Play Winning Positional Strategy
Positional Strategy: Positional chess demands that you take control of the main highways with your pieces
Where does good positional strategy fit into your overall chess game plan? It's probably good to think of it as the frame or skeleton of your game.
Playing a good positional game will not on it's own sweep aside foe after foe. It is nonetheless, the foundation of a game that can bring you the desired results. The bells and whistles can be added later but you must first create a solid base to work from.Endgames
can be calculated with endgame table bases and openings can be learned from opening databases. But the middlegame is a little more mysterious. How should you start improving this area of your game? First you must learn to play a positional game.
Positional Strategy: Planning is crucial for securing a good endgame
When you move from the opening to the middlegame the safety harness comes off and now it's time to live on your own wits. No step by step manual to steer you through. So how do you choose your moves?
It's time to come up with a plan
. Before settling on an objective there are a few things you need to assess. What tasks are your pieces currently fulfilling? You may have a piece that is already doing an important job like defending a comrade. If so you can't have a plan that involves moving that piece. Many game losing errors come about when players undermine their own position by moving such a piece.
You must think about King safety, tactical opportunities, piece activity, pawn structure, controlling open files and establishing outposts. Try to figure out what your opponent's plan is. When you've decided on your own immediate goals and you think you know what your opponent wants to do, devise a plan to achieve your goals and counteract his.
Positional Strategy: Grab the Initiative in the Middlegame
What is the initiative? It's simply possession of immediate pressure against your opponent's King or some other critical target. When you have your foot on his throat you have the initiative. As long as you can make threats with each move that he must parry you are retaining the initiative.
The initiative in the middlegame is often temporary in nature. You may sacrifice a piece to get a material advantage in the sector of the board around the enemy King.
If you do this then you better make that advantage decisive quickly. Because if he survives the attack your opponent will be up a piece and your temporary advantage will be gone. So the golden rule with the initiative is use it or lose it.
Positional Strategy: Your opening choices will effect your middlegame plans
You develop your pieces according to the kind of middlegame you want to play. If you're the kind of player who likes violent, open games you can play to open the game by trading central pawns.
If you're more of a positional strategist you may prefer to play a closed game with enemy pawn chains locking into each other. There will be no open files in these middlegames as both players maneuver with their pieces behind the pawns. You and your opponent will both look to be ready to take control of the portal into enemy territory when a gap is finally ripped open.
The nature of the middlegame will also be influenced by whether the Kings have been castled on the same side or on opposite wings. If they are castled on opposite wings, get ready for the fireworks!
Positional Strategy: Analyze all of your chess games to improve your strength
Chess analysis is a must in your overall efforts to improve your chess. You should analyze every game you play as soon as you can. You can iron out your mistakes by finding out where you went wrong.
Look for a stronger move than the moves you played in the game, especially at critical junctures. Chess engines are invaluable for this task. Doing this over an extended period of time will help you identify and eliminate bad habits in your game.
Use databases to find grandmaster games with the same positions and see how the great players treated the same positions
. This gives you an insight into their philosophies on the game. If the games are annotated it will change the way you think about the game and how you approach chess in general.
Sharpen your chess tactics and win
Gaining proficiency in positional strategy
is an important first step to improving middlegame play. Think of a new coach coming into a team and getting the fundamentals right first.
The first thing he does is sort out the defense and the team's discipline. He makes sure they're doing all the little things right. Then his charges are solid and hard to beat. But the team is not the finished article.
Now the team must go to the next level. They must sharpen the attack. They have to be able to inflict damage as well. Because a great team does not just defend well. It can also attack. All great chess players know how to attack. They eat, sleep and breathe chess tactics