I find there is a certain stage in chess, about after the 12th move, after I have developed what I think is a sound opening and my opponent has also done the same. But then, I analyse the position to the best of my ability and come to the conclusion that ANY move I make actually weakens my position. I look at my opponent's position and his situation seems to be the same. Thinking back I think I have probably lost games because when arriving at these situations I tended to embark on attacks out of frustration. Sometimes it seems that he who has to move is at a disadvantage. But once past that stage -- I'm ok. Ideas please?
that is actually a problem when you develop your pieces without a plan in mind. my advice is dont really care about what the book moves are, just develop your pieces with some plan in mind. sooner or later, you will realize where youre going wrong and figure out why the book moves are the best ones. its better than imitating better players and then realizing that you dont know how to continue. unlike in other phases of the game, in the opening it is possible to play like a grandmaster, but sooner or later, your bluff will be up.
My suggestion: try reading one of the following. Knowing what to look for such as weaknesses in your opponents position to exploit or in your own position to repair or dissolve is very important and these books should help in that regard - and several others. AND believe it or not studying endgames will help you steer towards endgames favorable for YOU and avoiding endgames favorable for your opponent!
My System by Nimzovitch - I HIGHLY recommend it!
The Middle Game In Chess by GM Fine
Chess Master vs Chess Amateur or Judgement and Planning In Chess by former World CH GM Euwe
Understanding Chess Middlegames by GM Nunn
BTW if it's any consolation I also have the same problem at times, maybe not as often as you do but it's still a problem for me as well. Here's some advise for you to keep in mind or ignore as you see fit:
When you don't know what to play, wait for an idea to come into your opponent's mind. You may be sure that idea will be wrong. TARRASCH
A bad plan is better than none at all MARSHALL
This is the stage where a game can be won or lost.
Think outside the box and make smart moves. Take the initiative and don't get bullied off the board.
I often have a hard time coming up with a plan, but often improving the mobility of my pieces, or decreasing the mobility of my opponent's pieces, results in a win. Having a definite plan probably is more important at higher levels.
Posters asked me for an example. Well it might not be the best example but only after 8 moves with anching -- one of my present games -- the situation I described in 1 above has occurred again. Yes I can see possible moves but would rather wait until my opponent has castled or otherwise committed himself before I make any overt indication of what I have in mind. I usually wait for an opponent to castle before trying any strategem and this might be my trouble. However, do refrain from making a move suggestion just yet as this would not be fair to my opponent.
There are absolutely cases where moving weakens your position. There are not always ways to better your position, as one early respondent mentioned. And some games seem locked up and any way out involves risk.
Other games just win themselves. Everything unfolds so smoothly from begining until I win.
Thanks reflectivist. That is precisely what I said in 1 above. I'm so glad someone agrees. Even in this game (mentioned in my recent post above) I can see what seems a good attacking move. But I can also see a good response, which if played would leave me a little worse off. So in a sense I suppose we evaluate the opponent and play a risky attack if you think he is not up to it? But we know a mature player will punish you for it. Interesting eh? I bet the same thought processes go through generals' minds involving real battles.
Posters asked me for an example. Well it might not be the best example but only after 8 moves with anching -- one of my present games -- the situation I described in 1 above has occurred again. Yes I can see possible moves but would rather wait until my opponent has castled or otherwise committed himself
One strategy you can apply before castling: trying to make both sides unattractive to castle to.
Is "anching" the name of an opponent? I couldn't find a game with that opponent is your list of active games. And what a long list!
Yep "anching" is correct. He's from the Philippines. I only have 3 active games going at pres. And he is one of them.
(Didn't realize this was a rated game)
ash, it is against chess.com rules to ask for advise or analysis on an ongoing game. That is a bannable offense, in fact.
Which is why about 3 posts back I said to refrain from suggesting moves. The position was only shown as an example. I'm quite confident about the game per se.
ash369, indeed, move 12 is where it starts to become difficult.
Yep. I'm realising it is about this point, when both players have developed their opening, that it is tempting to break the tension by embarking on an unthoughtout attack, or simply to make a silly exchange. I suspect it is the one who holds his ground, waiting for the opponent to break the tension, is more likely to end up with the better position. But not always.