The Skill of Maneuvering
In his first article for Modern Chess, GM Swapnil Dhopade shows examples from his own practice.
The article contains 5 commented games and 10 exercises.
Ever wondered how strong players take their pieces effortlessly to the best squares? It seems, transferring the pieces from worse to good posts is their second nature. As an expert driver drives without really thinking about it, so does a strong Grandmaster Maneuvers his pieces without much conscious thinking. They can ‘feel' the way for their pieces.
Maneuvering is essentially transferring pieces to better squares, where they can do a better job than what they are doing currently. Such a transfer of a piece may enhance our chances of achieving the desired result (gaining an advantage, equalizing, etc.). I consider maneuvering a skill just like driving which can be improved with proper training and practice. By solving a lot of positions on maneuverings, by studying the games with instructional maneuverings one can develop a good feel for the good placement of their pieces.
In the first article, I would like to show how this skill of maneuvering has helped me in my own games, followed by test positions selected from my games. In the next article, we will have a look at instructional Maneuverings played by strong players.