelvetEars
Hi Rob,

Looked through your last loss Game 8872523 and here are my thoughts

VE
Seeing as this has turned out to be the game of choice, here are my thoughts:

It is clear from this game that you are no mug and fully understand the nuances of chess. There was one suspect move (No. 14) and one bad move (No. 23) in the whole game. Cut out the bad move and you'll be 200 points better as a player (the suspect move can often lead to winning positions, as this game is testament to)
8. 09 Dec '11 21:47
Originally posted by Varenka
The idea of Qc2 is to defend the c4 pawn.
Good point, I really shouldn't do analysis when I'm tired.
9. 09 Dec '11 23:40
Originally posted by VelvetEars
but there's one more missed chance:
[fen] r3kb2/pp2pN2/2p1Q3/q1nP4/2P5/1P4P1/PB4BP/6K1 w q - 3 25 [/fen]
You should always look for unusual moves, moves that aren't immediately obvious and you notice the pawn on e7 is pinned, so you can play 25. Nd6. The king is forced to move to d8 where upon you play Nxb7 forking the king and queen.
Nxb7 obviously doesn't work because of his knight of c5, this is why I don't play chess when I'm tired. Sorry!

However, 25. Nd6+ Kd8 26. Nf7+ is a possibility going for three move repetition or you get a nice attack going.
10.  Paul Leggett
Chess Librarian
10 Dec '11 00:27
Originally posted by VelvetEars
Good point, I really shouldn't do analysis when I'm tired.
I was going to point this out, and also add that it helps contest control of e4, but I see the point is already made.

When I analyze tired, it usually means I get another mark in the loss column! I should know better, but I like playing too much.
11. 10 Dec '11 06:51 / 1 edit
Originally posted by Paul Leggett
I was going to point this out, and also add that it helps contest control of e4, but I see the point is already made.

When I analyze tired, it usually means I get another mark in the loss column! I should know better, but I like playing too much.
tired, drinking, watching the jets - or getting nagged at. They're all bad times to play.

In my experience...
I'm tired because I have chess on the brain - can't sleep.
Once I've been drinking chess is the perfect way to bring the buzz to a close.
Football takes so damn long you must do something else while watching it - chess!
When your getting nagged at chess is the only way to tune out!

Q
12. 10 Dec '11 07:06 / 1 edit
Originally posted by PhySiQ
tired, drinking, watching the jets - or getting nagged at. They're all bad times to play.

In my experience...
I'm tired because I have chess on the brain - can't sleep.
Once I've been drinking chess is the perfect way to bring the buzz to a close.
Football takes so damn long you must do something else while watching it - chess!
When your getting nagged at chess is the only way to tune out!

Q
Not always true... I'm on my eleventh drink now and I just finished this game.

13. 10 Dec '11 08:54
Originally posted by tomtom232
Not always true... I'm on my eleventh drink now and I just finished this game.
Yeah, but since your Scottish, you bypass the normal laws of cause and effect.
14. 10 Dec '11 14:04 / 4 edits
Don't be too hard on the lad for not playing 3.Nc3 infact in some books 3.Nf3 is
3.Nf3! reasoning that Black will be booked up to the skids against 3.Nc3.

He is a good example from here of the Nf3 line using c4 to kick the Queen on d5.

Korch - hfrcan jouwe RHP 2009

15. 10 Dec '11 14:30
I helps to understand the many types of endgame positions one can achieve once in the middle game. I found that a very sound understadning of endgames helped me formulate middle game plans in order to achieve various endgame postions that I though we good for me. I would say I gained 200-300 points on my rating just by really understanding endgames - seriously. I could avoid a lot of tactics - simplifiy and grind the game out in the endgame - boring some thought - but effective. I find that much more difficult in CC since folks have a lot of time to evaluate moves. However, mastering the endgame will gain you a lot in OTB.