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  1. 17 Sep '11 12:39
    Stuck here refers to the position not your ELO rating. That's a subject for another future thread 🙂

    So, imagine this scenario. Most likely it is relevant to lower-middle rating players.

    You start a game with someone with higher rating, play a few lines from an opening you might have memorised or found on the web. You don't really know the long term strategy of this opening and its strengths and weaknesses and lo and behold, sooner or later you get stuck without any clue how to continue and improve your position, any counterplay or what your opponent's strategy is.

    Sounds familiar? I'll say.
    Now what? What do you do in such a position?
    For me (which statistically happens around move 15-18, so middlegame) I tend to take one or two days off and re-think the position with a fresh mind. Some times helps some times not. It is difficult to take your mind away from the dead-end lines that you had previously calculated.


    What's your strategy?
    Of course someone could argue for a better study of opennings but sooner or later everyone gets stuck. Thus is still might be useful to discuss how others deal with this.
  2. 17 Sep '11 12:48
    If it is a congested complicated game, I'll flip the board and try and see how to make headway as the opposition, then compare that against the ideas for myself. If their line is stronger, I'll go defensive, if I think I'm stronger, I'll go on the attack. That is pretty much it 🙂
  3. 17 Sep '11 12:51
    With no specific position posted we only have rules of thumb (ROT's)

    If in doubt get a piece out. Do NOT touch a pawn.

    If developed then find the piece doing the least towards action in
    the centre and plan to improve it. Do NOT touch a pawn.

    Finally. Do NOT touch a pawn.
  4. 17 Sep '11 12:53 / 1 edit
    i just give up...

    edit: i try to stick to some rules, like gp just mentioned...

    develop pieces if not done, centralize pieces if not done, restrict the opponents movements if not done, shuffle around pieces until the opponent has enough of that crap, sac a piece into the pawns where the king is hiding.... dont think, this is helpful, but thats some of it...
  5. 17 Sep '11 12:53
    Yes I tend to try this as well sometimes. Our natural pattern recognition abilities sometimes do help. And I believe a lot of chess gameplay is pattern recognition (especially the tactical aspect).
  6. 17 Sep '11 12:59 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    With no specific position posted we only have rules of thumb (ROT's)

    If in doubt get a piece out. Do NOT touch a pawn.

    If developed then find the piece doing the least towards action in
    the centre and plan to improve it. Do NOT touch a pawn.

    Finally. Do NOT touch a pawn.
    .

    Any experience you wish to share with us on pawns there?
  7. 17 Sep '11 13:20 / 2 edits
    With no specific position posted all I offer is rules of thumb.

    Russian Proverb.

    "Give a weak player a good position at move 10
    and he will destroy it with pawn moves by move 15."

    If a weaker players does not know what to do. 'Stuck'.
    You generally find a pawn move is selected.
    The resulting weakness often proves critical.

    ROT for good player v weak player.
    Develop and wait for the pawn move.

    Stick a piece on a bad square and you can pull it back.
    (though chess players rarely admit they are wrong and try to make the
    piece on the bad square work.)

    Weaken a few squares with a clumsy pawn move........pawns cannot move backwards.
    Suddenly pieces have to cover weakened squares when they could be/should
    be doing something else. The seeds of a difficult position have been sown.

    Weaker players should give all middle game pawn moves very careful consideration.
    (then move a piece.) 😉
  8. 17 Sep '11 13:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    With no specific position posted all I offer is rules of thumb.

    Russian Proverb.

    "Give a weak player a good position at move 10
    and he will destroy it with pawn moves by move 15."

    If a weaker players does not know what to do. 'Stuck'.
    You generally find a pawn move is selected.
    The resulting weakness often proves critical.

    ROT for good p ...[text shortened]... should give all middle game pawn moves very careful consideration.
    (then move a piece.) 😉
    Interesting....

    !?
  9. Subscriber C J Horse
    A stable personality
    17 Sep '11 13:40 / 1 edit
    Do NOT touch a pawn. Do NOT touch a pawn.

    The problem with weaker players (of whose club I am a founder member) is that we don't know whether our pawns are in good places or not. So we don't know whether or not to move them. Surely it must matter where they are, and it must be right to move them sometimes? Any tips?
  10. 17 Sep '11 14:05
    Originally posted by C J Horse
    The problem with weaker players (of whose club I am a founder member) is that we don't know whether our pawns are in good places or not. So we don't know whether or not to move them. Surely it must matter where they are, and it must be right to move them sometimes? Any tips?
    It almost sounds like one needs to study 'The art of combat' or 'Ruling a kingdom - how to stay in power of a monarchy'. Generals and kings have a lot to do with moving the 'pawns', maybe a study of their tactics will be of help...
  11. 17 Sep '11 14:38 / 1 edit
    Hi CJ.

    Of course it is a rule of thumb. But one you should heed.
    You will need pawn moves to prise open a centre, hit a piece that is defending
    another piece etc...carry out a pawn storm v a castled position.

    These are aggressive pawn moves. Decisions back up with plausible motifs.
    It's the lazy "what harm will it do." choice that is often the boner.

    A needless h6 in a kingside castled position is a popular one.
    It's luft for a future date or seeing ghosts appearing on g5.

    There are loads of examples of good players carrying out sham attacks
    on the kingside just to pull a pawn forward and weaken the position.
    They force another good player to play h6 or g6. Two moves the good player
    would rather not make because they know the damage is irrepairable.
  12. 17 Sep '11 14:47
    look at master games played in that specific opening. studying the masters should give you an idea of the general plans once out of the opening.
  13. 17 Sep '11 15:55
    Originally posted by C J Horse
    Do NOT touch a pawn. Do NOT touch a pawn.

    The problem with weaker players (of whose club I am a founder member) is that we don't know whether our pawns are in good places or not. So we don't know whether or not to move them. Surely it must matter where they are, and it must be right to move them sometimes? Any tips?
    The tip usually given is that you can take (almost) any piece move back, but never a pawn move. Therefore, before you move a pawn, make very sure that it is correct. If your piece move is incorrect, you can perhaps repair it. If your pawn move is incorrect, it stays moved maugre thy teeth. And therefore, the situation under discussion - i.e. if you do not know what to do - is just about the worst time possible to make a pawn move.

    By that reasoning (which isn't mine, but that of much better players than I), the same rule should go for exchanges. I don't know if it does; at least exchanges usually keep the balance more or less the same as it was before, while pawn moves usually do something.

    Richard
  14. 17 Sep '11 16:03 / 2 edits
    at least exchanges usually keep the balance more or less the same as it was before, while pawn moves usually do something.
    Richard
    Interesting. If anything balanced piece exchanges will probably emphasise pawn mistakes even more
  15. 17 Sep '11 20:06
    I usually just start moving random pawns.