One of the trickiest parts of a chess game for players of all different levels is that moment , right ?
When the opening ends , you've castled your king , you've developed your pieces , your opening preparation is over .
And now you have to answer the question .
What do I do ?
This is a moment where a lot of beginners and even intermediate players really start to struggle .
And it's because they don't have a clear plan of what they should do next .
So in this video , I'm gonna give you 10 of the best plans that you can do in the middle game .
So when you find yourself asking that question , what do I do ?
You'll be able to come up with a good solution .
Let's get started play number one is one of the most common .
You've probably heard this before , but it's break open the center .
So in this position on the board , blacks just played bishop E seven , we are castled , our pieces are out and now we have the opportunity to play E five , which is going to open the center of the board .
If black captures , we can recapture .
And now what we've done is we've created an open file here and a half open file here .
This is really good because now our rooks can come into the game before when there's too many pieces blocking them off .
Our rooks weren't really doing anything .
This particular example is especially good for us because Black's king is still in the center of the board and we have safely castled to the side and already in this position , Black has to be really careful if he just makes a natural looking move like castling , he's blundering his bishop because we have this open file .
We've got three pieces attacking it .
We simply capture , capture , capture and we win a piece just like that .
And all that started from opening the center and creating these files where our rook is now part of the game plan number two is attack your opponent's king with a pawn storm .
This is really common in positions where you castle on opposite sides of the board .
Like in this example , we've castle on the queen side , black has castle on the king side .
So a really good way for us to attack Black's king would be to play G four .
The idea is that we're going to follow it up with H 4h 5 and capture here and create at least one open file .
And if we're able to trade this pond later , maybe even two open files where our rooks can become more involved in the game .
And just to show you a quick example if black ignores our attack and just continues with some random development over here .
Watch how quickly let's say he plays rookie one .
Watch how quickly this turns very dangerous for him .
We bring our bishop in and really he's in big trouble already .
If he moves , I don't know .
C five , we're gonna take , take the queen comes in and he's getting mated just like that .
Now , obviously , I wasn't making the best moves for black .
But you can see the power of this pawns storm and creating an open file for your rook .
That is an important part of why we're pushing the ponts forward .
We'd like to trade them off to create open files because rooks are extremely powerful and really good pieces at attacking your opponent's king in this position .
After he goes here , it's game over because we've got the rook supporting the queen plan .
Number three is to try to trade one of your weak pieces for one of your opponents , stronger pieces .
And this position on the board whites bishop on B two is very strong , controlling a lot of central squares , putting pressure on our night and maybe even our king at some point .
And our bishop on E seven is more passive , kind of blocked here , not really doing a whole lot .
So if we could trade this bishop for this bishop , that would be a really good idea .
And in fact , it's not that hard to do that .
Simply move our night back .
We'll say White plays Ricky one and now we can play bishops F six .
And next move , we're going to trade off this bishop .
If White captures us , we simply take with the queen .
And what we have done is gotten rid of our weak bishop or our passive bishop traded it off for one whites active pieces .
And we have significantly improved our position by making that simple maneuver and trading off the bishop .
Plan number four is that you can create a battery on a half , open or open file as a reminder .
A battery is when you line up long range pieces on the same file or diagonal .
So in this example , the E file is an open file , there are no pawns on it .
So what we can do is play Rook to E one .
Mostly black plays work to E eight .
And now we can play Rook to E three and we're beginning to set up our battery .
And let's just , I'm just making some random moves for black here .
But now we can play queen to E two .
And we have created a two piece battery .
We've got a rook and a queen creating this battery which puts lots of pressure on black's pieces and we can even follow it up , let's say black plays a six again .
And now we have a triple battery lined up even more pressure and now we're threatening to take this piece right before we , we didn't have enough firepower , but now we do .
And you can see how strong this is , even if black moves is out of the way , he has to be very careful that he doesn't lose some pieces as it opens up lots of tactics because of the battery plan .
Number five is very similar , but we can create a battery along a diagonal instead of a file in this position , the B one to H seven diagonal , uh we can create a battery by playing queen to C two .
And you can see how they're both lined up on this pawn .
And if black doesn't do something about it , we can simply trade our bishop for his night and then we can take this pawn .
But what I like to do , which I think is a lot of times better .
Instead of playing queen C two , we can play bishop to B one .
We'll say black plays a move like RC eight .
Now we can play queen to see two .
And what we have done is we still created a battery , but we switched the order of the bishop and the queen before we had the bishop in the front .
Now we have the queen in the front and this is really powerful because now if we take that pawn , we're not just winning a pawn .
Now our queen's gonna be potentially checkmating black's king , right ?
If black makes a blunder and plays a a random move over here .
We can take his night , he takes us back and game is over , right ?
You see if it's just the bishop , he would still be able to move there .
Yeah , we got a pawn .
It's good , but it's not as good as checkmate in this case where the queen is first .
So that's a trick you want to keep in mind , particularly if you play D four and you put your bishop on D three , you can simply drop it back and either bring your queen to C two or D three to create this , this battery which gives you lots of tactical opportunities and chances to checkmate your opponent very quickly if they don't know what they're doing .
Plan number six is that you can attack your opponent's king by using what is called a rook lift .
Now , rooks tend to be pieces that you don't see until the end of the game .
A lot of times they're kind of stuck in the corner , they're stuck behind pawns .
They can't really do a lot .
But when you do a rook lift , you change that .
So in this position , if we're white , we can play night to E five .
And let's say , you know , blacks thinks that we're coming in here for a four , he decides to trade his night .
