The Skill of Manoeuvering - Middlegame positions!
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. Manoeuvring 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 manoeuvring a skill just like driving which can be improved with proper training and practice. By solving a lot of positions on manoeuvrings, by studying the games with instructional manoeuvrings one can develop a good feel for the good placement of their pieces. In the first article on this subject, we saw how this skill of manoeuvring has helped me in my own games. In this article, we will have a look at excellent examples of manoeuvrings in the middlegame from the games of strong players. Manoeuvrings in middlegames can serve a lot of useful purposes, for example:-
1) Favourable exchange of pieces:- We can use manoeuvrings to achieve the favourable exchange of pieces.
2) Increase attacking potential:- Sometimes some of our pieces are already near the opponent's king but they still need the support of other colleagues to crash through! Manoeuvrings can help us bring more pieces in the attack.
3) Exploiting weak pawns:- Some opponents' pawns can be weak as they are left with little support. We can manoeuver our pieces to win such lightly guarded pawns.
4) Exploiting weak squares:- Advance of pawns can create weaknesses of squares. Such weak squares can be exploited by good manoeuvres.
5) Increasing pressure:- Sometimes with efficient manoeuvrings we can increase pressure on opponents' position. The annotated games will be followed by test positions for you to solve! All these annotated games and positions are selected from recent tournament games. All the best!
In the first game, we will see how black skilfully exploits opponents far advanced weak pawns.