Favourite Phase?

Last week’s poll question was: ‘What do you love most about chess?’ It was a close-run race, but ‘Studying’ edged out ‘Winning’ and ‘Beauty’. As I have said a few times, I think the voters on a Quality Chess poll may not be representative of all chess players, so an emphasis on studying and winning makes sense from the voters. But based on the number of suggestions in the post below, maybe your favourite chess activity is naming books.


This week I shall continue my investigation into your chess soul by asking: What is your favourite phase of a chess game?

I guess many will spend a decent chunk of time looking at openings, but does that make it your favourite phase? The almost unlimited variety and complexity of middlegames will appeal to the fighters. But there will be those of us who prefer the clarity of endgames, especially rook endings with no nasty knights to fork and trick me.

You might think that the answers Opening, Middlegame and Endgame would cover everything, but I shall include an Other, for a few reasons. First, there is the so-called Fourth Phase when both sides queen, and you might have queen, rook(s) and pawns each. Or maybe you are the profound type who most enjoys the challenge of figuring out the transitions between the phases.

5 thoughts on “Favourite Phase?”

  1. I enjoy all phases of the game but I think if I had to choose one it would be the middlegame. This is where the real battle begins imo. Assuming neither side has made a mistake in the opening and the middlegame has been reached, it’s here in the middlegame where the clash of; ideas, styles, plans, personalities, strategies etc happen.

  2. I voted for opening but the transition from opening to the middlegame, that’s where I’m actually best. I’ve got quite a broad opening repertoire, thus I do not always remember the correct move orders but I often still know my way around in different structures. Unfortunately, I sometimes mess up at a later stage, especially when it comes to the transition from middlegame to endgame.

  3. Endgame. It gives the best return for studying time at the beginning.

    Tactical motivs over all phases of the game is great too.

  4. Middlegame for me. That’s where the game seems deepest and most varied.

    I like to think deeply in the middlegame, which is a blessing and a curse: Sometimes I play really well, which is satisfying, but it usually costs a lot of clock time. So I should train to play more on intuition in this phase. Luckily I have good books on pawn structures, attack, defence, positional sacrifices etc. from several QC authors (and even some other authors) to build up my store of subconscious middlegame patterns.

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