We take back and he brings his bishop out .
Now we can play the move F four .
And what this does , this is the first move in the rook lift plan , right ?
We are opening up our rook so we can bring it up here and then come over and then we have the option to go to G three or to H three and line up on black kings .
We've taken a piece that really is kind of stuck that usually don't see till the end of the game .
And we have brought it into the game very early , right ?
And this is very strong uh when you , when you can do this , because after we bring the rook up and over , maybe we trade off this bishop for this night and bring our queen out .
It's gonna be extremely hard for black to , to stop from getting check made , right ?
We're gonna have the bishop , we're gonna have the queen , we're gonna have the rook .
It's a lot of pressure and it's very easy to do .
You move the pawn up , bring the rook up and over and there you have it .
Plan number seven is that you can relocate a night to an outpost .
An outpost is just a square that is supported by your pawn .
So that your night is well protected .
In this case , we have one night that can very nicely hop into D five .
But black could just trade it off and then we would just end up with a pond there , which doesn't really look like it's gonna do a whole lot for us .
But what if we would somehow could get this night to there , that would be even better because then we would have two nights uh that were controlling that square and we could hop one in there .
And even if it was captured , we could bring another night in .
The question is how can this night get there ?
Well , that's where the plan comes in .
We relocate this night to there .
So how would you do that ?
Well , one option would be to go here to go here to go here and then you go there .
The issue with that is that it's covered by this night , that night is blocking you , right ?
So what I would do is go here here , here and here .
And that's one thing you want to remember when you're trying to relocate your knights is there's always more than one way to get where you're trying to go .
And so you have to take some time to figure out the best route to get to the square .
You wanna go to plan number eight is to locate a specific weakness that your opponent has and attack it .
So in this position on the board , black's pawn structure is all messed up .
He's got double ponds here .
He's got a backward pond here and he's got some double isolated ponds over here , all of those could potentially be weaknesses .
So if I'm playing this game and I'm trying to think what to do .
First thing I'm gonna do is figure out which one is the weakest pawn that I want to attack .
I like this one because it's backward , which means it , it doesn't have support to try to move forward .
All the pawns on the side of it are either gone .
Like in this case , there's no pawns or they're pushed forward so they can't help the pawn .
That's a backward pawn .
And so it's a very easy target for us .
Also , we have this half open file so we could very easily pile up , maybe even create a battery , right ?
And line up on that target .
And that would be my plan .
Alternatively , I could consider a move like knight to H four , maybe bishop F three , queenie two , something like that to , to line up on this pond , right ?
It's a weakness and I could attack it .
So you have to figure out where the weakness is in your opponent's position and then try to attack it .
All right .
Plans nine and 10 are a little bit more advanced , but they're still really good to know .
So plan number nine is you eliminate one of your weaknesses before your opponent even attacks it .
So here's an example , a very common line in the Sicilian defense and the main line for white in this position is actually to play bishop to B three .
And when you first look at that move , you might think , why are you even moving your bishop ?
And nothing's even attacking it .
And the reason you would make a move like this is because you're anticipating that it could come under attack in the future .
And you decide to just deal with that problem right away .
For example , if we leave the bishop on C four , a common move that black black plays is queen C seven and we have to move it later .
Another move is B five .
And again , we have to move it .
And then after B five , black can play B four and then we have to move our night as well .
And he does all that with tempo .
If black wants to sacrifice here , it takes , we have to watch out that he could , you know , play D five and get a fork and , and win back the peace .
All these things that I just mentioned are completely eliminated immediately when I play bishop B three , queen C seven , no longer attacks my bishop B five , no longer attacks it .
I no longer have to even worry about that .
My bishop is very well protected and that's probably a move I was gonna play anyway .
I'm playing it ahead of time .
So it's a little bit more next level .
But if you , you know , don't know what to do and you see something that you think might become a weakness in the future , you can go ahead and take care of it right away .
Plan number 10 is you choose one of your opponent's pieces and you try to make it as ineffective as possible .
There's actually an opening that I like to play that illustrates this very well .
So against the English defense , I like to play E five .
And on night C three , I played bishop to B four .
And then after a three , I capture it immediately just trading off my bishop for whites knight .
And after they recapture , this is where I start very early to execute my plan .
My plan is I've given up my dark squared bishop .
My opponent now has a dark squared bishop .
So I am going to put all my pawns on the same square as the bishop .
So this is how it goes .
I play D six .
Usually they'll play something like G three .
I'll go here , which should be two .
I'll go here .
Let's say nine F three .
I'll play F six castles , play B six and look at what I've done .
All of my pawns are on dark squares .
If my opponent was gonna think about where to move his bishop to , can't go .
There , can't go , there , can't go there .
He could go here but doesn't really do much .
What's he gonna do with this bishop ?
There's not really anything useful for that bishop to do .
That was my plan .
I planned to trade off this bishop , put all my pawns on that color to make this essentially a not very useful piece .
And this is actually a common thing that you can do when you trade off one of your bishops for a night , you can put a lot of your pawns on the color of the opponent's bishop and it makes it a lot of times hard to , to do anything .
Now , you do have to be careful because if that bishop ever made it behind my pawn chain somehow , like if it made it over here and you could just start , you know , taking all my pawns , it could be risky , but most of the time it's pretty good for you .
So those are 10 different plans you can use in your games .
Now , not all of them will work in every game .
But if you keep those in the back of your mind , you should have some good ideas to hopefully help you in your next games .
As always .
Thanks for watching .
Stay sharp , play smart and take care .