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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???
    Any advice
  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???
    Any advice
    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. Subscriber 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???
    Any advice
    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



    My view is that this only scratches the surface for the various balls of string that you can follow to guide you into the labyrinth of mathematical possibilities that is chess and may well distract the improving player from tactics, but nevertheless it is useful to look into some of these concepts purely because they can help you identify targets in your opponents position as well as doing your best to avoid creating such targets in your own position without very good compensation. There are some good books around for those who want to have a look at these ideas which are usually about describing "static" advantage. They don't teach you how to offer material for compensating advantage, how to ignore attacks against you on one side of the board while you try to prosecute advantage elsewhere, how to assess your opponents chances carefully enough to avoid disaster, how to weigh up the value of tempo or initiative. They don't tell you how to safely break pins, how you keep your pawns off the same coloured squares as your bishop, which diagonals or files to open, when a knight on the rim is not grim, which knowledge eventually comes from experience and working through your games to see where your opponent exposed your thinking as "faulty." This is known as "sound positional judgement". Obtaining it is most likely the start of the road to obsession and madness - especially when your fine strategical ideas are overturned by some two or three move cheapo. Be warned. Ignorance is bliss!
  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???
    Any advice
    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. Subscriber 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.