Positional Analysis #1
Position #1: This position arose in one of my games. In my desire to obtain the bishop pair, I took his bishop, when actually there was a much better move that wins more material. Fxe4!
Position #2: Black has a choice here to capture the bishop on f7 or play the in-between move Bg5. I opted for the fancy in-between move, but this is actually not so good, as it gives the queen access to the favorable e1 square where it can recapture when I take the bishop. Instead, if I immediately take the bishop, either the king or rook will have to recapture, and then I play Bg5 and the queen is a bit more misplaced on e1 now.
Position #3: I can recapture on e4 with the bishop, some exchanges occur, and then be up a pawn. Or I can play the more incisive Nfg4! - bringing another piece into the attack.
Position #4: Another missed tactic! Argh. Anytime you see the king behind a piece, your mind should be turned on to tactics. X-ray vision! Qxf6!
Position #5: To capture the knight, or to preserve my bishop? I ultimately captured the knight. Because I thought it might be a key defending piece for him to hold together his king side. My light squared bishop will take some time to get activated although I did briefly consider sacrificing on c6 by playing Bb5. In the end, Stockfish agrees, taking the knight is much better here! (An evaluation of +10 vs +6)
Position #6: Playing the move h4 is questionable here and in my opinion, a bit undisciplined. Vs. a strong player, they might take advantage of this and quickly play e5. I am one tempo too slow with h5 because if I capture e5, his knight recaptures and is perfectly positioned to defend g6 as well as target my bishop. However ,f I don't capture on e5, he will play e4, and my attack is mostly nullified. Sure I take g6, he takes my bishop, I take on h7, but then he plays nf6 and I don't have much. The more disciplined move in this situation was perhaps Nf3 instead of h4.
Position #7: Rxh7! Much stronger than Qh5 because the bishop can block on g7. It's important to see these details.
Position #8: Ingenious! Clearance tactic to move the pawn away from d5 and target the rook or target mate. Have to see these things!
Hope everyone enjoyed this post on the mistakes in a game I played, and hopefully my mistakes will further your own knowledge of this royal game!
Lessons to be learned:
Position #1: When the tactics are tingling, take your time and calculate properly. Don't play hope chess.
Position #2: When playing in-between moves, ask yourself, if the in-between insertion helps you, or helps your opponent.
Position #3: See a good move, look for a better move.
Position #4: Always be on the lookout for when a king is opposite one of your pieces. #Tactics!
Position #5: When considering trades, look for the trades that hold his position together. If the knight gets back to f6, my queen is kind of stuck. Additionally, my light square bishop is kind of blunted by his pawns.
Position #6: Play disciplined moves. Don't play hopechess. You won't make large strides in improvement if you hope your opponent will play poor moves because one day, you'll face an opponent who will only play good moves.
Position #7: Consider the opponent's response, don't just consider the obvious response. Look for their best replies and then play accordingly.
Position #8: Clearance tactics! If pawns are the soul of chess, moving them around is what makes you a master.