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How To Generate A Plan In The Middle Game.

  • #241

    It could, of course, but the simpler way to do it is to assess what move increases your positional advantages most, that would usually be the best move.

     

    Of course, it all depends on the level of understanding and personal experience, so you might

    simply ignore my remark.

    In any case, the position you chose was a difficult one.

  • #242

    Forgetting about scrubbers for the moment, it really is possible to come to grips with what needs to be improved on regarding the loss of a game, if it wasn't due to a momentary, silly oversight. Go through the game while your memory of it is relatively fresh and try to determine at what point you started to lose whatever understanding you had of what was going on, including potential threats by both sides, potential defensive manoeuvres etc. Then try to determine what sequence of moves led to the loss of control. Identify what the sequence of moves was (there might have been more than one such sequence in the course of a game that became progressively unintelligible to you) and then look at the position to see if there was another possible sequence which might have led to a more intelligible position that you'd have been happier with. Finally, look up the theory, master games etc, to provide examples of alternative courses if they exist. They'll only exist if you played down some recognised line/ But we can't learn chess all at once and understanding only builds on understanding, so a player who genuinely wants to get better will beware of playing stuff that s/he doesn't understand. Take increased complexity a little at a time and not all at once.

    I was off form yesterday at the club so I gave a second team player four training games at 20 mins each per player on the clock. Fun for me at that speed because I could use most of my time working out something weird and wonderful. What I noticed was that he really didn't understand the concept of development before getting involved in tactics, and the relative value of material against initiative, so he was playing stuff that might conceivably have won against other types of player but which was losing, objectively speaking. He's under instructions to develop before doing things.

  • #243

    I have refrained so far to see what the stronger players say but I think I'll take a shot at what the thought process/plan seems to be on this position.

     

     

    From the position:

     

    1.f5 seems natural and forcing. You are threatening a fork so I don't see how black can allow this. Black's 1...gxf5 is forced here as far as I can tell (other moves lose material).

     

    Before we go any further let's try to point out some things in the position.

    1) Black's b-pawn is pinned to the queen.

    2) D7 square needs protection for the time being as a queen and rook fork is possible. Black has to make some preparations before he can develop his queen's knight since it is the lone defender. In this observation, I'm sure black will consider Rd8 so I can expect that response coming soon perhaps.

    3) White is a pawn up.

    4) Black's pieces don't seem to be coordinated and some are loose.

     

    Those are the key things that come to me after studying the position. I would use these to try to formulate a sequence of moves, probably try to go until my opponent has a few good options and then stop. In this case I would probably just stop at 1.f5 gxf5 2.exf5 and then let my opponent tell me more about their intentions. I would be satisfied with the elimination of material/pawns (should benefit white more than black in a practical sense as white is a pawn up), that I still threaten the fork, and my ds bishop is a tiny bit more happy now. What would take up the most time in this plan though, is determining if it is safe in terms of risk vs gain per se. What do I get? What do I lose? Should I try a more conservative move or this forcing one? If we go back to the observations that were made, then the overall lack of coordination/protection of black's pieces would seem to point me towards the more forcing lines.  Those are my thoughts on this position after studying some variations by myself and more importantly the ones that I studied with the computer. The observations made seem like they are kind of practical and not too out of reach of players 1300-1400 up perhaps.

     

    There are some interesting lines in this position though:

     

     

    I know that anyone can look up some lines with a computer but I think it is still interesting and hopefully the 4 observations made above about the position are somewhat helpful to someone and I tried to help disect how a plan might be formulated from this position.

     

    Please let me know if I made any oversights or if you have any feedback. I am trying to get better at planning myself.

  • #244

    Right, what normal person would see 2...Bd5 3. Bc4(did not even think of it from the main diagram)?

    This is a completely engine line, I am not certain if good to advise to non-experts.

  • #245

    Funnier still, at the point where your line ends, it is complete material equality, the white king is still in the center with some queen checks threatening, and just about any normal person would not recognise an immediate obvious large white advantage, if it were not for the badly placed Ra8 and Nb8.

    This 300-400cps Stockfish line completely does not make sense to any standard human.

  • #246

    k_Brown just curious, in your diagram, instead of playing f5, what about a4? That has been suggested. Could you make a diagram on what the best line would be?

