“The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
Mr. Granz’ struggles continue in The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix) and he has much to learn about applying a decisive chess strategy!
He also needs to remember if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
When Beth first defeated Mr. Granz, in game 4, the lack of a plan led to his defeat. Chess strategy is of vital importance in every area of the game.
This is something Mr. Granz seems to have a hard time grasping. Preparing a reliable strategy isn’t difficult but is often overlooked.
Beth Harmon versus Mr. Ganz – The Queen’s Gambit Netflix Game 6
Make certain you always have a plan and remember your opponent has one too! One you must stop.
What Is Chess Strategy? As Seen in “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
A chess strategy is essentially a plan. You can have one for the entire game or a strategy for each phase of the game.
For example, you could decide your strategy is to play a safe, solid opening, exchange as many pieces as you can in the middlegame, and try to win in the endgame. Think of this as a safety-first strategy.
Another strategy is to base your openings around reaching an isolated queen pawn (IQP) structure. Then your middlegame strategy is based upon the themes associated with having an IQP.
Some of these are piece activity, the d5 advance, sacrifices on g6, the queen and bishop battery, and rook swinger. Your strategy in these middlegames is to keep as many pieces on the board as you can.
When deciding on your strategy consider all three aspects of the game
In an endgame the IQP is often a weakness but in the middlegame it can be a useful attacking weapon. A timely sacrifice on d5 can leave your opponent with a bad endgame.
The Importance Of A Good Chess Strategy
Although it’s often said a bad plan is better than no plan, a good plan is obviously the most desirable strategy. The more you learn about chess the better your chess strategy will become.
Deciding on a good strategy can help you in choosing your opening and help you reach positions you are comfortable in.
For example, if you like a slow, maneuvering game then choosing a gambit strategy is not the way to go. You might instead base your strategy around prophylaxis and follow the advice of GM Simon Williams (aka the Ginger GM) – restrain your opponent’s plan and then push your own plan.
A good strategy can increase your confidence before you start your game. You will know you have chosen the right opening and have a plan for the middlegame.
When starting out you might not choose the right strategy. A positional game might sound appealing but your opponent could play a gambit and you discover you enjoyed the tactical battle.
Always be willing to learn from your games. Analyzing the moves is only a part of your overall analysis. You must also ask yourself if you enjoy playing these positions?
What makes chess such a great game is how it caters to many different playing styles. No matter what positions you like there is always an opening to help you reach them.
Cues To Remind You About Your Strategy
All of our preparation can be forgotten if our opponent takes us out of our comfort zone. You have a plan for meeting 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 but then the game begins with 1.b4…
This is where your strategy can help you. Instead of worrying about not knowing the opening ask yourself “Does this impact my strategy?”
You can also use your strategy as a guide to how you will respond to unusual openings. Let’s say your strategy is based on controlling the center, then you could meet 1.b4 with 1…d5 followed by ..Bf5, ..e6, ..Nf6, and ..Be7.
A change in the pawn formation is especially helpful as a reminder about your strategy. For instance, if you are using centralization as your main strategy then capturing towards the center with your pawns makes sense.
Locking the pawns and closing the position wouldn’t make sense if your strategy is based upon piece activity and gaining space. Then you would consider exchanging pawns instead of allowing your opponent to push his pawn forward.
Using your strategy as a guide will prove helpful in making the correct exchanges. Try to uncover your opponent’s strategy as early as you can because this will help you learn what their plans are.
Over time your knowledge of different openings and their strategies will grow. That’s why it’s usually a good idea to stick with a particular opening.
Placing emphasis on understanding the opening instead of memorizing moves will help you make it more difficult for your opponent to reach their desired position. For this reason, understanding the plans for the other side is especially important.
Many believe it’s tactics and more tactics that will give you victory in your games. Yes, tactics are often an integral part of a winning chess.
Unless you are fortunate to have an opponent like Mr. Grantz, from The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix), who willingly exposes himself to tactics you will need to play soundly.
And sound play comes from a sound strategy.
⬇ This 3 step system will help you decide on a plan and limit your opponent’s counterplay: