I've noticed that the theory of openings is always changing and evolving. Is the theory of the middlegames static? When was the last time someone came up with something new in the middlegame? :shock: At one time rooks on the 7th must have been a novelty but it proved to be strong and everyone started doing it. The same can be said of rooks on open files---it enhanced the theory of the middlegame. Is such evolution in the middlegame still continuing? :? Why oodles of opening books every year and very few middlegame books? Is there such an animal as "The Theory of the Middlegame"?
I wouldn't dare try to answer all of those questions (you have a lot there!) but this one resonated with me:
Why oodles of opening books every year and very few middlegame books?
The very short answer is that opening books far outsell middle- and endgame books by a comfortable margin, so more of them are published (after all, chess publishers are
"publishers" and are thus in business to make a profit).
Which leads to the short answer: far too many chessplayers are operating under the false assumption that games are won or lost right in the opening, that memorizing and playing an opening variation evaluated in ECO/MCO/NCO/x
CO as "+/=" somehow leads to an "automatic win" if you play it right. That bizarre assumption persists, even though said players still lose games even after reaching that "autowin" position
Which in turn leads to a somewhat more complex answer: many chessplayers are lazy and prefer rote memorization of opening variations to the much harder process of 1)learning to recognize themes and patterns; 2)learning the proper playing technique for when those themes and patterns are reached; 3)putting that proper technical knowledge into practice in actual play. I've met far too many players who have memorized entire pages
of MCO but who still can't force mate with a single Rook or win a King and one pawn vs. King endgame.
Many players seem to look upon middle- and endgame training as similar to taking some bad-tasting and unpleasant medicine. So chess publishers are more than happy to oblige them with endless "Winning with the __________" titles, which are half-right: they are
about the "________ Opening" but at the end of the day really don't have much to do with "winning".