My Understanding: How to Prepare for the Middle Game?

At a club or in a general chess discussion you might have heard that no one can teach you the middle game because it can be played in various ways depending on the person. But I am not in agreement with the above. To support my argument, let’s see a small example.

White – Kg5, f5, Ra7
Black – Kf8, Rb6
Oh you spotted out; this is Philidor position which any intermediate can recognize in fraction of second.


You have learned the same position very well, which can be possible for middle game also as it is basically a pattern recognition. Now the question comes how you can find those positions? You will find the answer in the following discussion:

1.Learning/mastering mating patterns

Basically a mating pattern is the base of the king side attacks by mastering those positions you can win game quite easily or save yourself. For example:

This is Anastasia’s Mate, a combination where attacking side sacrifice queen to reach the position. Now check the below position with white to move and find how to use the above pattern.

Black can win easily with ….Ne2+, Kh1 Qh2+, Kh2 Rh6#.

2.Identify typical positions those are the product of your openings

If you observe carefully you will find that you are facing certain kinds of position at a particular frequently. Identifying those positions would be a first step towards preparing for middle game. This concept is similar to that in the book ‘GM Ram’ where the author has given numbers of dry positions and claimed that by mastering those positions you can become a IM. I am not claiming anything except the fact that you will become an expert in those positions, and it’s better to become master of the positions which you play frequently.

3.Study those positions with the help of strong player’s game

Once you’ve had a particular position you can just search for it in a chess database after the game and you will found numbers of games played with the same position by string players. By studying it and playing through it, you will develop a nice grasp on that position sooner or later.

For example, my recent game against higher rated player (Elo diff 200 points). I am playing as white with my favorite Caro Exchange Variation.

Ashvin Chauhan