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May I dare to disagree on that: You can't practise K&R vs K often enough, but you'll rarely need 2 B vs K, and almost never B & N vs K. The latter pops up so rarely that Silman doesn't even include it in his endgame course.
think before you move
Videos on this site CAN help, but a lot put me to sleep. Play online chess where you can analyze your moves for a longer time or at least play 15-30 minute games. I think bullet and blitz chess is cool for people who have played a ton of games but don't teach much to people playing them who are trying to learn. Feel free to study blitz and bullet games though of good players.
Did major 1st game analysis and it disappeared when posting. Cannot redo it all, but my main point was 10...f6?? should be 10...Bg3. White must recapture and regardless if with queen or knight, 11...Nxe4 with virtually unanswerable threats.
I get that Bg3 was the superior response on move 10.. but what's this about Nxe4? there's no piece to capture on e4, and neither of my knights can move to that square... o.o
@OP- Good job of game analysis, rather than just asking other people to tell you what happened. That's the biggest step to improvement.
I would recommend focusing on your opponent's threats more. I find that to be my weakness as well. I get so caught up in attacking and improving my pieces and position I overlook simple threats and attacks. Look for weaknesses in your opponent's pieces and pawn structure and attack them.
What is E L O?
you should limit your opening choice to standard symmetrical openings (Giuoco piano, 1. d4 d5, etc.). In the second game you played the Sicilian which is a heavyweight theoretical opening. "Don't try this at home!"
These simple old-fashioned openings might seem boring, but there's a lot to learn from them. It is for a reason that every chess teacher starts with 1. e4 e5 with the kids.
Forget all that stuff for the time being. At this level (no offense), your opponents aren't thinking positionally, in terms of square complexes or long-term plans either. The game basically unfolds on a move-to-move basis, and that's the way you should think.
you should only think about your opponents' moves in the sense of direct threats, not abstract ideas like 'center control'. If your opponent threatens a piece/pawn, defend it. If not, develop your pieces (knights before bishops, castle before moving the heavies).
You might miss some offensive tactical possibilities that way, but you will also survive the opening in a much healthier state than you currently seem to do.
I agree with most of your post, and appreciate the advice, but I think that discouraging me from thinking strategically while playing is setting me up for bad habits, and seemed a bit condescending. There are lots of mistakes I need to fix, but intentionally ignoring key elements of the game doesn't seem like the way to improve overall...
My fault, I was so frustrated that my work had disappeared when posting.
I meant 11...Nxd4 or even
is probably safer and sounder.
In the previous "disappeared" post, I pointed out your ...f6 being a mistake in both games. I, too, am playing beneath my level these days. ...f6 should only be considered rarely, usually after developement.
Hi Miranda. Lots of ideas and advice bandying about here, and most of it seems to be good. All I can really think to add is this: you have a 750 rating in blitz chess; at longer, "standard" time controls, your rating is almost 600 points higher. True, it's based on only 4 games so far, but one of those games is a win over a 1380 player, so it's obviously not based on nothing. You have a talent for the game, but that talent definitely seems like it's going to be best used (at this moment) in slower games...and in my book, that only makes perfect sense - chess is meant to be played slowly! So yeah, if I were you, I'd resist the temptation to click on that 5 minute game, and pick the 30 minute one instead...for now. Good luck and God Bless!
When attacked, try and find attacking moves. Unless you have specific reason for taking a piece (such as getting a material advantage or to remove a defender, etc.) try to refrain from taking just for the sake of taking. Other than that, just keep practicing. I'm only an 1100-1200 player so I need more practice too.
One more tip - I LOVE discovered attacks.
dont play the sicilian
it requires a lot of theoretical knowledge. stick to 1. e4 e5 and 1. d4 d5
I'm of a different point of view to benkku52, but you are going to get a lot of conflicting advice on openings so take what works for you. I've been looking at your Sicilian game because a correspondence game eliminates most of the OTB time pressure blunders which you will drop from your game over time if you have a problem with them. The Sicilian is an interesting choice & probably the most challenging but if you persist with it it will eventually pay dividends. The key to openings at lower rating levels is to understand the basics not 1,000's of variations & to limit your repertoire to just a few until your rating takes you to a level where you need to expand.
