11219 Players currently online!
Man vs. Machine - good luck!
Turn-based games at any time!
Vote for the best move to win!
Do you have what it takes?
Sharpen your tactical vision!
Get advice and game insights!
Learn from top players & pros!
View millions of master games!
Your virtual chess coach!
Perfect your opening moves!
Test your skills vs. computer!
Find the right private coach!
Can you solve it each day?
Bring it all together!
Beginners, start here!
Make friends & play team games!
News from the world of chess!
Search all Chess.com members!
Find local clubs & events!
Who's the best of your friends?
Read what members are saying!
The great thing about being an amateur chess player is that you are never in short supply of losses to learn from. We are all told to go over these losses and learn from them. But what is the best way to do this? In my humble amateur opinion, these losses should be gone over like a large roast in a smoker oven – slow and steady until you’ve steamed out all the flaws. In short, you don’t know what you don’t know, so, short of having a chess coach to point out these flaws, you must look at each position and try to tease out the imperfections. Where possible, you should break down these positions to a fundamental level to make them easier to digest.
Here's a fresh loss from this week’s chess games.Having gone over this game, I know that there are flaws in every phase of the game.
Black is the first to go astray with 4…..Nxd4. I knew at the time that this was an advantage for white but my handling of it was very clumsy as the next series of moves will show.
When black lunges forward with e5 and forces the white Queen to move, the correct placement of the Queen is on d2 where it can guard the vulnerable f2 square and keep an eye on the center. It discourages a knight invasion and keeps the white kingside pawns cued up for a pawn storm and space advantage.
So let’s devise a better plan for white to take advantage of the weak black move Nxd4.
This line takes immediate advantage of the hole on d5 and freezes the weak d6 pawn which is backwards. Note that white delays castling to get the perfect central setup.He removed the f6 Knight, the best defender of the d5 square before he occupies it.
Let’s review some positional basics. The reason that the d5 square has developed into a hole is that there are no pawns to protect this square. The black e-pawn has advanced and the c-pawn was KIA. If black takes on d5 with say Bxd5, white can reload the position with another piece. What you don’t want to play is exd5 when you cured all of black’s ills: white can no longer place a piece on d5 and you’ve eliminated the backward pawn on d6. The pawn on d6 is backward because there are no pawns to protect it (a pawn on c7 is the perfect protection for d6 but it was slain in the opening) AND the pawn is on a half open file. Minor pieces in the hole on d5 are very strong both because they are advanced, well protected and have great scope on that square. When and if the minor pieces are traded off, you can reload the piece with a major piece and torture the weak d6 pawn by loaded up on it. It is a good plan to have at least one other piece to reload the position, starting with your cheapest piece.
OK, let’s return to the original game where white has been distracted from his goals and has lost the initiative. Note how scattered my play has become. Am I pursuing my central play or a kingside attack?
Let's pause here, sum up the game and talk about strategies for both sides. Weak tactical play by white has left his position in tatters. Short of a cheap tactical shot, winning is out the question for white. He must play for the draw. To do this, he must activate his rook, relieve his king from the 1st rank jail and keep the material advantages to a minimum. Black should use his 7th rank Rook to torture the loose pawns and pick them up where he can and then drive his extra pawn(s) forward to Queen them.
White advantage (yes, he has them!)
Here's the rest of the game. Can white draw this game?
So let's end this analysis with the proper way to draw this position starting with the last good white move.
If black exchanges the rooks, the white king can move in front of the black pawn and that position is also drawn.
To sum up:
Good luck and see you on the chess board!
I didn't analize all the boards, in that last puzzle I think Black win if 6... Kg3
Paul, you're a saint for taking the time to go over this. Really appreciate it. These are really easy tactics and I missed them twice - once in the game and once in analysis! Wow! I think the reason that I missed them is because I simply wasn't looking hard enough for them. Your advice to go over games and look for tactics is spot on. Please stay in touch. You've got the knack for teaching lower rated players.
I think you missed a simple way to get the advantage with 7.Qxd6. Now the fork on f2 is no threat at all, and after 7...Qxd6 8.Rxd6 Nxf2 9.Rf1 White is way ahead in development and has more active pieces. As a bonus, there's a cheap shot! the natural looking 9...Ng4 runs into 10.Rxf7 and Black can't play 10...Rxf7 11.Rd8# It's important to go over your games from a strategic point of view, but it's also a good idea to review your tactics. Once you see a move like 10.Rxf7 you'll see it faster the next time
Black also let himself get distracted. There is no target more valuable than White's King, so 21...Qd2 seems more to the point.
Your position at the end is very unpleasant. On the other hand, you're not playing Akiba Rubinstein, so maybe you should have made him demonstrate the win. There's a lot to be learned defending a terrible position, but only if you're really willing work at it. I don't really blame you for tossing in the towel.
Your observations about strategy seem right on, but you should also go back and take a look at the position that would have arisen after 9.Rf1 Ng4? and the position that did arise after 23...Rb6 when your b-pawn was pinned. These are both tactical patterns worth remembering
You're close, but that tactic isn't quite true. After 7.Qxd6, Black has 7...Qg5+ which allows solidification of black's position. While there is no way to win back the pawn after 8.Qd2 (Any other move allows the Knight fork, which after analysis stops all threats of back rank mate.) Black will have a reasonable position into the middlegame, while no master could hold it, at this level, it can easily turn on white.
htdavidht is correct!! The puzzle was flawed and 6....Kg6 would have won that puzzle. I've corrected the puzzle (computer checked this time) and resubmitted.
do Americans really see Bobby as one of the greatest players
by owltuna 5 minutes ago
9/15/2014 - From All Angles
by bluewoods 5 minutes ago
foul mouthed players
by seeker2525 12 minutes ago
worshipping satan improves chess skill?
by patzermike 19 minutes ago
sharpest reply against d4
by XPLAYERJX 20 minutes ago
Every tactic attempt was foiled. Comments?
by Ben-Lui 28 minutes ago
Which one chess book has improved your playing strength the most?
by Smellfungus 31 minutes ago
MOUSE SLIP? NO NEED TO RESIGN
by painkiller33 32 minutes ago
Drueke chess set
by 9kick9 34 minutes ago
9/14/2014 - Mate in 2
by keyakku 35 minutes ago
Why Join | Chess Topics |
Help & Support |
© 2014 Chess.com
• Chess - English
We are working hard to make Chess.com available in over 70 languages. Check back over the year as we develop the technology to add more, and we will try our best to notify you when your language is ready for translating!