Initiative and symmetry.
There are some remnants to be dealt with first: initiative and symmetric positions.
I will do that by disqualifying the initiative. The scope of my investigation is what to do when there is nothing to do. When there are no weaknesses to provoke and the preconditions of a kingside attack aren't met. The initiative works by means of threats which have to be dealt with. An extreme example is a quite symmetrical position. None of the sides can claim a positional advantage, since everything is equal. Yet the game can be lost due the other side having the initiative. So the initiative is clearly beyond the scope of this research. For now.
When to move a pawn.
Pawns are a means to reduce the space of your opponent and to improve the manoeuvring room for your own pieces. Whenever you can do it unpunished, you have to move your pawns. In practice unpunished without preparation means in the opening. Further in the game you have to improve your position first before you can move a pawn unpunished. So that gives another hierarchy to the moves.
I have now come to the end of this triptych about what to do when there is nothing to do. I have found:
- A bipolar goal to strive for. Decline the possibilities of your opponent while improving your own.
- A hierarchy of moves based on the amount they attribute to the optimal position and the amount of tempo's needed.
- A hierarchy in piece move vs pawnmoves.