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  • 5 months ago


    Very helpful and instructive.  Chess.com needs IM Bartholomew to make lots and lots more videos.  Very well done.

  • 17 months ago


    Great video. It was very focused, not going off on lots of sidelines. It presented a very important topic very well

  • 4 years ago


    +1. Very eloquent presentation.

  • 4 years ago


    Great video!!!

  • 4 years ago


    that's nice... thanks a lot...

  • 4 years ago


    I benifited from this video!

  • 4 years ago


    I agree, well done!

  • 4 years ago


    Great new addition to the video series--thanks very much! I will look forward to all that follow. rt

  • 4 years ago


    Very good video

  • 4 years ago


    Great video, really instuctive and useful insights. Thanks.
  • 4 years ago


    Excellent video, welcome to the big family chess.com!! I really enjoyed

  • 4 years ago


    Excellent first video, with a pace that is just right for me.  I greatly enjoy these videos on critical positions from both you and Danny Rensch. I am new to chess,  so it is especially helpful to hear how good players think about unfamiliar positons, especially since most of the positions I face are new, often starting before move 5!   

  • 4 years ago


    Great video! hope you make more.

  • 4 years ago


    thanks, very instructive video

  • 4 years ago


    someone used this tactic against me...Surprised

  • 4 years ago

    IM DanielRensch

    I echo all the cheers and compliments to John on his first video! I LOVED this video!! I thought his delivery was clear, to the point, with an easy to follow "tempo" (a little easier than my style perhaps Tongue out) and of course, there were many highly instructive moments along the way -- which means the choice of content was great...

    John, as your friend and now co-worker Wink, I am totally pumped to have you aboard our video team!

    In other notes, and after reading the feedback on this video, I wanted to say that my next lecture (coming out manana -- Thursday the 17th --) has some more advice and some of my own ideas about how to sense critical moments not only in your games, but during post game analysis as well (it's the next in the "How to Analyze Your Own Games" series). Not self-promoting I promise Foot in mouth, but I just figured it might help for people who feel a little lost on the subject. Though I admit I am not sure I explain it as well as John does here...

    Thanks everyone!


  • 4 years ago


    Great lesson!

    Thanks John.

  • 4 years ago


    Awesome vid bro!

  • 4 years ago


    Good stuff.  Thanks for the follow up!

  • 4 years ago

    IM Fins0905

    Many thanks for the feedback, guys - keep it coming!  I lost a tough game to Irina Krush in the US Chess League tonight mainly because I failed to appreciate an early critical moment.  We're all constantly learning :)

    In the next two parts we'll delve deeper into the "how" part that elindauer and BuddyT asked about.  There is no magic formula for this - each position has to be broken down according to its unique elements.  For example, in this game I described how 16.c4? set off serious warning bells in my head because of the newly created weakness on d3.  This is a critical moment because Black has a chance to favorably alter the pawn structure with 16...Nxe5, then exploit the d3 weakness with 17...Nb4.  We can sense this is critical because White's move loosens his structure and Black's chance will disappear if he plays a routine retreat (like 16...N5b6).  Critical moments are VERY OFTEN trigged by TIMING!  You (or your opponent) have an opportunity to change something in the position, but only within a certain window of moves.

    @geoffmerhar: Nice catch!  You're right - in the line 11...Bxd6 12.Nxd6+ Ke7 13.Qxa6 14.Nxb7, I have 14...Rhb8! (this looks slightly more accurate than 14...Rab8, when a7 is undefended).  After 15.Na5 Rxb2 16.Nxc6+ Kf8 (16...Kd6 should also be fine) Black is down a pawn but has great play because of the active rook.  One continuation is 17.0-0-0!? Rb6 18.Nxd5 Rxc6! 19.Ne3 Nb4 with full compensation.  It seems better for White to keep queens on and seek the initiative with 13.Qe5! with threats of 14.Nf5+ and 14.Qxg7.

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