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Up until now, I was winning games by tactics, and losing games because of position mostly. (I could simplify into a lost pawn endgame, etc..) I have never heard nor learned of using positional weaknesses to have more favorable tactics or "imbalances" to win -- until I have read a few excerpts from IM Silman's How to Reassess your Chess/The Amateur's Mind.
Using some key points from these two books, I decided to try playing a game -- applying these techniques whenever there wasn't an obvious tactic to win the game. I hoped my opponent wouldn't simply "give" the game to me by overlooking a simple tactic/blundering and resigning after -- I hoped that he would come down with honor (i.e. without blundering!) And lo and behold, for the first time in my entire chess career, I've felt the wonders of positional play. I've won my first game EVER, without using tactics at all (except for the finishers), only using strategy to exploit and capatalize on minor weaknesses on the enemy position.
I played the following game -- included are my thoughts Strategically, for a change -- and not tactically (until the finishers, obviously)
Please post if my use of Silman's technique was right O_o or am I just making a fool out of myself here :(
NOTE: While this seems like a game more likely to be posted on the "Game Showcase" forum -- I would like insight on POSITIONAL play by the better players here! I want to know if I truly played positionally (for once).. instead of some other way. If I've misunderstood something or taken something in the wrong way, please do tell.
WARNING: The following game has long long paragraphs on my thoughts on each move.
I've been trying for a long time to grasp positional concepts.
How were my positional-playing-skills in this game?
Was there an error on my thoughts! Thankss in advance! Really :D
Offtopic; if I played really well here I might post this to the game showcase forum just for the lols :D
chess.com's Scandinavian main line book opening. Especially note d4. This is something you want to play earlier, I think. After 3..Qd8!? white usually plays 4. d4. There are over 400 games in the Game Explorer database with this move, and 45% win for white! Check them out.
5. Be2 While I think your move is fine, your analysis is incorrect. Black should not trade here, and he is just fine castling either way at this point. But your opponent is not making the best moves...
6..c6 is in fact better than Nc6 for the reasons you cited. Maybe even Qc8, depending on black's plan. Then he retains the option of playing either the pawn or the knight later.
I agree with your analysis of black on move 7. He should take the center with e5 and try to develop and castle kingside.
8. d4 Late, but definitely a good move here. 9. Re1 is good for all the reasons you stated, although black has many ways to counter and the threat should be negligible.
10. g3 is just fine. 10..g6 is ridiculous.
11. d5 is a very good move. White's big advantage is in superior development and center control, and you should continue to play in that fashion.
12..Qd8 does not deserve an exclamation. White's bishop is gunning for b7, and black is just plain weak and planless here. Black is probably still ok if he can ever move his knight and castle.
14. Qa4 I prefer b4 also. ..Kf8 is ok, but black should never have gotten into this position in the first place. Your analysis of g5? is correct, and your analysis of the knight outpost at h5 as well.
I assume you did not mean to give 16..Nh6 an exclamation. Black is much better off playing something like Ne5 and trying to win some momentum by attacking your bishop, or maybe h6 to solidify the g pawn and prepare to disrupt your h5 knight by playing Nf6. You are correct to ignore winning the pawn on move 17. b4 probably was slightly better - Rd1, pinning black's bishop and threatening c5 is another possibility.
Moves 18 and 19 were all correct with analysis. I like 20. Rad1 over Nf6. If your plan was 20..Rg6 21. Nxh7+, black can improve (slightly) after ..Kg8 and exchanging your knight and dark-squared bishop for his rook on f6.
21. Rad1 is certainly a fine move. I think Qxc6 might be even stronger, and it is easy for black to blunder into checkmate. For example:
21. Qxc6 Rc8? 22. Nh7+! Ke7 23. Bf6 mate
Just a thought. ;-)
22. Nh7+? While Ne4 is better, I think Qxc6 can still be played. If black takes the knight, your bishop takes the rook, then the black queen takes the bishop, and black's bishop is unguarded to be taken. (In-between moves are possible, but you should be generally ahead.) Nh7 appears to be a huge setback for white. It will take time to retake a strong lead.
It is possible that 27..g4 was played to prevent you from playing g4 at some point and ousting black's knight, removing the bishop's best defender. I was actually looking for a way to do exactly that.
You lucked out with 28..hxg3. Had black played h3, he could then threaten to play something like ..Nh4, which would allow black to either put his knight on c3 and fork your king and rook, or put his queen on c3 and threaten checkmate. The game could have turned around quite quickly in that circumstance.
From there, you take it very well to the end. I have to point out two things about this game - first, you were a better player than your opponent. Second, you didn't really win this game positionally. Most of your advantage came from setting up tactics. It is good that you are trying to focus on positional concepts, but you will have to play better opponents in order to actually test them out.
Hope my comments were helpful - best of luck!
Thank you so much :DYes. I will have to play better players to actually completely use positional concepts. However, this was a good start! Thanks for you comments :D they were exactly what I needed. I wanted to know whether my analysis was right (in a positional point of view!)
Thanks again :P
LOL Migs@GreenPumpkin31, that's why you know a lot about my "former" main opening...... :)
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