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Middle Game

Your tactics play a crucial role in Chess

 

The expertise of a player can be recognized in the middle game. Many pieces are threatened and exchanged during the middle game. Chess tactics such as double threat using forking, pinning, discovered attack and skewer are put to maximum use to capture opponent pieces.

Effective use of pawn

Pawns can be effectively used in the middle game to create double threats. By this process, pawns will help in capturing high value powers to get a distinctive advantage in the game. A passed pawn can be very useful to regain a stronger piece.

Some threats created by using pawns in the middle game are:

  • Majority attack

    If you have more number of pawns on one side of the board than your opponent, you possess a distinctive advantage. Any attack created in the middle game using this pawn majority is called a majority attack.

    The advantage is more pronounced if the majority is on the queen’s side as the queen can actively protect advancing pawns.

    The advantage weakens if the majority is on the king’s side. Advancing pawns on the king’s side may result in exposing the king to the opponent’s attack.

    Relative strength of majority also depends on the availability of other stronger pieces and their locations on the chess board.

    Majority attack can produce effective double threats. Majority can also be used to create a passed pawn.

  • Minority attack

    A minority attack in a middle game refers to an attack by a player who has less number of pawns when compared to that of his opponent. In that sense, minority attack is the opposite of a majority attack.

    Here, the player having a minority of pawns mounts an attack to exploit a weakness in the opponent’s pawn majority to gain an advantage.

    Minority attack can be exploited if the majority pawn holder’s pawns are immobile or locked in one column.

  • Pawn structure

    Pawn structure is the position of pawns on the board. As pawns can advance only by a single square, pawn structure develops slowly on the board. Good pawn structure will ensure a continuous threat to the opponent and will give better mobility to stronger pieces.

    Some important pawn structures are:

    Passed pawn

    Has no opponent pawn in front for blocking

    Threat of passed pawn to the opponent is its ability for promotion to a higher power on reaching the eighth row

    Pawn chains

    Is a pawn structure where pawns are in adjacent diagonal squares

    Pawn chain protects each other

    Only weak pawn in pawn chain is the one at the bottom of the chain

    If a pawn chain is broken, more pawns will become vulnerable

    Isolated pawn

    Are pawns that are not having another pawn in the next column as protection

    Isolated pawns are vulnerable and have no value for the player unless it has passed

Middle game normally accounts for more than 50 % of the moves in a chess game. This is a crucial phase of the game that calls for tactical moves to gain positional and power advantage. A good chess player evaluates the relative position of all the powers on the board before deciding on a move during the middle game

 

   

M. Wasif Nisar

FIDE International Arbitrator

 

 

 

                  Administrator web site Ziauddin Qureshi (Bronze Meddle USSR Friendship house chess Championship 1980 Karachi)

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