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# How To Generate A Plan In The Middle Game.

• #241

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.

• #242

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?

• #243

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.

• #244

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.

• #245

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.

• #246

Pawn Push.

Pushing is what you do, pushing a shopping cart.

It's a Pawn WAR!!!

• #247
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.

• #248
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.

• #249

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!

• #250
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.

(wish she became one later)

• #251

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.

• #252

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

• #253

IMO :: You don't need a plan.

• #254

Well, some very good suggestions and insights for the first 8, 9 pages, or so. Thank you for the original post and question. I think most of us, at least at lower levels, have the same problem. I am pretty much a beginner, having resumed playing chess in August after an absence of some 45 years. I know you posted at least twice that you have no desire to read any books, and as you are higher rated and have been playing longer, perhaps they would be of little use. However, I have read a few and I find that they help in terms of looking at a position, such as the one you posted, to assess how best to proceed. So, you may wish to reconsider the reading. (And, after all, isn't that what you're doing when you read threads? Getting ideas by reading.)

I think this is how to generate a plan in the Middle Game, by evaluating where you are, where your opponent is, where you are both weak/strong, and what you want to do. Many people have already suggested this, sometimes in much more elaborate and detailed language.

But how does one do that? If it were not for the books, I would have no idea how to do this. In a position such as the one you posted, I can often feel lost. However, by following the general principles in the books, I at least have a starting point - what to look for and look out for.

Judging from your responses to several comments, I think you already have a decent idea of how to generate a plan. Maybe you just need to not second guess yourself?

Anyway, thank you again for the original post as I have taken away some very useful ideas.

• #255

Books are essential.

The only way to learn is from stronger players, either by browsing games or by reading books.

The rest is just avoiding the argument that you want to learn.

• #256
m_connors wrote:

Well, some very good suggestions and insights for the first 8, 9 pages, or so. Thank you for the original post and question. I think most of us, at least at lower levels, have the same problem. I am pretty much a beginner, having resumed playing chess in August after an absence of some 45 years. I know you posted at least twice that you have no desire to read any books, and as you are higher rated and have been playing longer, perhaps they would be of little use. However, I have read a few and I find that they help in terms of looking at a position, such as the one you posted, to assess how best to proceed. So, you may wish to reconsider the reading. (And, after all, isn't that what you're doing when you read threads? Getting ideas by reading.)

I think this is how to generate a plan in the Middle Game, by evaluating where you are, where your opponent is, where you are both weak/strong, and what you want to do. Many people have already suggested this, sometimes in much more elaborate and detailed language.

But how does one do that? If it were not for the books, I would have no idea how to do this. In a position such as the one you posted, I can often feel lost. However, by following the general principles in the books, I at least have a starting point - what to look for and look out for.

Judging from your responses to several comments, I think you already have a decent idea of how to generate a plan. Maybe you just need to not second guess yourself?

Anyway, thank you again for the original post as I have taken away some very useful ideas.

I don't really second guess myself. If I think of something I just do it, but when i get into positions which I originally posted in this thread, I'm at a loss in what to do or how to generate a plan. However the first 9-10 pages helped me for sure yeah.

• #257

Chess is extremely complex.

SF gets wrong about 1 of every 3 positions or so, at least. I mean completely wrong, changing signs, from + to -, white win instead of a black win, not to mention the positions where it is just slightly off the correct evaluation.

I am analysing many games these days, but I also all too often stumble upon positions in which I simply don't know what to do.

It has been like that with Fischer, with everyone, chess is simply too complex.

So that, nothing worrying you don't quite understand this position. Actually, it is quite a complicated one, I would say.

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