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# Opening / Middle Game / End Game?

• #1

Not sure if there is a definite answer for this but...

Was wondering if there is a definite time the "label" of the game switches from opening to middle game to end game.  Whether it is a certain number of turns, or certain number of pieces taken etc etc

Just curious

• #2

The opening is the stage of the game in which players develop their pieces, get their king to safety, and attempt to control the center.

It switches to the middle game when players begin to attack each other, and defend.

The end game is when most of the pieces are off of the board. There is no definite number of pieces, but it's usually a safe bet to call it the endgame when each player has three pieces (knights, bishops, rooks, queens) or less.

Hope this helps!

• #3

thanks gathered dust

• #4

Opening: The opening is like in a baseball game when all of the players are warming up before the game starts, people slowly start coming in. Except in a chess game the game has started and the players (pieces) are taking their positions trying to gain positional advantages.

Middle Game: The middle game starts once the majority of the minor prices have be captured (knights, bishops, e.c.t). It is when you begin to worry about material advantages as well as positional.

End Game: It is unclear when the end game starts but it is when few pieces are still on the board and you are trying to win that wining point before the other team does.

Hope this helped! If you want more information Wikipedia has a few articles on it as well.

• #5

The opening ends when you have completed the Opening Principles:

Opening:

1.      Control the center squares – d4-e4-d5-e5

2.      Develop your minor pieces toward the center – piece activity is the key

Ø  Complete your development before moving a piece twice or starting an attack.

Ø  Move pieces not pawns.

3.      Castle

Ø    By move 12, you should have connected your Rooks, or be about to do so.

• #6

When you have completed the Opening Principles, and ready to develop a middlegame plan.  That is when the middlegame begins.

• #7

And to add to that, endgame starts when the king is activated and can be part of the attack.

• #8
sdubs3123 wrote:

Not sure if there is a definite answer for this but...

Whether it isWas wondering if there is a definite time the "label" of the game switches from opening to middle game to end game.  a certain number of turns, or certain number of pieces taken etc etc

Just curious

________________________

Do you know when the opening ends and the middle game begins?

The answer is when White or Black makes the first move  of the middle game plan of attack.  It is usually a pawn break move at a strategic point(s) in the pawn structure, that is a liberating move or an attack into the opponent's position.  A pawn break is when 2 opposing pawns stand in mutual capture  positions.  that means that the  white  pawn can capture the black pawn and vice versa.

That is how you know that the opening is over and the middle game has begun,

Do you know when the middle game ends and the endgame begins?

Usually when the Qs have been exchanged.  However, if there is an active attack against either  K or both even if  the Qs have been exchanged the middle game is still in progress.

• #9
fieldsofforce wrote:
________________________

Do you know when the opening ends and the middle game begins?

The answer is when White or Black makes the first move  of the middle game plan of attack.  It is usually a pawn break move at a strategic point(s) in the pawn structure, that is a liberating move or an attack into the opponent's position.  A pawn break is when 2 opposing pawns stand in mutual capture  positions.  that means that the  white  pawn can capture the black pawn and vice versa.

That is how you know that the opening is over and the middle game has begun,

Do you know when the middle game ends and the endgame begins?

Usually when the Qs have been exchanged.  However, if there is an active attack against either  K or both even if  the Qs have been exchanged the middle game is still in progress.

You posted this comment in another recent thread, fieldsofforce, and I've been thinking about it. I think that's a very good answer (the one your coach gave), especially since it even covers the case when the opponent errs and loses quickly in the middlegame. The definition I had been using until now was that the middlegame was the point past where each side is completely developed, but sometimes the erring side is never able to complete development!

I don't think I like the definition of an endgame as when the queens disappear, since that could happen even in the opening, before any other pieces are developed. How about extending your type of middlegame definition to the endgame, too: The endgame is when White or Black makes the first move of the endgame plan of attack?

• #10

It's not so important to have strict definitions, but I like these:

The opening ends when development is no longer as important as other operations. Not often, but sometimes this happens earlier than e.g. castling, getting all the minors out, and connecting rooks.

Middlegame ends when the king can come out without danger of mate. I suppose the exception here is a heave piece ending.

• #11

Although some GM commentators, immediately after the queens are traded, will call it an endgame even with 8 minors and 4 rooks still on the board.

I think what they mean is the planning becomes more schematic and the advantages being fought over are static in nature (like pawn structure).

When the queens are off, but one or both kings are still under attack, they don't call it an endgame.

• #12
NicWow wrote:

Hope this helped! If you want more information Wikipedia has a few articles on it as well.

It's been a year since the OP last logged in, although I assume the necro was intentional.

• #13

Squod wrote:

How about extending your type of middlegame definition to the endgame, too: The endgame is when White or Black makes the first move of the endgame plan of attack?

___________________________

A point well taken.  The endgame is when White or Black makes the first move of the endgame plan of attack?  First, the endgame is defined by  the  goal of promoting pawns.    And, in the furtherance of that goal, exchanging from a winning endgame into a won endgame.

• #14

@The_Chin_Of_Quinn

• #15

• #16

Words are tricky.  I am  actually glad that your comments are usually different from mine.  I  think it  deepens and lends an element of clarity thru contrast to the chess  commentary

• #17
fieldsofforce wrote:

The endgame is when White or Black makes the first move of the endgame plan of attack?  First, the endgame is defined by  the  goal of promoting pawns.    And, in the furtherance of that goal, exchanging from a winning endgame into a won endgame.

I agree that my wording was weak, but I couldn't think of a good word that describes the analogous concept for an endgame. How about just ending my proposed definition early with the words "...endgame plan" instead?

• #18

@Squod

Agreed,  the endgame plan of attack is  to  promote  ones  own pawns while  simultaneously restraining, blockading, and  executing the  enemy  pawns.  Together with always  being  alert for exchanges that transpose a winning endgame into a won endgame.  In addition always avoiding when possible: perpetual check, stalemate, self stalemate, and zugswang.

• #19
fieldsofforce wrote:

I am  actually glad that your comments are usually different from mine.  I  think it  deepens and lends an element of clarity thru contrast to the chess  commentary

I feel the same way. I like my posts of course, but they're definitely not the whole story, and sometimes they wont even be useful. I like that the forum has many people giving different thoughts.

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