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I can't defend to save my life.


  • 9 months ago · Quote · #1

    sammynouri

    So I played a game against a slightly higher rated player and lost after winning a piece.The reason? I can't handle the pressure of someone tripling on my castled king. It took two of my pieces to defend and by the end he managed to dislodge them and win. How could I have defended better, and if possible how could I have stopped him from taking the initiative in the first place?



  • 9 months ago · Quote · #2

    trysts

    On move 28, fxg7 looks pretty good. It makes it pretty tough for black to be scary anymore especially with Nf6 a threat to be played by white, in my tiny view:)

  • 9 months ago · Quote · #3

    waffllemaster

    Even after losing your queen you were better.

    Just some general guidelines.

    In passive defense (all you're trying to do is defend the threats) try to bring more defenders near your king (24.Be4) and exchange off attacking pieces (28.Bxd4).  Also try to keep lines around your king closed, that is avoid pawn exchanges.  I would have rather seen 19.Be4, opposing that bishop than 19.f3 which weakens your king position and makes it easier for black to open lines.


    In an active defense, where you're generating threats of your own, you want to open lines anywhere else on the board.  This is preferable to passive defense and indirectly draws away attacking pieces.  So again on move 19 I would have rather seen axb4.  Also as Trysts says, inserting fxg7 on move 28 (or later).

    21.Nxc5 is a little bit of both.  You're creating threats and forcing an attacker away (or if he leaves the bishop on b2 you can capture it).


    And as with just about any position in chess, ideally each of your pieces is doing something useful.  Or in other words seek out your bad pieces not your good pieces. I see here when you were defending and frustrated it seemed like you just moved your queen and knight over and over.  22.Nf2, but it was beautiful on e4.


    So one more tip.  When you're feeling frantic, very clearly identify the threat.  Not a vague anxiety of "I'm under attack" try to find the file or single square.  Be specific.  So after 21...0-0-0 what's his threat?  Rh8 tippling?  Ok then what.  Rxh2?  Ok that's just a pawn, we're a piece up, so what, anything else?  g3 followed by Rh1.  Ok that's mate.  That's his threat.  But then we see we can just capture on g3 and there's no mate.

    So what else.  gxf3 Qxf3 Qh6 h3 Rh8 and... nothing.


    So once you do this you realize you can ignore his attack and start looking at moves like 22.axb4 and 22.Nxc5.  You may have thought I was crazy earlier to suggest 24.Be4 because h2 is hanging.  Ok so 24.Be4 Rxh2 and... and his attack is over!


    But lets say you're very worried about h2 and the h file and didn't have time to look ahead at all.  Ok then something like 22.h3 gxh3 g4 and black's pawn permanently shields your king on the h file.  22.Nf2, to me, says "aaaahhh, I'm freaking out" Smile


    If you can't find the threat then it's not really a question of how well you can defend or not, but about how well you can play when you have very low time.  In most positions, but especially when trying to defend, the opponent's threat is the basis for everything else.  If you can't specifically identify it your moves will become random.

  • 9 months ago · Quote · #4

    sammynouri

    waffllemaster wrote:

    Even after losing your queen you were better.

    Just some general guidelines.

    In passive defense (all you're trying to do is defend the threats) try to bring more defenders near your king (24.Be4) and exchange off attacking pieces (28.Bxd4).  Also try to keep lines around your king closed, that is avoid pawn exchanges.  I would have rather seen 19.Be4, opposing that bishop than 19.f3 which weakens your king position and makes it easier for black to open lines.


    In an active defense, where you're generating threats of your own, you want to open lines anywhere else on the board.  This is preferable to passive defense and indirectly draws away attacking pieces.  So again on move 19 I would have rather seen axb4.  Also as Trysts says, inserting fxg7 on move 28 (or later).

    21.Nxc5 is a little bit of both.  You're creating threats and forcing an attacker away (or if he leaves the bishop on b2 you can capture it).


    And as with just about any position in chess, ideally each of your pieces is doing something useful.  Or in other words seek out your bad pieces not your good pieces. I see here when you were defending and frustrated it seemed like you just moved your queen and knight over and over.  22.Nf2, but it was beautiful on e4.


    So one more tip.  When you're feeling frantic, very clearly identify the threat.  Not a vague anxiety of "I'm under attack" try to find the file or single square.  Be specific.  So after 21...0-0-0 what's his threat?  Rh8 tippling?  Ok then what.  Rxh2?  Ok that's just a pawn, we're a piece up, so what, anything else?  g3 followed by Rh1.  Ok that's mate.  That's his threat.  But then we see we can just capture on g3 and there's no mate.

    So what else.  gxf3 Qxf3 Qh6 h3 Rh8 and... nothing.


    So once you do this you realize you can ignore his attack and start looking at moves like 22.axb4 and 22.Nxc5.  You may have thought I was crazy earlier to suggest 24.Be4 because h2 is hanging.  Ok so 24.Be4 Rxh2 and... and his attack is over!


    But lets say you're very worried about h2 and the h file and didn't have time to look ahead at all.  Ok then something like 22.h3 gxh3 g4 and black's pawn permanently shields your king on the h file.  22.Nf2, to me, says "aaaahhh, I'm freaking out"


    If you can't find the threat then it's not really a question of how well you can defend or not, but about how well you can play when you have very low time.  In most positions, but especially when trying to defend, the opponent's threat is the basis for everything else.  If you can't specifically identify it your moves will become random.

