Help me improve


Hey guys this is a game i played recently. Any advice especially on long term strategy would be greatly appreciated.


Even though they had the bishop, I think it would have still been a text book draw since the bishop was the wrong color to force the king out of the corner.  There are several possibilities, but I think these are all valid.


Kh3 doesn't seem to work for black, either.


Also, didn't you do the parham?  Why not stick to the italian like you originally wanted?  Isn't that:


Qe7, instead of f3


Firstly, in response to your "I've been losing a lot recently and I think it may be because I've not been aggressive enough". There's a time for aggression, and it's not when you have 1 piece out. Your queen is just misplaced.

Your two pieces for a rook and pawn is a bad trade, 2 pieces are better in the middlegame because of the threats they can generate. As you saw, your rooks just got chased around anyway.

As Cavalier says, head to the corner at the end for a draw.


thanks everyone for taking the time to review my game and for adding your insight. What I'll take away is:

# don't bother bringing the queen out as early

# 2 minor pieces X R is bad

# i can force a draw in the corner with the right type of bishop




Yeah, with rook pawns, if their bishop doesn't control the corner, and you can get your king there, you can draw. Doesn't matter if your opponent has 2 or 3 rook pawns even.


Scottrf, You mean doubled pawns, right?  With something like the a-pawn and d-pawn, the lone king can't stop them both.  I'm not 100% on the rook's pawn and adjacent knight's pawn.


I wouldn't follow those as strict rules, but as useful guidelines.  I've seen examples where all of those lead to wins in GM games.  WIth the scotch, if NxN, then QxN is supposed to be fine.  In the middle game book I have, Nunn gives examples of the rook winning and one where the knight+bishop wins.  One of the GM's had a series of articles on about this.  GM Gserper, I think.

Well, follow the rook's pawn thing as a strict rule.  A better way to look at that is the wrong bishop, though.  I think that's how it's always labelled.  If it were me, I'd offer a draw as either side.  The person with the lone king will either know it's a draw or feel lucky.  At our level, I've seen people refuse draws when they're the one with the pawn, so it has to be forced.


Yeah doubled pawns. Obviously king loses vs an A and H pawn even without the bishop.


@Craigstevenson : Actually, your #1 is more often wrong than true. (and #2 depends much on the position). Corrected version :

"Don't bother bringing the queen out early if and only if it brings you a clear advantage you can't achieve by other means, when the queen is safe where it stands [Obviously, this is not the case on h5]."

The reason is that as you can't exchange the queen against a knight or a bishop because of its value, it will have to go back if it is attacked by a minor piece. Then, your opponent can win tempi developing while you are just moving the queen around to avoid attacks.


My two cents on the game :

9.c3 : I wasn't sure here if I should have used the a pawn or the c pawn. In the end I decided it would be better to use the c pawn with the idea of pushing the d pawn at some stage

a3 would have been meaningless. The point in c3 is to push d4 later. Chasing the bishop is useless (it can go out) and only weakens your pawns. For the same reason, 10.b4 ? is not a great move. Instead, 10.Bg5 ! hits their misplaced pieces (Black's defense to your ridiculous starting attack should have been 3...Qe7 followed by ...Nf6 winning a tempo).


I quite disagree with Scottrf on the trade B+N against R+p. It would indeed be a bad trade generally speaking, but here you are trading a bishop you have already lost to the ...b5 fork, so it's reducing you problems.

This being said, it tactially doesn't work if Black had seen (instead of 15...Qxf7 ?) 15...bxa5 ! and your knight on f7 is trapped.

18.Nd3 : I was down a piece and didn't want to simplify. Yeah, that's great thinking ! Also I figure I'm more likely to get a piece from black with a fork from the N. But that's pretty much crap. Stop playing to trap your opponents, and your rating will go up very fast.

This move is also inconsistant with 22.Nc5 ? (better Bb2, developing as you can) that uses a tempo to trade the knight while losing a pawn after 22...Nxc5 23.bxc5 Bxc5.

 After 25.bxc5, you should feel that (1) your bishop on d4 is blocked by your own wall of pawns and (2) the d file, especially the d5 square, is desperately weak. Which explains that 29...Nxd4 ? was really poor positional planning, even if Black still stands better (better ...Bxa2 !).

You sideline on move 31 only gives you a draw (which is already better that what you could hope, I agree)  after (31...Bxe6 32.Rde4) 32...Kf7. On other moves that 33.Rf1+ Black will play ...Bd7 getting out of the pin, and then you have to keep checking / pinning with the Rf1.


It is so sad to see so any endgame mistakes :

37...Kg8 ?? : because if the king was more active in the center (...Kf6, even better is ...Ke6), it would be known.

38...Bxc5 ?? because it is well-known that a bishopis worth less than a pawn (c5 could have been stopped even without sacrificing a bishop).

Moving your pawns on white squares were useful, but not urgent. You should bring your king and move your pawns only if Black loses time attacking them.

In your 50...Rxb4 sideline, it ends with a draw. But Black can win with 55...g5 ! (instead of ...Kxh3) 56.Kg6 Kxh3 57.Kxh6 Kxg4 and Black defends the pawn, that will be promoted easily.


The end with bad bishop + rook pawn is not so drawn than that. This looks like the classic endgame Kortchnoi vs Karpov 1978 ( The presence of an enemy pawn on the good file (which is, the neighbour of the pawn's file) and another pawn on the rook file give the bishop side hopes to win. The idea is a position like this :



So you disagree even though it loses the game?

It doesn't work here (well it does because his opponent played it badly), and generally it's a bad idea, which is why castling defends against fried liver type attacks.

What I said was right.


It's better to trade 2 minor pieces for a rook than to loose a piece. Don't you agree with that Scottrf?


Yep, but with the correct continuation he's losing 3 pieces for it as far as I can see. Maybe you can sac all your pieces for the kingside pawns but I don't believe a mate is happening there.


15...bxa4 and the knight is trapped. I think both players overlooked that anyway when white decided to play Bxf7+. I agree with you about the evaluation, but I think it was rather a calculation error than the wrong "rule of thumb".


Ok Scott, but by reading your previous posts I thought you hadn't seen my line (which is the reason why it doesn't work). Things are clearer now.

And BTW, I would still recommend to play the line played in the game. It gives Black a chance to misstep and then you end up with a not-so-lost endgame, whereas if you play "safe" you've lost a piece in all lines which means you are doomed. Being even more doomed with two pieces vs. exchange doesn't change much. Of course, if Black plays adequately then (against an opponent >1600) you could resign. But it still is good politics to set a last trap because there is nothing left to lose and it does not cost much.


Yeah you're right. Just the continuation doesn't stop the double attack, just puts you in another one where you've traded two pieces for a rook, I probably didn't need to get so worked up, apologies. Looking at it, it seems I didn't actually spot that first time, but did when I was writing my response, and falsely presumed I did before.

But the point was supposed to be a general one which Yusupov explains, the two pieces for a rook and pawn is better to think of as bad than good, unless you see a reason for the position being an exception.


Id just like to thank Scottrf and irontiger for your time its really helped me


You're welcome, we're happy to help when people comment on their games instead of saying "analyse this for me", as too many do...


Scottrf and Irontiger usually give good advice.