The Right Planning & Thought Process to Improve Your Pieces

Today we are going to discuss about two key topics that a chess player needs to get better at, so that he can improve his game. The topics are: planning, and how to incorporate that within the thought process that we actually conduct in the game.

I would like to recall a famous chess quote: “Help your pieces so they can help you”, said by one of the greatest American chess players, Paul Morphy. This is, indeed, true. We must keep our pieces active if we want to win the game. Let’s take a look at the following position:

It seems like many of White’s pieces are misplaced. Almost all White’s minor pieces are misplaced and it’s time to find the RIGHT PLAN to improve them. So where to start?

Please, take some time to analyze this position. After that, you can watch the video lesson below, where our guest coach, IM Valeri Lilov, will teach you how to make the right planning in the different stages of a chess game.



1) Identifying the stage of the game: The key part of planning is to identify which stage of the game (opening/middlegame/endgame) you are in, so you can choose the right goals.

2) Identify the character of the position before you start planning: Each position is one of two types – static or dynamic. And that will often determine the pace you would choose to execute your plan.

3) The successful plan is always achieved by following the three steps:

1. Set a goal/strategy
2. Pick an area where you have better prospects
3. Choose the right outline for your pieces, so you can get more piece power and open files/diagonals on               that area

you might also like the video lesson “Practical Planning in Passive Positions” by IM Valeri Lilov.

You can download the PGNs of the games discussed in the video below:

how to analyze chess games

  • Ding

    Hey Igor , I have a doubt from positional understanding course. In my games it becomes confusing for me what to do . Whether should I first improve my pieces( like providing bishop to open diagonal or restricting opponent bishops ) or should I play according to my particular position plan ?

    • Eric Dokmo

      I think you first should check the position for any forcing moves like checks and captures. Is there any tactics. Always check to see if your opponent have some tactics. If there is no tactics menas you have to think of the position in a strategic manner or positional. Here coordination of your pieces are very important and a good plan is always to check how you can improve your pieces.

    • RCA_moderator

      Thanks for your help, Eric.
      Regarding your question, you have to develop your pieces according to your particular positional plan. If you develop your pieces according to a plan. You will find that the pieces are coordinated.

      Prasaadh | Support

    • Hi Ding,

      In addition to the other valuable comments (thumbs up Prasaadh and Eric!), ideally you should follow both the general principles (improve your pieces) and your plan. But in case of doubts – follow the principles (least active piece etc).

      Best of luck in your games!

  • male Gupta

    thanks alot for the outstnaidng chess lesosn this was real secret of top paoyers i think igor sir yesterday watched it on rca yotube channel

Like this Post?

Sign up for my blog updates and never miss a post.


You May Also Like This