    Wow, that was very clear and insightful, thanks.

  • 9 months ago · Quote · #5

    TheGreatOogieBoogie

    And I thought I had defense issues! 

    Anyway, you have to develop a sense of danger and when to defend.  Don't make the mistake of thinking that defense is just passive defense.  Defense is coping with a disadvantage and how to equalize for one chess definition.  Another defenition is coping with an attack on your king, which applies in your case.  Here it doesn't necessarily mean you have a disadvantage but like in many Sicilian cases after you successfully trade off their most essential attacking pieces without trading off pieces too valuable for you.  By valuable I mean active not necessarily by a static point count.  If his knight on the sixth is really dangerous and they usually are trade a rook!  Yes, exchange sacrifices are defensive tools as well and that's the most basic and obvious example.  If you can trade off three deadly minors or the queen then do it!  Especially for two bishops and a knight. 

    A course I want to recommed you is "Advanced Defense"  Don't let the implied 1600+ FIDE target audience name fool you, it's a very basic course with 400 exercises designed to help you train your pattern recognition on preventing checkmate.  Actual checkmate isn't the goal for an attacker, but rather using the threat of checkmate to provoke weaknesses and creation of targets (so an attack's true ultimate goal is the transition to a superior endgame whereas the defender, since both sides can't have the initiative at once, is to enter an equal but by no means drawn one).

    Threatening checkmate isn't even always the best move and sometimes even experts make this mistake, trust me on this one even handed me an advantage by trying since he worsened his own queen far more than I worsened my rook Cool

  • 9 months ago · Quote · #6

    DrFrank124c

    TheGreatOogieBoogie wrote:

    And I thought I had defense issues! 

    Anyway, you have to develop a sense of danger and when to defend.  Don't make the mistake of thinking that defense is just passive defense.  Defense is coping with a disadvantage and how to equalize for one chess definition.  Another defenition is coping with an attack on your king, which applies in your case.  Here it doesn't necessarily mean you have a disadvantage but like in many Sicilian cases after you successfully trade off their most essential attacking pieces without trading off pieces too valuable for you.  By valuable I mean active not necessarily by a static point count.  If his knight on the sixth is really dangerous and they usually are trade a rook!  Yes, exchange sacrifices are defensive tools as well and that's the most basic and obvious example.  If you can trade off three deadly minors or the queen then do it!  Especially for two bishops and a knight. 

    A course I want to recommed you is "Advanced Defense"  Don't let the implied 1600+ FIDE target audience name fool you, it's a very basic course with 400 exercises designed to help you train your pattern recognition on preventing checkmate.  Actual checkmate isn't the goal for an attacker, but rather using the threat of checkmate to provoke weaknesses and creation of targets (so an attack's true ultimate goal is the transition to a superior endgame whereas the defender, since both sides can't have the initiative at once, is to enter an equal but by no means drawn one).

    Threatening checkmate isn't even always the best move and sometimes even experts make this mistake, trust me on this one even handed me an advantage by trying since he worsened his own queen far more than I worsened my rook

    The course you recommend interests me. The OP is not the onlly one with problems defending. Where can I get this "Advanced Defense" course and how much does it cost?  

  • 9 months ago · Quote · #7

    sammynouri

    DrFrank124c wrote:
    TheGreatOogieBoogie wrote:

    And I thought I had defense issues! 

    Anyway, you have to develop a sense of danger and when to defend.  Don't make the mistake of thinking that defense is just passive defense.  Defense is coping with a disadvantage and how to equalize for one chess definition.  Another defenition is coping with an attack on your king, which applies in your case.  Here it doesn't necessarily mean you have a disadvantage but like in many Sicilian cases after you successfully trade off their most essential attacking pieces without trading off pieces too valuable for you.  By valuable I mean active not necessarily by a static point count.  If his knight on the sixth is really dangerous and they usually are trade a rook!  Yes, exchange sacrifices are defensive tools as well and that's the most basic and obvious example.  If you can trade off three deadly minors or the queen then do it!  Especially for two bishops and a knight. 

    A course I want to recommed you is "Advanced Defense"  Don't let the implied 1600+ FIDE target audience name fool you, it's a very basic course with 400 exercises designed to help you train your pattern recognition on preventing checkmate.  Actual checkmate isn't the goal for an attacker, but rather using the threat of checkmate to provoke weaknesses and creation of targets (so an attack's true ultimate goal is the transition to a superior endgame whereas the defender, since both sides can't have the initiative at once, is to enter an equal but by no means drawn one).

    Threatening checkmate isn't even always the best move and sometimes even experts make this mistake, trust me on this one even handed me an advantage by trying since he worsened his own queen far more than I worsened my rook

    The course you recommend interests me. The OP is not the onlly one with problems defending. Where can I get this "Advanced Defense" course and how much does it cost?  

    Course's are chess mentor lessons that are based on a particular theme like in this case, defending. The cost is diamond membership for unlimited chess mentor lessons. I haven't really taken mush interest in premium membership but the chess mentor lessons that I have tried are insightful as well as fun, so I may consider it one day.

  • 9 months ago · Quote · #8

    TheGreatOogieBoogie

    The course is here:

    http://chessok.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=556

    But I'd recommend reading Starting Out: Defensive Play as well. 


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