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Above is a game that I played and won as white (left column). I'm a true beginner, and any feedback is much appreciated. Please don't refrain from pointing anything out, no matter how obvious it may seem, as I probably missed it. And try not to laugh at me too hard
Hello mlevine4444, let me try to analyze your game, eventhough I'm not as strong as a grandmaster, hope this helps
What were your thoughts for 2. Nc3? It attacks d5 pawn, protects the e4 pawn, and controls parts of the center, but if your opponent played 2. ... d4, the Nc3 Knight would have to move again. In the opening, we have to develop as much of our pieces as we can and therefore avoid moving the same piece consecutively more than once...much better to move different pieces each move in the opening.
The same question for 3. Nf3.. it protects the d4 square and controls parts of the center, but it still doesn't eliminate black's threat to push the pawn to d4 attacking the Knight and disturbing your position. After something like 3. ...d4 you can't take with the Nf3 Knight since the d-pawn is protected by the Queen.
4. Bd3 frees the king to castle king-side, but it over-protects the e4 pawn and blocks the d2 pawn from moving forward to open the diagonal for your black-square bishop.
6. Bb2 fianchetto could have been delayed. Since you moved 4. Bd3 perhaps to free the king to castle kingside, it might have been better if you castled right away before the fianchetto. Besides, black is threatening 6. ... Ng4 and then 7. ...Nxf2, taking the rook in the next move after saving your queen.
7. Nxd5 gives the opponent an advantage by allowing black to put the queen in the center, though you can exploit this early queen move by attacking it somehow.
10. Bc4 is an excellent move, skewering the all-powerful Queen and it guarantees you the win after Bxd5.
After the 10th move, it already is an endgame. In the endgame, the pieces are just to mobile and it is usually not a good idea to attack them since they could easily move away and improve their position...such as after your 12. c4 attacking the bishop, the bishop simply moved forward gaining activity, and after 13. Re1, black has a very active bishop and white has a cramped position. In the endgame, instead of attacking the pieces, we should attack the opponent's weaknesses (such as isolated pawns), or create weaknesses in the opponent's position (such as by destroying his pawn structure).
15. a3 simply ignores black's threat 15. ...Nc2, forking the rooks.
16. Rc1 simply loses one of your rooks...16. Rxd3 was much better, taking the bishop, and if black takes your other rook with the knight on a1, after Qxa1 you get two of his minor pieces for one rook, and you're in a better game.
18. b4 and 19. c5....well we've already discussed about not attacking the pieces in the endgame so I won't repeat it here. In addition to that, by moving your pawns, although you gain space, you are weakening your pawn structure, creating targets of an attack for the opponent.
22. g4, what was the idea behind this move? It is better to move a piece than a pawn if you were given a choice.
23. Ne1 puts the knight in a very inactive position and removes the defender of one of your weaknesses, the d2 pawn. It was better to move the King to defend the Knight somehow...a bishop is more valuable than a knight, especially in the endgame.
27. Qb8+ is not a nice move to make since your inactive Knight on e1 is being attacked. After the defensive move 27. ...Rf8 two of your pieces are attacked and there's no way to save both of them.
30. Qd7 freeing the path for your passed pawn... but why not 30. Qxe7?
33. c7, and white is definitely winning.
There, I tried my best to analyze this game. Please feel free to improve on my analysis if you feel that I overlooked something. I might have mistyped some of the squares, please correct me anytime.
Good luck in your chess playing.
Thank you so much; it's very helpful to me to have someone else's eyes and brain look at what I did. It seems to me that my weakest point is that I have to do a better job of seeing attacks and threats made against me. For example, I never saw the fork at move 15 coming. I understand all of what you said, but I don't understand exactly how to apply some of it.
In move 2, I see that my opponent could have forced me to move my knight a second time consecutively by advancing the pawn, but how would you recommend I defend the pawn on e4? Pawn to e3?
What constitutes the transition of a game into it's 'endgame' stage as you declared it had become after I captured my opponents queen? Is there a definitive rule that would trigger 'endgame strategy', or is it simply something that I will pick up with experience?
I see what you're saying about the lack of necessity to continue attacking pieces after I had captured the queen. You said that it was best to instead focus on attacking an opponent's weaknesses. Could you point out to me what some of those were after the tenth move? I find myself in a limbo of sorts once I feel like I gain the momentum.
Lastly, in move 22, I understand that it's best to continue moving my pieces instead of advancing a pawn and ruining the tempo, but could you please suggest a move for me their in place of my advanced pawn? I just didn't see any good moves to make
Thank you so much for your time and advice. It's much appreciated and I feel that it is instrumental to helping me improve.
Yes, I agree, it's the most common part of a chess game that most chess players need to master (including myself), which is seeing the threats of the opponent. Analyzing games helps develop that skill.
Why would you want to defend the e4-pawn particularly? I would, for instance, just take the d5 pawn with 2. exd5 instead to force the opponent to do something about it.
There is no clear transition in chess literature between the middle and end game...some masters say that it starts when both sides lose the queen, while some say it begins when 1/3 of the total worth of the pieces on the board is gone. I use both, whichever happens first (since you can still go to an endgame with the queens still around).
Well, instead of 12. c4, you could have completed your development first, like 12. Qd2 to connect the rooks. Or you could play 12. e2 preventing black from advancing his passed pawn and from attacking your knight, since his white square bishop is already aiming at your king side.
Weaknesses are simply squares and pawns that can not be defended by a pawn or another pawn along the 5th and 6th rank from your side. So, for example in the position after 10. Bc4, the weaknesses are the d5, e6 and f6 squares. In addition to that, you could also try to attack his queenside pawns, forcing him to move them thus making him create more weaknesses in his side of the board. Once your opponent has many weaknesses, he'll have to defend them sooner or later, and he'll have a lot of problems.
