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

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