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Chess Strategy

Chess strategy refers to the knowledge you apply to devise a plan for the position. How often in your chess games do you reach the point where you feel: “Now I am not sure what I should do next”? The plan you finally decide on, will reflect your understanding of the nature of the position.

Against beginner chess players it’s sufficient to stick to principles. You may argue that the plan you choose depends on the position in to some extent that is true. However, the most effective strategy for the vast majority of positions is always the same – aim to accumulate small advantages by improving your position slowly but surely, step by step.

In the majority of cases, your strategy is simply a short combination of moves that improves your position in some way.

Chess players often put a lot of pressure on themselves to try find a “winning” move in every position. Most of the time such a move doesn’t exist. In most positions you are simply looking for a way to improve your position and/or prevent your opponent from improving theirs.  Of course in every position you should check the tactics first of all and then simply try to find a move that makes some progress.

A good plan is better than wasting too much time trying to find the best plan.

long term plan IS to achieve a superior position (specific plans may change quickly) and the secret is (and hardest part to accept) is that you should focus on a step-by-step improvement; accumulating small advantages without making a mistake;

planning your strategy mostly refers to the middlegame stage;

must be able to adapt and take advantage of consequences; threat of a plan sometimes more effective than actual execution;

ideas: win material; improve activity/reduce opponent; increase centre-control – how?; weaken pawn-structure; attack king;

MAIN thing is – how can I maximize pressure on my opponent? means directing your forces towards a vulnerable area or try create a vulnerable area. If you can’t? then your opponent is playing very well.

The role of improving over time with experience and study.

The 3 things that have the biggest impact on planning – 1) castling 2) a piece-excahnge and 3) a pawn-move; the role of your opening knowledge