Now What?

Now What?

Learn what to do after the opening!

You’ve learned your openings. What’s next? Far more important than memorizing moves is understanding where your pieces belong and what the plans are for both sides. Legendary chess instructor IM Jeremy Silman walks you through the plans in many openings and gives you the tools you need to face the middle-game with confidence!

  • Learn the key plans for both sides in many openings.
  • Find the openings that lead to middlegames you enjoy.

"I think Mr.Silman is awesome. I love chess but didn't understand what it is really about.  I dominate my friends with his simple teachings about imbalances. Now, I have been studying some very precise openings and principles and I think I'm learning at an incredible rate and I owe it all to Jeremy and this site because the tools they offer help! If you apply yourself, you will grow as a player and a person!" - Chess.com user HarpersFerry7

Accelerated Dragon: Doubled a-Pawns Are My Friend!

Many amateurs play the Accelerated Dragon vs. 1.e4 because it's fairly easy to learn, it offers some nasty traps that lots of opponents tend to fall for, it's sound and doesn't allow White to generate an easy mating attack.
4 Challenges

The Minority Attack

The Minority Attack is one of the most important plans in chess and is so straightforward that anyone from 1200 on up can easily make use of it.
4 Challenges

Key Defensive Formation

Instead of memorizing one situation and its set of moves, it's far better to remember the enemy plan/setup and the appropriate pawn structure used to combat it.
5 Challenges

Slow & Steady

When playing any system, it's important to know if the resulting positions are, in general, static or dynamic -- do they need to be slow-played (static) or fast played (dynamic)?
4 Challenges

Block His Plan, Push Yours

When playing any opening, you should be able to tell anyone -- with no thought whatsoever -- what the philosophy of your system is.
5 Challenges

A Square to Love and Fear

Every opening has its key positions -- situations that both sides know whether to seek or avoid, or situations where both sides have their pluses, and where the stronger player will have every chance (as either side) to outplay his weaker foe.
4 Challenges

Monster Mash

With 1...g6 a player understands that one of two things will likely drive his whole game philosophy: 1) Tearing down White's pawn center. 2) Turning the dark-squared Bishop into a monster.
4 Challenges

Two Jans Dancing Cheek to Cheek

Key positions abound in the Ruy Lopez, and a firm understanding of them is a must if you want to be successful with either side of this opening.
5 Challenges

Laser Beam to the Outside Corner

Once again we'll be looking at a typical Ruy Lopez motif.
3 Challenges


Certain openings tend to create tactical positions and others positional situations. But no matter what opening you play, things can go dynamic or static at the drop of a hat.
6 Challenges

The Big Idea

Many openings (or the typical pawn structures that come from them) are all about "the big idea."
4 Challenges

The Formula

At times an opening variation can be very popular, when suddenly someone figures out how to deal with it. This formula then becomes common knowledge and a must know for both sides in that particular system.
4 Challenges

Early Structure Knowledge

In every opening there are "basic" structures. This means that there are certain structures you want to avoid, and others that are to be embraced.
3 Challenges

The Ideal Position

In every opening there are basic ideal positions you know are good (or bad) for you. You also have to have the force of will to find a way to actually get what you want.
4 Challenges

Working on the Cut

This lesson will explore a very simple piece setup with an easy-to-understand idea. And, though easy in one sense, it also packs a lot of sting and will often leave the opponent wondering what's going on.
5 Challenges

The Catalan Bishop

The term "Catalan bishop" refers to the financhettoed g2-Bishop found in the Catalan opening (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3, or 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2).
4 Challenges

Know Your System's Strategic ABCs

When studying an opening, it's crucial to become completely familiar with the little things that make your system attractive to you.
5 Challenges

Terminate! Terminate!

Quite often you'll make the first couple moves of your favorite system, only to be confronted by something that looks more like an alien life form than a real chess idea. If this occurs early, then all your saved up plans and positions might not count for much. However, you'll never be left to drift that sea of confusion if you simply go back to your chess basics.
4 Challenges

Attacking Patterns

Knowing the key strategic ideas in openings that feature quiet, positional situations is a must, but it's just as important to be aware of key attacking ideas.
4 Challenges

Nutcracker Ballet

During a game, and often during the opening phase, one is left with basic questions to answer: Should I grab space?
4 Challenges

Now What?

20 Lessons
No Videos
85 Challenges
Released September 29, 2008