  • #247

    Doesn't a4 just allow time for black? Don't forget, after a4, white's Q is not supported, which means that if ab, white's pawn is then pinned, and this leaves time for black to start operations, so in response to a4, black can play a common-sense move like Bd6 which forces white's Ne5 to retreat, because if Bxe5 then white has doubled pawns and black's rook has an open file against white's K, giving black the initiative.

    On the other hand, 1. f5 isn't a bad move at all for white and my only problem was that I couldn't do the tactics in my head, because they're quite complex and difficult. So I suggested a positional move instead because if I can't do the tactics for f5 in my head, it's unlikely that a player rated about 700 less will be able to do so accurately. 

  • #248

    1. a4 is indeed only a waste of time.

    Black can simply retreat 1...Qd8, threatening to develop all pieces with Nd7,

    and white can not win the b pawn after 2. ab5 ab5 3. Bb5, because black captures on e4, 3...Be4.

    If 3. Qb5, then 3...Ba6 leaves black very active.

     

    After a4, all white does is open the a file, which only suits the black rook on a8.

     

    There are no positional plans without tactics, but it is not necessary to do all that.

    Again, one simply has to find which move increases most the positional score/assets:

    1. a4? threatens nothing, neither piece, nor creates passer, nothing, so bad move

    1. f5! attacks the enemy king, at the same time f5 is an advanced storming pawn on the 5th rank, as well as a lever(pawn attacking an enemy pawn), so definitely a good move

    1. Qc3 puts the queen on the open c file, queen on an open file is always a good move, so this is to be considered

    1. Bb4 will trade bad for good enemy dark-square bishop(just count how many pawns are placed on squares as your bishop is, the lower the better), so again a candidate move

    1. Nc4 directly attacks the black queen, so another possible candidate, etc.

     

    It is all very logical, one just needs to recognise as many positional patterns as possible.

  • #249

    Good day.  Although you don't buy books, I would still recommend Silman's Reassess Your Chess.  It helped me think a bit differently when assessing my position and selecting a move.  At the very least, read the opening chapter for an idea before committing to it.

     

    I often spend time solving tactics problems on Chess.com.  this has been very helpful for helping me to spot moves in the mid game.

     

    My typical postgame workflow is loading the game in an analysis engine and reviewing my moves.  Win or lose, I really like to see improvements on making less mistakes.

  • #250

    Pawn Push.

     

    Pushing is what you do, pushing a shopping cart. 

     

    It's a Pawn WAR!!!

  • #251
    Lyudmil_Tsvetkov wrote:

    Right, what normal person would see 2...Bd5 3. Bc4(did not even think of it from the main diagram)?

    This is a completely engine line, I am not certain if good to advise to non-experts.

    Funnier still, at the point where your line ends, it is complete material equality, the white king is still in the center with some queen checks threatening, and just about any normal person would not recognise an immediate obvious large white advantage, if it were not for the badly placed Ra8 and Nb8.

    This 300-400cps Stockfish line completely does not make sense to any standard human.

     

    I would think not as it is a Houdini 6 line and I just thought it was interesting. What do you think of the 4 observations though?

     

    1) Black's b-pawn is pinned to the queen.

    2) D7 square needs protection for the time being as a queen and rook fork is possible. Black has to make some preparations before he can develop his queen's knight since it is the lone defender. In this observation, I'm sure black will consider Rd8 so I can expect that response coming soon perhaps.

    3) White is a pawn up.

    4) Black's pieces don't seem to be coordinated and some are loose.

     

    I think with very careful observation of the position, these 4 things could be deducted by any class b (I almost want to say c but maybe that is quite the stretch as the b-pawn being pinned is probably a little more advanced but still within grasp I would say) and up. Obviously, this probably still won't lead any human player to the line given above from the starting position, but I wouldn't expect it to. I think a GM, maybe any master, could find the moves as they were played though (e.g. 2..Bd5 3.Bc4 would come to mind quickly for them probably), but that is besides the point. I'm just saying that I think there are lines that are way more out of the reach for humans than this one but that is easy to say after the solution is given and completely speculative.  All this line does is add to the imagination  of the more common player and it perhaps makes chess look a lot more simple than it really is. I'm sure that at least noticing those 4 things would only help the player in deciding how they should proceed though. Please don't think I was advising anything of that sort as I simply stated that I would play with the thought of just 1.f5 gxf5 2.exf5 and then let my opponent tell me more about their intentions.

