Test Your Planning Skills #1

This is slightly different than Test Your Positional Skills. Your main goal here is to assess the situation, recognize what your opponent wants to do and find 2-3 moves that fit the best plan.

You should first find the three main imbalances that favor (or could eventually favor) Black, and only then begin to find a plan for White.


  • 3 years ago


    Vey nice and I did not see this at all!

  • 3 years ago


    I got it !

  • 4 years ago


    Wow, I guessed all 3 moves right! Yeah, i focused (from the initial position) on the misplaced white minor pieces and realized that I could improve their positions without losing much time, mainly the Bishop because Be2 comes with tempo. The knight is also much better on f4.

  • 4 years ago


    Black has this really nice pawn on d5, so the first move that comes to mind is c4. The problem is that black can probably get away with d4 followed by c5, which is something white doesn't want.

    The Bb5 seems misplaced, because it is nowhere near the kingside, where it should be. g3 and h4 have the light squares significantly weakened and having the B on g2 would address some of those weaknesses. Right now for example I might already be scared by ideas of Nxf2 and Qxg3..

    Back to the c4-idea. A way to prevent d4 from being played is by pinning that pawn, so Qb3 is an idea worth considering. That also vacates d1 for either of the rooks.

    Combining that with our light square weaknesses and the strong knight on g4, my idea is to play Be2. If Nf6 Qb3 followed by c4 and the kingside weakness isn't a problem. If Nxf2 Rxf2 Qxg3 I think Rxf8+ Kxf8 Qe1 holds.

  • 4 years ago


    that was best blog that i have ever seen in my life 

  • 4 years ago


    Nice to have positional and planning puzzles instead of tacticals ones. To have a tactical shot one needs planning and positional understanding.

  • 4 years ago


    Good stuff, thanks.

    Missed the last move (tried Qb3 to pin dp to the K, followed by Rd1, skewering the p to the Q) - great plan, except that I missed Black's...Be4! (of course, the Q's 'threat' of Qxb7? fails to Rfb8, and White is in a world of pain.)

    Thanks again

  • 4 years ago


    This is really useful. Planning is probably the weakest area of my game so more of these kind of puzzles would be great.

  • 4 years ago


    @cerg42 click on 'move list'

  • 4 years ago


    I got it!

  • 4 years ago


    Or put a scroll bar in - for those that cannot read, here is the text:

    And I'll stop the example here. In three moves, White has made sense of his uncoordinated minor pieces, covered up his king's safety and hindered Black's center passed pawn strategy. The position is about equal.

  • 4 years ago


    tough puzzle

  • 4 years ago


    Awesome puzzle. In the process of doing your positional exercises, and they're also fantastic. MORE OF THIS.

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