Closed positions are perhaps one of the most complex types of positions in chess. Many amateur players choose to stay away from those positions simply because they appear crowded, over-complicated and unfriendly. They simply don’t want to feel cramped and be unable to carry out any of their plans, their pieces tripping over themselves and getting in the way.
In fact, there are many club players that have difficulty coming up with a game plan in the first place once the position gets closed. They struggle to gain the initiative, but it isn’t really surprising, being as lots of training material focuses on playing open positions.
A good understanding of closed positions is critical, however. Rather than let closed positions remain an Achilles’ heel, GM Victor Mikhalevski will show you in this video, and in his full course, how to deal with them and explains the good news that they don’t really need to be as difficult as you may think.
Victor analyses a very closed game in this video and talks about the winning strategies, plans and ideas you need to know in order to avoid struggling with closed positions in future. His ideas have been tried and tested in the most competitive environments, but at the same time they are easy-to-understand and easy-to-use. By simply learning this ideology you’ll start making better judgement, coming up with a good plan and begin making strong moves.
Closed Positions in Chess
Let’s take a look at the game GM Mikhalevski examines in this video preview. It’s a King’s Indian setup that begins with 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3. White chooses the classical setup.
5…0-0 6. Be2 Nbd7 (6…e5 is the more popular option) 7. 0-0 e5 Black starts to fight for the center. 8. Be3 c6 9. d5 c5 and Black closes down the position. A club player may groan at this outcome, uncomfortable with closed positions, but if we take a look at the position (on the left), Black is actually quite passive. For example, Black no longer has the c5 square available for the knight.
10. Ne1 with the idea to open the d1-h5 diagonal. 10…Ne8, preparing an …f5 break. So, White plays 11. g4 and Black plays 11…h6 which isn’t a great move. After a potential advance of the h=pawn from White, reaching h5 would mean Black loses control over the f5 square. It may have been better to play 11…f5 anyway, but even so, White would be slightly better.
12. Kh1 makes room for the rook, useful against the …f5 idea. 12…Kh7 13. Qd2 putting some pressure on the diagonal towards the h6 pawn. 13…Ndf6 14. Rg1 and Black is under some serious pressure. You can see the position on the right. But the job isn’t done yet! Be sure to watch the full video to see how White continued.
Winning From Closed Positions
A closed position does not need to be a barrier to success. Once you get to grips with closed positions, you’ll have the advantage over other club players who are still struggling to even formulate a plan. You may even find yourself purposefully entering closed positions and using it as a powerful middlegame weapon that gives you the edge while the opponent squirms in a passive, awkward, situation. GM Mikhalevski’s Dominate Closed Positions course teaches you the strategies you need to play them with confidence! Click here to get instant access with 35% off.