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iggy78 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Middle Game I just picked up chess again, and I'm hoping to improve. Could someone tell me the best way to learn the middle game. Ex: play games over, books, practice. Wich one to concentrate on? And if books which ones have the best commentaries?

wayneinco 22 ( +1 | -1 )
middlegame First master a few openings so that you understand your direction in the middle game. Everyone learns differently you have to decide your best way. Playing equal or better players here helps too.
drgandalf 81 ( +1 | -1 )
In my opinion, The best book is the one you are ready for. At 1800 rating, I am going through "Simple Checkmates" by Gillam, a book geared to 600-1200 rated chessers. Yet, mating patterns is a weakness of mine. So, I take a simple book and MASTER it as best I can.

The middlegame has many facets: mating patterns, basic tactics, calculation, combinations, harmony, planning, strategy, etc. You need to find your chief weakness and concentrate on that.

There is an excellent book for players, rated 600-1200 for basic tactics. "Chess Tactics for Beginners" by Reinfeld. I restudy it before OTB tournaments.

Although you are a 1600 player, do not despise simple books. That is my opinion, for better or worse.

Oh, yes. If you want the simplest book on the endgame, geared to players 600-1200, I recommend my book, "Practical Endgame Weapons, Volume One."
caldazar 158 ( +1 | -1 )
drgandalf gives some good advice In chess, you are only as strong as the weakest element of your game. In my own play, I'm continually frustrated by the fact that although I often reach excellent positions through strong play (for my level of skill, anyway), I always wind up making simple blunders that even much lower-rated players would be embarassed to make.

You need to uncover you greatest playing weaknesses and work to correct them. Collect up your games and in each game you lost, honestly ask yourself why you felt you lost. Then try to discover any patterns to your mistakes. If you find you have weaknesses in planning, then studying whole games might be useful. If you can't calculate well, study tactics and endgames. And so on.

I've only briefly thumbed through some of your recent losses, so take the following analysis with a grain of salt and feel free to disregard anything that just sounds wrong:

The two things that seem to reoccur in your play are that your pawn structure usually seems to be a mess and you miscalculate tactics. Sometimes the miscalculation costs you big material, but most of the time, you're usually losing a pawn. This reinforces my belief that you don't seem to pay as much attention to the pawn situation as you perhaps should. Your handling of knights sometimes leaves a bit to be desired. You don't appear to be particularly sensitive to growing trends, especially when the trend involves your opponent committing to a major attack that requires you to quickly initiate a forceful counter.
iggy78 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks! Thanks for you comments guys, really helps.