The 7 major imbalances can be found at the following link https://www.thespruce.com/silmans-seven-imbalances-611469
They are: 1) Material 2) Bishops v. Knights 3) Space + Center Control 4) Development + Piece Activity + King Safety 5) Pawn Structure 6) Initiative 7) Control of key files and weak squares
5 steps to planning:
- List all imbalances for both sides that exist or can be created. (An imbalance is any major/notable difference between White and Black positions.
- What side of the board should I be playing on? Unless the center is closed it should always somewhat involve the center however we should only look to play in the area of the chessboard where we either possess a favorable imbalance (advantage) or can create one. It is a common mistake even at the master level to play in the wrong area of the board.
- Create a dream position. A dream position is exactly what it sounds like. It can either be all-inclusive or it can be something simple like making a dream position for your Knight and making a plan to get it there. You will first imagine your perfect setup and then you will tweak it based on what is possible based on the nuances of the position. Once you have a good dream position you believe is achievable… A good dream position should include a threat once achieved that cannot be defended against well or at all.
- Can my opponent defend, prevent, or counterattack stronger than my plan/dream position? A good plan should not be preventable unless it causes weakness or serious repercussions to the opponent. If our dream position can’t be stopped and the opponent doesn’t have a better counterattack…
- We list all moves in our head that lead to our dream position (candidate moves) and we begin to calculate them in order of which one currently looks best. Based on the calculation, evaluation, and proper time management we make move-in a well-time-controlled fashion.
Remember to state ideas or moves that could be made to use current advantages or fix current problems (e.g. if you say that Black has a troubled Rook on a8 you should present a possible solution to that problem if one exists and if it doesn’t you should also state that) Remember also to look for ways to create and trade current imbalances for new ones or better ones.
International Chess Master Jeremy Silman created his 5 step method of planning outlined in his best-selling book How to Reassess your Chess 4th Edition. In this episode, National Master and head coach of Summit School of Chess, Jesse Cohen will take you through the most comprehensive example of how to use and apply this technique.
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The 5 Steps of Planning: 1) List the Imbalances 2) Determine What Side to Play On. 3) Make a DREAM Position. 4) Consider the opponent’s counterplay. 5) Calculate and Evaluate. Notice how the final step is to calculate. This is very often most people’s FIRST step. It’s our job as future master planners to constantly break down the position into its essential elements and let the chess board tell us what to do instead of the other way around. Take great notes on this. You won’t find this level of instruction for FREE anywhere else online.
Most coaches give you tidbits of information to whet your appetite. Jesse delivers the highest quality lessons.
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