Stay alert in your games!
In chess, it is a known cliché to "move with purpose," "play with a plan," "anticipate your opponent's moves." We've all heard them myriads of times.
But, it's easier said than done. Really.
Most of us like to speed through games regardless of the time control, especially in online play. OTB not so much, as usually you pay to play and you're aiming for personal goal or prizes.
On chess.com, the blitzing through games is obvious in turnbased play. While some games allow you up to two weeks to play a move, in reality we are only in front of the position for at most 2 minutes before cranking out a move.
When you do that, sometimes you miss a few details.
Here is an embarassing example:
After that game, I learned my lesson and I tried to spend more time on my games.
And then we have this game
So I developed all my pieces; the pieces are on their ideal squares, yet I was stuck. There wasn't really anything to do. I didn't see any targets and the classic d5 plan is a bit premature at the moment. So I decided to wait around with 18... Qc7.
Meanwhile, as crude as it may seem, White was gearing towards my King. He also took advantage of my little mental lapse...
Even though I considered my ideas carefully, I forgot about his! To be fair, he hid his intentions well, as the Qf3-h3-g3 manouver seemed to be a waste of time to me. Yet, it snared me in a psychological trap.
So, my advice: Keep your eyes peeled!!!