3 Tips to Improve the Position of Your Pieces in the Middlegame

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gm igor smirnov vietnamNote: if you have questions about any other topics (chess courses, etc.) – please, send them to [email protected]
designDo you remember any of your games where some of your pieces were ‘locked’, became too passive and you couldn’t find a way to improve their positions whatsoever? Let me show you an example to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about.
middlegame position

Black to play

Imagine you’re playing Black here. Take a couple of minutes and try to evaluate the position. What do you think the right way to continue the game is? What piece(s) of Black are passive and need to be improved? Where would you place them? And most importantly, HOW would you do that?

Most players would be able to ask these questions themselves when playing a game, but they would find it difficult to convert them into a concrete plan to improve the position of the pieces.

To help you understand how to do so, our guest coach FM Marko Makaj has prepared an instructive video lesson, where he will give you 3 simple tips to find a better position for your passive piece(s). You can watch the video lesson below and see if your evaluation is right:

3 Tips to Improve the Position of Your Pieces:

1) Spot the pieces whose position needs to be improved – determining WHAT needs to be improved.
2) Find the best squares for those pieces – determining WHERE to improve them.
3) Find a plan or sequence of moves to know how to do that – the process of MANEUVERING.

About the author

FM Marko Makaj
Marko Makaj is from Croatia. He is a FIDE Master with an ELO of around 2350 and a chess trainer. He has held this title since 2008. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have time to play in tournaments in order to achieve the title of IM or GM. He has been working as a coach for over 15 years and many of his students have achieved great results.

how to analyze chess games

  • male Gupta

    outstanding article dear sir you are the best sir best in the world thanks for visiting veitnam pl;ease come to chattisgarh one day.

  • Anup rajawat

    I have learn your grunfeld course very well I am getting good results till now I have one doubt is it possible to convert London system line into grunfeld from black or I have to prepare another repotaire against London system

    • You may use the same set up your pieces (the one you use in Grunfeld) against London system. However, this line is not exactly Grunfeld, and you should not duplicate your moves mechanically.

      • Anup rajawat

        Can you please tel some important ideas to remember ?

        • RCA_moderator

          Thanks for the question. GM Igor has a busy schedule and may not be able to answer all your questions.
          You can read this FAQ for more details

          Prasaadh | Support

  • Anup rajawat

    I WANT TO know your suggestions on one more topic .I have read many books in past but after reading them i was not able to apply knowledge gained in any of my real tournament game . In the heat of game I forgot everything.but I have learn your courses I have started applying atleast something in my games . Well I would like to ThanQ for you that . Now I am planning to buy your course”Crushing The King” as per your block A.Please tel me something about this course.What I will gain after getting learning this course”Passive learning or something particular thing that I eventually start using in my game

    • Hi Anup,

      Do you have the course ‘How to beat titled players’? If you wish to learn the ‘attack’ topic, you may start from this course. Then you may continue with ‘Crushing the King’. In this way it will be easier for you to apply all the knowledge practically.

      P.S. It’s only a suggestion though, you may learn the courses in different order.

      • male Gupta

        dear sir lenderman played 4 matches aginst latest verison of komodo engine 45 45 time controls and drwas 2 of the game and lost 2 what do you thik aobut his performance i saw live commentary he was palying so awesome chess oddds.

  • Lovro Glavina

    Igor on your suggestions on how to analyze my games, what if I lost but I didn’t really break your principles, like in this game(I played black)

    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. d3 Be7 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O d5 7. Qc2 Bg4 8. h3 Bh5 9. a3 Qd7 10. Be3 d4 11. cxd4 exd4 12. Bf4 Rfe8 13. Nbd2 Bd6 14. Bxd6 Qxd6 15. Nc4 Qf4 16. Rfe1 Rad8 17. Nh2 Bxe2 18. Qxe2 Ne5 19. Nxe5 Rxe5 20. Nf3 Re6 21. Rac1 c6 22. Rc5 g6 23. Rg5 h6 24. Rg3 c5 25. e5 b6 26. Qc2 Nd7 27. Re4 Qf5 28. Qe2 Kh7 29. Nh4 Qh5 30. Qxh5 gxh5 31. f4 Nf6 32. exf6 Rxe4 33. dxe4 d3 34. Nf3 d2 35. Nxd2 Rxd2 36. Rg7+ Kh8 37. Rxf7 Rxb2 38. Rxa7 1-0

    Ok i made blunders, but all moves except my final 1-2 bad moves followed your principles.

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