Feedback on my recent OTB tournament game would be appreciated

Here is my recent game, i play as white. 
If you don't feel like reviewing the entire game, go to move 16 and 19, those were the turning points. I want to improve my thinking process and understanding of strategy.


The problem was you had an attacking position but than rush to trade pieces mindlessly. Why would you go in to trade the pair of knights, which was forced if you play e4. If u want. to attack try to keep pieces on the board. Trading dsb was necessary, but after that you had to take advantage, get rooks lined up against enemy king, create pawn breaks on the kingside etc.




agree with ghost_of_pushwood. You put the Knight on d2, so you should have been playing for e4 or c4 out of the opening


Generally speaking, when there is a plan (in this case white would like to attack to the king side, especially because of heterogeneous castles) is difficult to change it. 14... Th8 suprised you and it is a decent move. My suggestion is that when you feel that your attack is no more devasting, it is better to stop play fast and think about a new plan. If you can't attack in the king side, try to attack in the center. Of course change your plan is easy to say and more difficult to do. A good exercise in chess is: sometime stop play fast and think about a generic plan. When you have to find a strategy, normally this takes time and it is not like attacking "push the pawn and try to made fast".

ghost_of_pushwood wrote:

16 e4 seems like the right idea...but it looks to be dropping a pawn at the moment.  Maybe 16 g5 followed by 17 e4...

Hmmmm...I thought i had that covered?  I could be wrong (which i have no problem admitting) I still think its the right move, but most certainly the move you suggest is very playable.


By move 14 I see four things: One move 11, you allowed a trade. When you have a space advantage like you did, you should not trade. You then question whether your recapture with a Bishop was correct. I say it was. Why? Why double your pawns? On move 13 you again allowed a trade when you had the space advantage. Finally on move 14 you push another pawn to the attack (g4). You are violating a principle: do not attack before you are completely developed. UNLESS you have a clear chance at mate or winning a piece. Develop first, then choose your attack. That's the number one lesson. Also, learn how to play with a space advantage. In my opinion. Good luck!


Never been a fan of these systems, seem too dogmatic. 5. c3 whats the point? He isnt pressuring your d pawn, you dont end up playing Bd3 and Qc2 which I would have thought would have been a better diagonal. I think I would have been more tempted with c4, Nf3 or Bd3. Not that c3 is losing or even bad, I just dont understand the point.


16. Qf2! (defending the h4-pawn) Qf6 17. Qg3! (taking control of the f4-square), followed by e4 almost certainly busts black.

I would say White is 85% won after this.

But not 17. e4? Qf4! and that queen is difficult to drive out.

Lots of small mistakes for both sides throughout.


Thank you all for your feedback! It was helpful. I have learned that:

  • Avoid trading pieces when attacking or when i have space advantage.
  • Learn how to utilize space advantage.
  • Improve my pieces as much as possible before attacking.
  • Don't get stuck with a specific idea, look for other objectives, perhaps come up with a new plan. I got obsessed with attacking black kingside that i started doing it at all costs.

"I failed to hear the call to attack!" - Before this game i watched a game where white attacked the kingside using london system and it was successful, so i tried to do the same.

"Did you look at 9.Qb3?" - yes, but i saw that black would improve his position by Qc8, preventing g4. All my attention was directed towards removing blacks kingside pawns.

"Black did you a big favor with 11...Nxe5, but you didn't follow up on your attacking plan when it actually had a chance to succeed. 12.dxe5 Nd7 13.g4! was in the spirit of th attack, and looks good." - Yes, that what i should have done. Only reason i didn't choose dxe5 was fear of breaking my pawn structure =( g4 is what i wanted to play since i started the kingside assault.

"Never been a fan of these systems, seem too dogmatic" - Playing dogmatic is my way of compensating my lack of opening knowledge and experience. If i play moves that are proven sound, the risk of blundering is less. When i get stronger i will trust my analysis & intuition more.

"16. Qf2! (defending the h4-pawn) Qf6 17. Qg3! (taking control of the f4-square), followed by e4" - That is certainly a better line. Any improvement of my pieces before continuing moving the paws is better.


Indeed, this is a tactically complicated position.

Even SF might need some time finding its way through.

Finding Qf2 is easy - Black has an immediate threat capturing the h4-pawn after ...hxg4 and Rxh4, so White must counter this.

2 options - Qe1 and Qf2; Qe1 is definitely clumsier, worse square, so f2 is the way to go.

g4-g5 closes the king side where White attacks and that is counter-indicated here, as no other game-opening options are available.

gxh5 Rxh5 is obviously weak, creating an isolated pawn on h4 and improving black's rook, so Qf2 is the only natural continuation.

You just have to prune out a couple of bad lines, but that comes with experience.


Without reading others' comments cos I'm in a hurry, it seemed clear that you left yourself without enough pieces to carry out an "assault" so by move 16, really there wasn't an obvious plan. I think your problems began much earlier, with 7.h4 played too early and then after the pin on g4, you played Ne5, swapping of your better bishop. Much further down the line, you would have liked to have this bishop, I'm sure. So on a superficial glance, by move 16 you had reduced attacking opportunities remaining and you were relying on blunders by your opponent but he didn't oblige, presumably.

Incidentally, I would play 5. c4, allowing the N to reach a better square on c3, where your opponent's position is rather passive, but that's another game entirely. Regarding the game you played, you seemed to play into your opponent's hands, especially with N. Ne5. But I think I would have played 14. 0-0-0 and 15. e4 if I had to try to win.

Optimissed wrote:

Incidentally, I would play 5. c4, allowing the N to reach a better square on c3, where your opponent's position is rather passive

After i did engine analysis, it suggested several times that the best moves to make were c4 followed by Nc3, as you suggest. Is this a generally better positional play compared to playing c3 and Nd2, as i did during the actual game?

Optimissed wrote:

I think your problems began much earlier, with 7.h4 played too early..

What would you have played to prepare h4 further? (if playing h4 was a good idea at all)

All my pieces were developed except the g1 knight and castling.


The London System just isn't very promising against a K-side fianchetto by Black. If you want to play the London regularly, you might want to settle on a move order that allows you to prevent Bf5 while still being well placed to meet ... g6 with c4 and Nc3 instead of with c3 and Nd2. 

Personally, I don't like the London for White even under the best of circumstances. It tends to lead to the same sort of position over and over again, stunting the White player's growth by limiting his exposure to different types of formations.


Simon Williams (GingerGM) recommends a line where if black plays g6 you follow that with Nc3 (after 1.d4 and 2.Bf4). The idea being that you are transitioning to an e4 opening, play Qd2, castle queenside quickly and so on so forth.

If black prevents e4 by responding with d5, then he recommends playing e3 and h4, aiming for h5 and a rook sac line. Great video explaining this on youtube if you search for london system against ...g6. Very beginner friendly (and I am for all intents and purposes a beginner).