8 Chess Middlegame Strategies and Tips for Beginners

chess middlegame

According to many chess players, chess opening strategies determine the fate of the game. However, for some players, it’s the endgame strategy that seals the deal.

Dear readers, I think, when it comes to this discussion, the middle game is the most crucial phase of a game of chess. Although an opening strategy sets the course of the chess game and an endgame strategy shows the outcome, the middle game is what the game is about.

After all, in the middle game, you attack and exchange pieces. This is where you shape your destiny in the chess game. In short, your win majorly depends on what your middle strategy is.

The Latvian-American Grandmaster Edmar Mednis said, “After a bad opening, there is hope for the middle game….”

Even though your opening moves aren’t good enough or you didn’t pull off your planned chess strategy, remember that the middle game is all you have.

Learning chess middlegame strategies and perfecting them is one of the primary jobs a chess beginner must do.

But, hey, I am not here to scare or warn you about middlegames. I am here with 8 middlegame strategies & tips that every beginner chess player should learn. Before reading the blog, take a quick look at this video.

8 Chess Middlegame Strategies & Tips

chess middlegame strategies

1. Look Out for the Pawns

Now, you might have a question.

Isn’t the pawn structure something that you do in the chess opening? 

Yes, indeed. It’s your job to structure your pawns strategically during the opening of the game.

However, the importance of the same remains equally crucial even during the middlegame.

How to do that?

Make sure you don’t have an isolated pawn during the middlegame.

Any isolated pawn is a piece of cake for your opponent’s pieces.

Your enemy player might find an unexpected path to checkmate your King through the isolated pawn.

In your case, I suggest blocking the enemy isolated pawns with knights. 

Avoid Doubled Pawns during the middlegame.

avoid double pawn during chess middlegame

Even though sometimes, doubles pawns are a great way to develop pieces, like rook and bishop, I suggest you avoid doubled pawns.

Each pawn can be helpful during the middle game. Avoiding doubles pawns will provide opportunities to use each pawn differently.

Keep an Eye on Passed Pawns 

Always keep an eye on your enemy’s passed pawns. It doesn’t matter if it’s protected or outside passed pawns. 

At the same time, the middlegame is the perfect time to advance your passed pawns. 

With just a little attention, a passed pawn can become a queen on reaching the 8th row.

2. Concentrate on the Center

Try to keep your pieces centralized, especially knights and bishops. 

Remember, your goal is to provide as many squares as you can for your pieces.

For instance, the white bishop; if it’s at square d3, it can travel as far as h7 and a6. In this case, h7 is at one side of the board, and a6 is at the other.

The same goes for the knight. If you keep it in the center of the board, it can cover as many as 8 squares, maintaining a powerful position. On the contrary, if you push it at the side of the board, it gets mere 2 squares.

Therefore, it’s important to centralize your pieces during the main game.

3. Bring the King Back

It’s commonly advised to shush away the King to the corner during the opening.

Most chess players use castling during the opening game to bring out the rook, hence pushing away the King in the corner.

bring the king back - chess middlegame strategy

Contrastingly, it’s equally important to bring the King back to the center during the middlegame. 


The King is as good as a useless asset in the opening game. However, it’s a compelling piece during the last part of the middlegame and in the endgame.

The King plays the role of a strong attacking piece by raiding the opponent’s pawns, especially the passed ones.

Another good reason to bring out the king is that it isn’t unsafe anymore during the middlegame.

Because with only a few pieces left on the board, the King can stand confidently without any risky middlegame attack.

4. Use the Queen

Most people advise against using the Queen during the opening game. So, when to use it?

It’s best to use the Queen extensively during the middlegame. Make it go through a great number of squares. Don’t hide it away. But use it strategically.

After all, the Queen is both an attacker and defender.

5. Hang on to Your Bishops

Remember, the middlegame is like the foundation to a good, stress-free endgame. And which piece is at its best during the endgame, if not the bishops!

My advice is to hang on to both of your bishops. In other words, try to keep the bishop pair.

***Keeping a single bishop might end up in opposite-colored bishop endgames.***  

In addition to that, bishops also become more powerful than other pieces, like the knights.

6. Connect Your Rooks

It’s always a good idea to promote your rooks to open or semi-open files during the opening game. Next, during the middle game, it’s utterly essential that you connect your rooks.

Connecting your rooks means keeping your rooks in the same file like a mirror reflection.

keep your rooks connected during middlegame

It will help you to capture your enemy’s important pieces and make way to rook endgames. 

7. Either Capture or Chase in the Middlegame

Do you know why the middlegame is so significant?

Because it’s the middlegame of a chess game where most of the action takes place, and to win a game, you must do the same.

You should never let your enemy’s mind rest. If you give it a break, it will end up plotting its own plans in 10 different new checkmate strategies.

Therefore, during a middlegame, always capture or chase.

2 additional tips:
Don’t exchange your active pieces.
Always use flank pawns to capture center pawns. 

Care to learn how to attack during the middlegame? If yes, book a class with EnthuZiastic Chess Experts.

8. Worry About the Weak Squares

Always avoid creating a weak square, especially during the middlegame. Why?

Because a weak square becomes an outpost for your enemy pieces to settle down and plan an attack.

For instance, as you can see, the squares f6 and h6 are weak squares for Black. The White queen, the white bishop, and h-pawn can easily reach these squares and attack the Black king.

tackle weak squares in chess middlegame

Also, weak squares are fatal in the center of the board, especially if it’s near the King.

Another tip, try to keep enemy pawns away from your weak squares. Because once they’re there, they might stay there forever, eventually reaching the eighth line or checkmating the King.


In chess, what does it mean to ‘connect rooks’?

Connecting rooks means keeping both the rooks in the same file so that they can back up each other.

What is the best opening for a chess middlegame?

It’s best to use pawns instead of major pieces while beginning the middlegame. Continue a variation of the opening strategy that you’re using.

The chess strategy and the variation must be well-studied and practiced by you. In other words, you must have a positional understanding.

How to play the middlegame in chess? 

Don’t jump-start playing middlegame. First, try to assess your opponent’s weak position and then use your tactics accordingly.

Don’t waste your minor pieces on ambitionless moves. Avoid isolated and passed pawns. Centralize your pieces to develop the pieces to a better position.

In addition, connect the rooks, pair up the bishops, and use the Queen.

What is a middlegame in chess?

In a chess match, the middlegame is the middle stage of the game. It’s preceded by the opening game and followed by the endgame.

Although there isn’t any rule to identify when the middlegame starts or ends, it’s considered chiefly when the pawns are structured, and pieces are developed enough to attack.

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Znosko-Borovsky famously said, “The middlegame I repeat is chess itself; chess with all its possibilities, its attacks, defenses, sacrifices, etc.”

Dear readers, no matter how well you study opening and endgame strategies, you must learn more about playing middlegame.

Remember, to execute an opening strategy, you have to learn the transition to the middlegame. Similarly, to play a good endgame, one must know how to attack in the middlegame.

I hope the above middlegame strategies and tips help you to play the chess middlegame better than before.

All the best! Keep the tips and tactics in mind and study, plan, and strategize accordingly to become a stronger player.

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