Chess middle game is an important aspect of any chess game. However, it is less easily defined or theorised than an endgame or opening. This is because a middle game has several possibilities that cannot be anticipated beforehand. Owing to this, many chess players find that the middle game is where they lack the most skill.
Keep in mind that you cannot always determine when you leave the opening and enter the middle game. Similarly, you may not realise when a middle game moves to the endgame. Regardless, once you’re in the middle game, you should have a strategy to take your opponent’s pieces and solidify your position.
Understanding Chess Middle Game
The middle game often flows naturally from the opening moves of each player. Therefore, it’s quite difficult to be specific about a fixed middle game strategy. Instead, you will always find generalised principles that allow you to advance methodically. All your moves will depend on the structure of the pieces and the pawns, as well as on the moves of your opponent.
For instance, if you or your opponent begin the game with the movement of pawns, you may end up with a board wherein pieces are close together. In such a case, a knight would be quite valuable as it would be able to jump over tightly packed pieces and launch an attack.
In case the board is free of pawns, you will have a relatively open chess board. Here, you will be able to use your Bishop, Rook, or Queen to capture your rival player’s pieces. When the play is focused on an open position, players often sacrifice pieces quickly to gain momentum.
Chess Middle Game Strategy
One of the most essential chess middle game strategies is to plan your moves keeping in mind the position of all the pieces of your opponent. Without it, your attack will be followed by a counterattack that is much more powerful. It might even do more damage than you may have anticipated. Generally, there are three important factors that you should keep in mind when creating a chess mid-game strategy.
Secure His Majesty
If you have a middle game where your chess is not safe, you’ll have nothing else to worry about. This is because in no time and with just a few moves, your opponent will take you from the middle game to the endgame. Therefore, an important middle game strategy is to solidify the position of the King. This way, you will be able to move all other pieces around without worrying about getting unnecessary checks.
Lose Fewer Pieces
When you’re in the endgame, one of the most decisive steps to victory depends on the number of pieces that you have on the board. If you end up losing a lot of material in the middle game, you’ve pretty much lost the game. Therefore, any exchanges that you make in the middle game should depend on the individual value of the piece. You should also ensure that all attacks and captures are worthwhile.
Increase Piece Mobility
In chess, pieces that move a lot are considered to be the most powerful. This is because they can cover a large distance, threaten several targets, and open up different lines for attack. To get to the endgame with an advantage, you must ensure that all your pieces are highly mobile. Establish outposts in such a manner that your pieces can come to the rescue in less than two moves.
Keep Your Pawns Intact
When you’re in the middle game, the structure of your pawns will determine the type of game you’re playing. If you’re good at keeping the pawn structure intact, your chances of making it to the endgame with tactical advantage are quite high. However, if you have too many doubled, backward, or isolated pawns, you have created a weakness that your opponent will definitely exploit.
Stick the Bishops Close
One of the biggest advantages of chess mid-game strategy is that it leaves you with important pieces that you take to the endgame. Bishops are such pieces that become much more valuable when you’re in the endgame. To keep them intact and safe during the middle game, you should keep them together. This way, you will have an advantage over an opponent who only has one bishop left standing.
Connect Your Rooks
You may have already heard of something called ‘chatting’ rooks. These are rooks that are connected and have an open line between them. This way, they can patrol the squares and also protect each other. However, to get there, you should focus on castling in the beginning or the middle game itself. Once they are connected, they can serve you better.
Make Favourable Sacrifices
When you’re in the middle game, you need to be on the attack, as well as on the defence. No matter where you stand, you should keep track of every exchange that you make. Are you losing a valuable piece by delivering a devastating blow? Keep in mind that if you have a closed pawn structure, a piece difference could be the decisive factor in the endgame.
Additional Tips for a Great Middle Game
The middle game is considered to be one of the most complex phases of the game. It required strategy, tactic, attack, defence, and creativity! While you can easily memorise different opening strategies, doing so in the middle game is quite impossible because you can find yourself in any possible position. Here are just a few tips to take you from the middle of the game to the end.
Attack, Attack, and Attack
One of the most important chess middle game tips is to attack whenever you can. The more threats you deliver, the more chances you have to weaken your opponent’s position.
Develop Individual Pieces
In case you’re not in the position to deliver threats, you should use the middle game to develop different pieces further. You should move them around the board in such a manner that they’re prepared to defend or attack at a moment’s notice.
Chase Away Opposing Pieces
Another thing that you can do during the middle game is to chase away any piece that makes its way to your side. If an opponent’s piece gets too close, make sure that you either exchange it or chase it away immediately.
When you implement these simple chess mid-game strategies to your game, you can seamlessly transition from the middle game to the endgame. However, if you’re still learning, you should check out these automated chess boards by Square Off. These boards are highly-advanced and can help you play live with players from around the world.