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Learning to Play Chess: Weekly Analysis #3

Learning to Play Chess: Weekly Analysis #3

Mar 15, 2015, 2:19 PM 1

My Weekly Analysis is here. I posted 2 games that used standard time.

As usual, if you have any comments about the games or in general for me, feel free to comment below or shoot me a PM. I am always looking for feedback, practice partners, and ways to improve my chess game.



What I learned from this game.
1. If I make moves based on a game plan or idea (such as attacking a weak center or square) I need to follow through with that plan. When I exchanged knights on d5 this game, I should have followed up with pushing my rook out to capture the weak pawn (see variation in annotation). Instead I played it passively and let the pawn stay where it was with little defense.
2. Endgames are both difficult and very important. Even being down a pawn and having a slightly worse pawn structure, I don't know for sure if that game was lost for me. However my complete lack of knowledge on how to proceed in that situation punished me in what could have been a winnable or drawn position.
3. If I am not under any immediate threat, and if I have a chance to attack White's center/a hanging piece, I should prioritize that over castling. If not threat exists, I just hurt myself by delaying it. Kind of like developing a piece just to develop it vs. having a reason and use for doing so. I have kind of followed the rule of thumb of just develop everything and protect the king, and then worry about everything else.
4. It is still very easy to miss obvious moves. taking that rook with my Knight late could have swung the game in my favor.
Questions from this game.
1. How did leaving the white's pawn in the center affect the game long term? Did my lack of follow up on attacking white's center and that hanging pawn punish me in some important way?
2. Was trading bishops on move 7 good?
3. How far behind was I / was the position winnable or drawable around move #23?
4. moves 13-15 were all with the queen. Could I have been doing somnething better with all that time I used moving her around? had I picked up that center pawn earlier, would moving the queen out like that been necessary?
What I learned from this game
1. I need to take more time to calculate moves.
2. Despite the queens importance, make sure that moving her out of an attack is accomplishing something besides just saving her. Had I taken the time to see that the move 22.Qb3 doesn't accomplish anything I perhaps would have seen the e4 line that I discussed in the annotation.
3. Calculation is hard, but if I am prepraring to sac a major piece, make sure that what I am doing it for is going to work. perhaps something like a pawn or a minor piece could be lost earlyish and not lose a game (at my level anyways) but I think if I had sacced the rook and it didn't lead to anything, I just lose this game. In fact, the line I took would lead only to a draw had black seen d7 instead of d8 as an escape.
4. If I am creating space and opening up lines on the Queen side for attacks and counter play, I need to keep focused on that area. I had some better moves/opportunities to do so but played either passively to protect my queen or just missed a better move.
5. Try to look for and recognize when pieces are not important. Black's Queen on h1 was threatening some powerful tactics after I sacced the rook, but before it was not in the position to do anything in particular with only 1 move. I should work more to recognize those weaknesses.
Questions from this game
1. Do I have to exchange the Bishop and knight on  f6 early? I am sure there is a lot of theory, but I don't know if waiting as long as I did is correct (though it felt fine in the game).
2. What is the best way to move forward attacking the Queen side from around moves 11 or 12 on? I had better position on that side of the board, my rook was on the open file, but I wasn't sure the best way to open it up and get some more lines of attack going.

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