  • #252
    RedGirlZ wrote:

    k_Brown just curious, in your diagram, instead of playing f5, what about a4? That has been suggested. Could you make a diagram on what the best line would be?

     

    Sure thing. 

     

     

     

     

    I can let the computer talk all day long but we have to take in to view the human factor at some point as others have pointed out.

     

    Human standpoint:

    1.f5 but the calculations are complicated

    1.a4 is interesting with ideas of Bc4, Bb1-Ba2  as 2.f5 is still an option and the saving grace on things like Qd8, but if we are going there then why didn't you just play 1.f5 instead? I agree with the assessment that it is a waste of time in a sense. I think most strong players would ask what your reason for playing it was and consider it a dubious move. If you told them about the bishop plans that a pretty strong player brought up then I bet they would commend your imagination and let it be as the only thing really wrong with 1.a4 is simply that 1.f5 is better.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • #253

    f4-f5 apparently doesn't work.  At least I don't think it does anymore.  I tried to see a tactical position, but it doesn't work out.  Hard to calculate this one, probably impossible for someone like me.  I would have relied on my intuition and lost the game.  Since the dynamic way didn't work the best course of action is to take note of the opponents static weaknesses and try to attack them for the rest of the game.  Currently you have a one pawn advantage, and your opponent has an isolated pawn.  I do not think any dynamic pawn push will work.  I tried this, and thought I saw a winning line, but I was too hurried I didn't see I left my rook hanging.  In my position the key was to fight so that black doesn't have time to develop his undeveloped knight, nor can because it blocks the coordination of his queen to his pawn that is under attack.  (If the knight moves to d7 it just dies because it can be taken by whites knight on e5)  Since white cannot move his rook to g2 black has a check and now whites king is on an open file, also, black can play   Rf6 to defend the weak pawn.  Here is the position I am talking about.

    So you see in the end what I thought was right was again wrong and there actually was a tactical solution to the f5 line.  This may not be forced, but I will close here.  Sometimes tactics work, sometimes they don't.  It's up to you to find the right continuation that doesn't fizzle.  Silman wrote once that you have to learn to just know the imbalances of the position without moving the pieces, and act on what the board is telling you.  I am afraid I am not far enough to just know what to do without moving the pieces as I tried this several times and wasn't seeing obvious things in my calculations like the fact that the rook is under attack in this position if it goes to g2 because of blacks trusty light squared bishop.  

     

    I thought of f4-f5 because my intuition told me that if I gambit a pawn I could open up lines for my rook against his king and pin his knight, and allow for a pawn grab with the queen so long as I remove the defender somehow.  My original idea was to deflect the queen with the bishop to e3 however that plan doesn't work because it will only work if the rook can go to b2 but it can't.  Actually, the bishop sac may still be on the table if black does another move besides doing a monkey check.

    Notice in the end I was doubting myself?  I think the tactics work with the f4-f5 idea.  I'd like other people to pick this apart and see if there is something that stops these tactics.  I agree though, f5 is complicated!  But anyway, you should rely on your intuition because generally that is what you go by you don't usually calculate until you are like 2500 rating or something a person rated only 1300 in daily is not going to see 8 to 10 moves ahead they are just going to go off intuition, which is what they ought to do and learn from their mistakes.  Most of the time dynamics arn't for the faint of heart, but if you don't try, you will fail before you begin because you didn't even try!  

     

