Understanding before Moving 2: How to improve the activity of my pieces

by ChessBase
11/22/2020 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the second part of his new ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving" Herman explains how to find ways to improve the activity of your pieces. | Photo: Hans Hoornstra

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Understanding before Moving 2: How to improve the activity of my pieces

Lots of books have been written about strategic thinking in chess. In general, quite abstract theories are sometimes put forward on how a club player can master this essential part of the game of chess. This often turns out to be disappointing in practice.

Strong players often have the right orientation in a certain position quite quickly and then the question is of course how they do that. This episode looks very specifically at how a player can improve the activity of his pieces and possibly disrupt that of the opponent.

To do this, we first look at which side of the board the battle scene is located on. To determine which pieces are already active and which can still be improved, we use colors just to show the difference between the white and the black army. It is not surprising that in this game increasing activity leads to a ruthless attack. Have a look at this diagram for yourself.


At which side of the board do you think both players are looking now? And which pieces of White are already doing something there? Which pieces should preferably be activated even more? And how can White combine his plan of attack with increasing his own activity? In this episode, we look at how the white player manages to bring all his pieces into play to make his attack work at full speed.

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