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Although choosing the right strategy in a chess game is largely influenced by intuition, there are some strategic rules that can be followed to survive in the middlegame. Ceteris paribus (all other things being equal), the side which controls more space on the board has an advantage. More space translates into more options, which can be exploited both tactically and strategically. So if all your pieces are developed and you don't see any tactical tricks or a promising long-term plan, try to find a move which will enlarge your influence, particularly in the center.
In general, it is a good idea to defend your pieces, even if they are not currently attacked. This way, many tactical tricks of the opponent won't work. In fact, this approach has an antecedent in the theory of Aron Nimzowitch who referred to it as 'overprotection'. Conversely, if you spot undefended pieces of the opponent, you should think about exploiting the situation with a tactical combination.
To exchange pieces means to capture a hostile piece and to then allow a piece of the same value to be captured. Often its the same piece that captured that is now being captured by the opponent. As a general rule of thumb, exchanging pieces eases the task of the defender who typically has less room to operate in. If you have a material advantage, exchanging pieces is usually desirable, since in the endgame even a single pawn advantage may decide the game.

Chess Secrets: The Giants of Strategy - Neil McDonald

Chess Secrets: The Giants of Strategy - Neil McDonald

In Chess Secrets: The Giants of Strategy, International Grandmaster Neil McDonald examines the games of players who are famous for making a large contribution to strategic play in chess. The players include world champions like Kramnik, Karpov, Petrosian and Capablanca.

Not only does McDonald point out the difference between the players' style, he also explains how chess strategy has deve...

$16.47Everyman Chess, 2007/115 Stars

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