    This is a tricky position.  I'm sure other people went though the same lines I went through and politely didn't post the results because they where hoping the OP would go through the lines herself.  But I posted them here because someone was doubtful that these ideas even worked.  He called them guesses... most people call them intuition, which normally as master will tell you to follow because you often cannot calculate 10 moves ahead you just rely on your gut.  I know I've said, calculate calculate calculate in the past, however, who was I kidding?  I had to go through the moves to find this continuation.  I couldn't have figured this out just by looking at the board and visualizing it in my head.  That just makes me sit there thinking of absolutely nothing, but Silman say's I should know how to read the board.  My advice to the OP, is to learn to read the board.   You do that by learning to understand the imbalances of the situation.  Part of that is knowing when a piece of yours is good, and when a piece of yours is bad, and same for your opponents pieces.  Another part of it is always looking for tactics.  A lot of people preach always look for forcing moves.  Yes, I believe you should look at forcing moves first, but that is obviously not all you have to do in any position.  I will end here.  I'm sorry I didn't have anything more to say than that you have to learn to read the board, but seeing how you don't want to read any books it's going to be hard to figure this stuff out.  I guess you can learn by just analyzing your own games, but it will take a long time to do this just by analyzing your own games, you'd have to analyze the games of masters so that you can gain insight to certain positions.  Not memorizing the moves played, but rather, looking and remember the general ideas principles and plans of the situation.  Chess is an ocean of topics.  I cannot tell you where to begin to learn to read the board.  A good alternative to Silmans heavy duty books is chess for Zebras, another book on imbalances.  If you don't read any other book, I advice the OP to read that one.  If you are serious about chess, then more books will be needed.  If not, get better at tactics, and learn to see tactics in your games.  Chess tactics is an app you can download which allows you to go over a given tactics set multiple times.  This is what you should be doing when you are starting out at tactics, but you'd have to pay for more tactics sets, thats the thing.  Also, try and do at least 10 tactics a day at least, either on a tactics set in chess tactics, or, on the tactics trainer here.  You mentioned that you don't memorize openings or study you just apply learned patterns from previous openings you've played.  You didn't mention that you do tactics.  If you don't, start, it'll make seeing stuff like this over the board easier.  I waited to post a response to this in hopes you had time to go over the position yourself otb with actual pieces.  I hope you did that, because then these answers would really be useless, unless you had no idea what was going on, then they might be helpful, but you should always analyze a game yourself first, before posting it here.  Next time post the whole game and annotate it so others can see your thought process and try and correct it.  I don't think the game could have gotten very tactical without the f5 ideas I showed, however, I could be wrong... I didn't check.  Plus, the strategic plans may still work, I just didn't bother to check, but maybe you could try yourself wink.png

  • #254
    K_Brown wrote:
    Lyudmil_Tsvetkov wrote:

    Right, what normal person would see 2...Bd5 3. Bc4(did not even think of it from the main diagram)?

    This is a completely engine line, I am not certain if good to advise to non-experts.

    Funnier still, at the point where your line ends, it is complete material equality, the white king is still in the center with some queen checks threatening, and just about any normal person would not recognise an immediate obvious large white advantage, if it were not for the badly placed Ra8 and Nb8.

    This 300-400cps Stockfish line completely does not make sense to any standard human.

     

    I would think not as it is a Houdini 6 line and I just thought it was interesting. What do you think of the 4 observations though?

     

    1) Black's b-pawn is pinned to the queen.

    2) D7 square needs protection for the time being as a queen and rook fork is possible. Black has to make some preparations before he can develop his queen's knight since it is the lone defender. In this observation, I'm sure black will consider Rd8 so I can expect that response coming soon perhaps.

    3) White is a pawn up.

    4) Black's pieces don't seem to be coordinated and some are loose.

     

    I think with very careful observation of the position, these 4 things could be deducted by any class b (I almost want to say c but maybe that is quite the stretch as the b-pawn being pinned is probably a little more advanced but still within grasp I would say) and up. Obviously, this probably still won't lead any human player to the line given above from the starting position, but I wouldn't expect it to. I think a GM, maybe any master, could find the moves as they were played though (e.g. 2..Bd5 3.Bc4 would come to mind quickly for them probably), but that is besides the point. I'm just saying that I think there are lines that are way more out of the reach for humans than this one but that is easy to say after the solution is given and completely speculative.  All this line does is add to the imagination  of the more common player and it perhaps makes chess look a lot more simple than it really is. I'm sure that at least noticing those 4 things would only help the player in deciding how they should proceed though. Please don't think I was advising anything of that sort as I simply stated that I would play with the thought of just 1.f5 gxf5 2.exf5 and then let my opponent tell me more about their intentions.

    Yeah, but the OP is neither GM, nor a top world player, yet. happy.png

    (wish she became one later)

  • #255

    Hey Captain Obvious, do you go around telling people that the sky isn’t bright black by chance? Or perhaps you prefer to tell people that the sky is falling, Chicken Little.

     

     

  • #256

    My ratings have been tanking lately, so I just plan on losing.

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