Middlegame Strategies

Middlegame chess strategies range from tactical combination play to quiet positional play. It depends on the position. The middlegame is roughly the part of the game after most of the pieces have been developed (in the Opening), but have not yet been swapped off to an Endgame.

Types of Middlegames

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Much of the middlegame revolves around the type of position: is it an Open Position (with lots of open files) versus a Closed Position (lots of blocked and interlocking pawn chains). Open positions tend to have more tactics, and closed positions tend to have more positional manoeuvring, but both types of positions can be tactical or positional.


Who is attacking? Thatís one of the primary aspects of the middlegame. Is one player attacking and another defending? Are both players attacking on opposite sides? Or are neither attacking, with quiet positional play and Kings on the same side.

In beginner and intermediate play, the game is usually won in the middlegame. Either an attack succeeds and the King is lost, or someone makes a mistake and loses a piece (or two). So the game is usually won by the time it gets toward an endgame.

Transition to the Endgame

In advanced chess, a lot of the middlegame play is about the transition to the Endgame. If the Queens get swapped, who has the advantage in the endgame? What is the pawn structure like? Does a player have weak pawns that can be exploited in the endgame?

Related Chess Tactics

Read more about these related chess strategies: