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Almost every game I have played recently I lost because of a blunder i.e. leaving exposed unprotected pieces , and not recognizing obvious knight forks . These generally occur in complicated games with lots of pieces on board.Do you think I should trade my pieces at the start of the game to simplyfy things and perhaps avoid blunders ? Also I am 72 years old and I wonder if that has something to do with my chess problem.
dont focus on trading down, it will most likely further expose you to a blunder if thats your main focus. watch their pieces as much as yours!
Thanks for the suggestion.
Blunders are all part of the game. Whether you are just starting out and your blunders are huge (such as hanging your queen/a full piece), been playing a while (such as hanging a pawn in a complex position) or are a grand master (which is usually loss of a positional advantage rather than material but material losses are still present at the highest levels!).
I blunder - lots. However, I have cut my blundering down significantly by forcing myself to calculate out at least 3/4 main lines 3/4 moves deep everytime the position is 'non-obvious' before I touch a piece. I also play slower time controls - my quick games at 10 minute blitz and my standard is 15|10 - this helps give you time to do your calculations and not hang pieces all over the place.
Aside from that, blundering will always occur and it's something you have to continually improve on reducing.
Good luck and have fun!
If you blunder a lot you must have a concentration problem.
Read this book:' The process of decision making in chess' by philip ochman. And you will never ever blunder.
One of the weakest aspects of my game is recognizing my opponent's hidden (and sometimes obvious) threats. It has been suggested to me that before I complete my move, 'writing it in stone' so to speak, I should ask myself some questions:
Can I check my opponent? Can he check me?
Can I win a piece? Can my opponent win one of mine?
What is the move I don't want my opponent to play?
What wonderful thing does my move do for my position?
There are a lot of questions we can ask ourselves before each move (what should I have for dinner?) but the above ones help keep me a little more alert tactically. Sometimes.
Pretend it is a sacrifice.
I think it really depens on what you define as a blunder. Today I had my first ever rated OTB game.
My opponent offered me a draw which I gladly accepted after being 2 pawns down. His team had won anyways and we where the last board to still play and he simply didn't want to play for another hour while everyone else was waiting.
I thought of my first lost pawn as a blunder and of the second that it was lost to a brilliant tactical combination from my opponent.
After analyzing the game with an engine it was pretty shocking. Actually both situations where my opponent got these pawns where blunders ... by him which I failed to exploit by blundering even more.
Instead of having his bishop take my pawn after forking my pawn and rook, I could have let him take the pawn, then imprisoned his bishop with another pawn and thus have traded 2 pawn against his bishop.
The second pawn he took with a supposedely "brilliant" maneuver actually was horrible. He took the pawn which was protected by Knight, Rook and Queen with one of 2 Knights attacking it. But it wasn't really protected by my Knight because moving the Knight would have allowed him to checkmate me.
So I just let him have the pawn. But I could still simply have retaken with my Rook, get a Zwischenzug to exchange the other rook for his rook and then even could have retaken the knight as that Zwischenzug Rook-exchange would have eliminated the mating threat.So instead of losing a pawn without compensation I could have gotten an even trade in material, freed my Knight from the pin, removed the mating threat and gained a tempo.
Erm... as baseline: I think every lost game is because of a mistake. And I think the only difference between a blunder and any other mistake is that you noticed the blunder yourself.
And since every level of player has a different horizon of mistakes he notices even Grandmasters will consider some of their moves as a blunder. So preventing blunders basically is doublechecking in order to notice your mistake before you make it.
Given your TurnBased rating it seems quite obvious why you blunder pieces, timecontrol. I myself blunder alot when facing weaker opponents, simply due to the fact I'm underestimating them and play quite arrogant. When saying I'm blundering, I mean SERIOUS blunders! Hanging my rooks and so on. I never do this when facing higher rated players. Any suggestions on how I'll awoid underestimating my opponents? I need to work on this for sure...
Ratings are sort of an illusion; they are more of a measure of performance then a measure of ability. Statistics of any sort are misleading! Take scholastic players for example...because of their youth and inexperience, many of them have ratings many hundereds of points below their actual playing ability. Also consider that in online turn based chess, someone could lose internet, time out of a bunch of games and go from 2000+ to under 1400 or something. Or go mad in a drunken fit and resign all their games. Best just to ignore the rating, and treat everyone like a master! :P
Blunders come from a bad position.
If you play positionally sound you would eliminate root of the problem. For example, you should have all your pieces protected (preferably by pawns).
You should not have to walk in a minefield where every move you have to watch out for tactics. When this happens is because you're struggling and you're on the verge of losing - you've been outplayed already.
Every move is a blunder, might as well give up chess.
The Tao Te Ching says "Never underestimate the enemy. By underestimating the enemy I almost lose what I value".
That really applies to chess. If you're blundering a lot, it might mean you're getting carried away or too absorbed in going for the kill and not taking defense seriously enough. You probably need to focus more on defense, at least for awhile. You can still win a defensive game in various ways, and often will find your moment to attack. But then, when you do find the right moment to attack, be vigilent, because even a winning hand can lose on a dime if you get careless, even for a moment. Remember, the opponent is trying to find any weakness of yours as much as you're trying to exploit any of theirs.
For you, learn defense and caution at all times. Then you will be able to attack more effectively.
The simple way to reduce blunders is to play Real Chess on every move.
If you think a particular position on the board is complicated, chances are that your opponent is thinking the same thing. Which means that your opponent probably also has a good chance of making blunders, which you can keep an eye out for.
As for whether or not to trade pieces, I think that depends on whether you are better at midgames or endgames. I personally avoid trading pices whenever possible, especially in equal positions, because I know that I will always lose an equal endgame with only Kings and pawns against another player at my level, and that my main strength is in winning material in the midgame.
Be more carefull, or just stop playing chess.
I think your comment about defense has considerable merit. I recently played a 1850 player at my chess club . I,m about 1150. I just focused on defense and did not blunder at all. I lost on time.
Thanks for the advice. Andy
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