I've done a quick analysis of the game (Apologies if there are any mistakes) & as in many games problems at the end can be traced back to early strategic errors. The DSB only participated in the last couple of moves when it was already too late. The exposed King was a target for a long time & was never really safe. The Black Queen was not effective on a5 for most of the game.
I am involved in another thread that approaches the game in a specific way. We ask three questions at each move.
1. Where are the weaknesses? - This deals with both Pawn structure and King Safety, open lines (as you have to get to the weaknesses) and position of the pieces? (Loose pieces drop off)
2. What is my opponents idea? - this deals with direct threats from your opponent. Should you allow it (harmless/ slow) or not (serious)? You will be calculating what threats you can make to the weaknesses in question 1.
3. What is the worst placed piece? - This deals with position of the pieces and development.
Applying these questions early in the game would have pointed out the best position for your Queen & the problems with the King & Bishop.
In summary you played a lot of good moves & were only let down by a failure to identify some early strategic errors that came back to haunt you later in the game. So what you are doing wrong is not blatant errors & blunders but more of a strategy & planning nature & applying all the Chess basics like development in the optimum way. You won the opening with a lead in development but were a little too aggressive in challenging early in the centre & that left the DSB out of the game until it was too late.
This should be easy to correct, its mainly a matter of asking yourself the right questions, your ability seems higher than what we are seeing in the final result so keep learning both strategy & tactics & choose your openings carefully & learn the basic principles behind them for both White & Black.
Hope this helps.
I think that discouraging me from thinking strategically while playing is setting me up for bad habits
There's nothing wrong with thinking strategically and trying to apply general positional principles. Just don't let focusing too much on strategy blind you to tactical threats and opportunities. At this level the games are going to be full of tactical shots. There's an infamous "professor" who made tons of youtube chess videos emphasizing general principles while not paying enough attention to tactics. I don't think that approach worked out too well for him.
I did not mean to disencourage you.
I'm not a master player nor a chess coach, so all I've been telling you mainly comes from my own limited experience. Just to clarify, let me repeat the core point of my post: don't make the second step before the first. Your attempt to think strategically/positionally shows that you have a real interest in the game (other than many beginners who just think it's cool to fidget around with their queen). However, the strategical implications of most decisions in the early opening are so complex and far-leading that it's simply impossible to survey them at your stage of knowledge. That's why it's better to play book moves of mainline openings because they are approved stuff - you can't go totally wrong, and the difficulties still come early enough in the game.
There is a nice story about a Grandmaster who thought for half an hour or so before capturing the knight with his bishop in the Ruy Lopez Exchange variation:
Being asked why he spent so much time upon the decision of a standard mainline move, he replied: "Well, with this move I'm giving up my light-squared bishop, weakening my control over 32 light squares. I wanted to be sure that I know what I'm doing."
If it's not true, it's very well invented.---
I'm also convinced that your opponent didn't think, "ok, so I'm playing the Alapin Sicilian, which means that I'm following this kind of strategy for the next 20 moves." He just played c3, maybe to bolster his d-pawn advance, and continued playing totally inconsistently. 3. e5?! was already a major inaccuracy by White, and the rest of the game just went on in that style.
I'm a 1400 player and i still don't know jack sheet about openings. You still have more knowledge about chess than me.
Thank you for your advice, particularly QueenTakesKnightOOPS! Your analysis of my game was extremely helpful in teaching me to learn from the mistakes I made, and I will try to keep those three steps in mind in future games. benkku52 and Quasimorphy, I definitely understand your point. I will try to study tactics more frequently; hopefully it will help fill the holes in my technique!
I can see a game clearer when i set up a board next to my phone/ laptop
I says just keep playing. Doesn't matter if you keep losing. that's what I did and i went from 800-1050
Try to play with better than youIf your ELO is 750, play with the 1100 and higherMaybe you will still losing, but you lost less points, and gain more experience.You are pretty, im sure the guys do not refuse a game :)
When i was at your level I didn't bother with any of that. I still don't, but I joined a chess club and everyone there is 1800+ (I'm 1100) and they are really helpful in explaining why I got annihilated :)
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