Well, since it's an endgame, you could try to bring your King to the center...like 22. Kf2, then 23. Ke1 to protect the pawn, something in that line. You could also protect your very advanced pawn with a4 then b5...it also opens lines for your bishop, for example after Ba3, your opponent would have to decide if he would have to take your bishop or not...it might cost him some time and it will give him another problem. The pawn moves are only good if you have a plan of attack, if you have no attack in mind, then it's not a good idea to move them since you would only be creating weaknesses in your side of the board.
You're welcome. Feel free to ask, there are around 3.4 million chess.com users around that could help you answer your questions.
Thank you again for all of those additional explanations and clarifications. The only thing that is still troubling me a bit is how to determine where the weaknesses in my opponent's pawn structure are. Why is the e6 square a weakness after the tenth move? It looks to me like it can still be defended by black's light-square bishop. And f6 looks like it can be defended by either black's pawn on the 'g file' or by blacks rook that is situated next to the king. Do other weaknesses include b5 and h5?
I fear that I may have misunderstood your definition of a weakness... sorry
John, thank you for those tips, especially regarding how to easier spot that my opponent might be looking to use a fork. It's definitely one of the things I have trouble with. And I apologize if you had started flipping through my game as a model of sorts as to how to control the center and such. While I try to do so, I'm certainly no good at it . Cheers!
interesting the scandinavian you don't usually see that at your level
anyways I don't think you should've pushed the pawns on the king side you were weakening it and opening attacks on your king if you castled queen side than it would've been fine
I recommend the newest chessmaster program and a lot more practice! Also U need to play against players higher rated than yourself...
Surreal, I've been playing about 50% of my game against higher rated and 50% against lower rated opponents by nature of the fact that I've been primarily using the 'LiveChess' feature here at chess.com. I had only played a few games at the time, and the rating was provisional. A player with a 972 rating is actually a bit stronger than I am
What exactly is a chessmaster program? Is there any such thing as a dulled down free version or a similar but lower quality product that is free?
And agreed, practice, practice, PRACTICE!
I'd recommend Fritz13 if you want to become some kind of tournament player in the future. Check them (Fritz13 and Chessmater) out in google, I'm sure you'll find them there. These are softwares that contain chess training material, lessons and other information about chess. Both of them have computers you can play against...though I prefer Fritz13's adapting computer than the fixed difficultly levels of Chessmaster.
Hello, 1600 rated player myself, so take my advice with a pinch of salt, but there are moves you make which I would not even consider making:
2.Nc3 Imo just throws away your opening advantage, black can play d4, disloging your knight and gaining some space, or simply take the pawn and follow up with e5. Effectivly I think black now has the advantage. Consider instead taking the pawn, if black recapures with his queen you can get a tempo on his queen with Nc3. In the opening, its very useful to think to yourself, how can I get my pieces out as quickly as possible. Im often happy to trow away a pawn or two if I can get a developement advantage. SO starting tip. GET YOUR PIECES OUT.
3.Nf3 He could just take the pawn here, how do you deal with it, even after 3...dxe4 4.Ng5, he can still hold on to his pawn with Bf5, and your gonna struggle to get that pawn back.
4.Bd3 Typical beginner mistake, your bishop blocks your d pawn. Its very important to be able to advance your central pawns. If you notice you now cant get your dark square bishop out so easily. A better move imo is to take the pawn, and follow up with d4. now your bishop can develop to either e2,c4 or b5, youll notice your dark squared bishop has also been opened up. Maybe your worried about the pin on your knight after say 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.d4 Bg4, but this can be solved through 6.Be2. If he should capture the kngiht you have the bishop pair in a fairly open position. If your worried about doubling the pawns after 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.d4 Nxc3, well this pawn will support your central point on d4, and considering your already at a disadvantage, Id much rather take doubled pawns then hidnering my own developemnt! Your position is already getting abit tough at this point.
7.Nxd5 as someone pointed out this just helps him get his queen to the center, after this sequence of move look at blacks position, and look at yours. Black has so much freedom to move, his pieces are much better coordinated, and have much more scope than yours. I think black stands much better here. Instead of taking with the knight you could take with the pawn, and dont recapure the knight, but castle. This way your improving your own developement, without improving his too much. Getting rid of that pawn is necessary though imo. so 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.O-O would be my pick.
9.O-O well im not to sure about this move, black can play e4 now, and after 10.Bc4 your knight might be forced to retreat to e1, horrible passive position, and the attacking potential in blacks position is very scary.
From here on your opponent blunders his queen and the game is pretty much over, but from the opening he stood much better imo. Ill just point out some mistakes you made:
16.Rc1 you dont move the rook, you take the bishop: 16.RxB NxR 17.BxR voilla 2 pieces for a rook, 9 times out of 10 worth more than a rook.
24.Rc3 Kind of awkard move. Giving up protection of your knight. You should fight for every open file, and maximising the mobility of your pieces. Maybe 24.Bc3 Re2 25 Rd1 Ke8 26.Qc4 Rxe3 27.Kf2 and his bishop is lost (Ithink). Its very tactical here and I might a have misses something, but the idea is to fight for the open file and icreasing mobility for your pieces, while removing his active pieces through trading or forcing them to inactivity.
In any case a queen up should be an easy win, but I think your opponent had a large advantage from the opening untill he bludnered his queen. Id recommend focusing on getting your pieces out as quickly as possible and trying to maximising the mobility of your pieces. Experiment by sacrifising pawns to get actity for your pieces and developement, after a while Im sure youll notice that the position is so much easier to play even if you are down material.
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