The middle game is one of the most important phases of any chess game. During it, you can expect the maximum number of attacks from your opponent. After the opening is complete, all the pieces are active on the board and are officially developed. The only thing that remains is a tactical advance from your end. Listed below are a few chess middle game for beginner tips to help you improve your game:
7 Essential Middle Game Tips for Beginners
Control the Centre of the Board
In the game of chess, it is often the person who controls the centre of the board that wins the game. To maintain control, you should move your pieces towards the centre. This way, once the middle game begins you can decentralise the strategy of your opponent.
In case the centre of the board has limited activity or is pretty closed off, remember to gain control regardless. Make small movements towards the centre to increase the mobility of different pieces that you have. Keep in mind that the pieces stationed in the centre are the most active. And increased activity can be a turning point in any game.
Avoid Moving Pawns Unnecessarily
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make when playing chess is moving pawns here and there. This inevitably creates pawn weakness. As you learn more about pawn structure, you will understand how isolated pawns, backward pawns, and doubled pawns can turn the game in your opponent’s favour. Moreover, if you move the pawns standing in front of the King, you will end up further weakening your position.
When transitioning from the opening phase to the middle game, avoid creating a weakened pawn structure. Instead, you should identify your opponent’s weak pawns and find a way to lure them or attack them.
Don’t Create Weak Squares
In the game of chess, a weak square is one that you cannot defend from enemy attacks. If this square is close to your King, it is quite possible that your opponent will take advantage and cause maximum damage. If an opponent can identify a weak square on your side of the board, it can change the result of the endgame.
One of the most essential middle game tips is to avoid creating such weak squares. These weakened spots are often created by pawns as they can move ahead but can’t return to their original post. Therefore, they end up creating open spots. You must focus on the pawn structure to avoid creating such weak links.
Create and Improve Upon the Pawn Structure
To gain an advantage in the endgame and secure your position, you should improve upon the pawn structure in the middle game. One way to do this is to trade the pawns that are on the outer margins of the board for pawns more towards the centre. This will help you in creating a strong pawn structure that weakens your opponent’s strategy.
Furthermore, if your opponent has been using pawns instead of other pieces to launch attacks, you can gain an advantage. You can shatter the centre with help from rooks and pawns. You can also use this advantage to deliver a check to the opponent’s King.
Unleash the Power of Bishops
Important learning of chess middle game for beginners is that during the middle game and the endgame, Bishops become quite powerful. When compared with Knights (which also have the same value), Bishops are preferred during this stage of the game. A takeaway here is that when trading pawns, you should opt for a Bishop, instead of a Knight.
One way to increase the power of bishops is to create a fianchetto as it will help you control the centre of the board from away. A fianchetto is a piece development move wherein the diagonal files are free from pawns, giving your bishops free movement to attack the opponent’s files.
Centralise the Knights
During the middle game of chess, it is important to keep the knights in the centre of the board. This way, once the game picks up speed, the knights can move in any direction. In case you position your knights on the corners of the board, you will end up hindering their mobility.
One way to make the best use of knights is to place them near isolated pawns. Such pawns are quite powerful as they can defend and occupy space at the same time. Knights when positioned correctly can block their movement and prevent them from causing any damage.
Open Files with Rooks
Rooks are pieces that can dominate any file. However, their position is greatly weakened if the file is closed off. One of the best chess middle game for beginners’ tips is to position the rooks in such a manner that they control open files.
In case the rook is positioned on a closed file, you must make room by moving other pieces out of the way. Placing them in the centre will allow you to control the board and avoid unnecessary damage.
Keep Improving Your Game
Several players consider the middle game to be the core of chess. It has all the possibilities, defences, sacrifices, and attacks that you can expect from a good game of chess. Therefore, the chess middle game for beginners guide is designed to help players improve their game. While players can often learn several strategies for the opening and endgame, it is in the middle game that creativity is required.
The above-mentioned tips aren’t fixed rules, instead, they are generalised principles that can help you transition smoothly from the opening to the middle game and further on to the endgame. Without these, you may inevitably weaken your position and get a checkmate before even making it to the end.
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