I am losing without knowing what is happening

lkamal

This is a game I played in a tournament today, and I did not understand what made me lose. I felt I was doing a good attack on king side after he has O-O while I had O-O-O. Can you please look at it and give me some advice? I felt, specially I was not seen what he is planning to do.

naikharshal9211

lkamal wrote:

This is a game I played in a tournament today, and I did not understand what made me lose. I felt I was doing a good attack on king side after he has O-O while I had O-O-O. Can you please look at it and give me some advice? I felt, specially I was not seen what he is planning to do.

g5? I the pawn moves should be such that it opens up the king side. If you notice, opponents kingside was closed. Be precise with your paen moves. And yes there were so many unnecessary sacrifices

ArtNJ

This is a great game to teach you a lot of positional concepts.  I don't have time right now, but will later if no one else takes up the gauntlet.  First, lets go to the tactic you missed.  Suggest you set up the board and catalogue every aspect about the position you can think of after his 19th move which should help you spot the tactical issue you missed.  

dpcarballo

Without going too deep, I think you lost a chance with 36.c3. Ne5 should have been played instead.

Anyway the position is already bad, maybe you should avoid 21. Nxh5

23.Rhg1 threatens some tactics, but with accurate defense leads nowhere. Instead, d5 was an active move that may have left you on the edge, turning your bishops into amazing pieces!

ddunn801
A general comment is that your annotation makes me think you are playing “hope chess,” where you depend on your opponent’s not seeing a tactic and then you use it. Assume your opponent makes the best reply when you decide on a move, or else you won’t beat players that don’t blunder very often.
KeSetoKaiba

I won't do an analysis of every little point because a computer analysis could do that, but I'll point out the "human" things that stood out to me.
The first observation of mine is that we have a chess position with Kings castled on opposite sides of the board (O-O v.s. O-O-O). Maybe you knew this or not, but these positions often become a sort of pawn storm "race" to see which side can break into the opposing King position first; usually the side to do this first wins. Normally, when Kings are castled on the same side: this is not the case because any of your advancing pawns also weaken your own King - but with opposite sides castled, this "race" is a common theme and usually reaches sharp battles. You may have known this, but I just mentioned it in case that was not known.
16.Bg2? was the first real mistake I noticed. I understand that your Bishop was not doing much, so you want to place it on a long diagonal. However, the Bishop does not belong on the a8-h1 diagonal here: maybe if the opponent King was castled the other way, this move may put some pressure. Here, your f3 pawn prevents you from opening this diagonal (and it can't move due to your pinned Queen). The biggest reason why to avoid the Bishop here though is because your h-Rook belongs on the g-file where it stares down the opponent's King. Your h-pawn can't storm onward (due to the Bishop), so your Rook does not need to support this pawn from behind, 16.Rg1 makes more sense with the idea of storming the opponent's King before the enemy gets to yours.
18...Qd5 by the opponent surprised you. The reason is probably that Black was trying to centralize the Queen here and then threaten the Black Queen into a2. When you castle long, usually the King needs to move a square closer to the corner of the board to prevent this infiltration. If your King was on b1 (instead of c1), then they probably would not have tried this. When you played the Knight fork, they may have changed plans: realizing that your Queen is a problem, they wanted a Queen trade (although I don’t really like Black’s …Qf5 move to much either).
I don’t like Black’s Qf5 idea, but it poses you the question “should you trade Queens”? The answer is probably, “No.” There is nothing tactically wrong that I see with a Queen trade here, but it has a strategic/positional problem. At this point in the game, I think White has the initiative. In this situation, you want to attack their King first – and they are trying to defend long enough for a counterattack on your King. As the “attacker” here, you want to keep pieces on the board (you can’t launch a successful attack without enough forces at your disposal) and your Queen is potentially the greatest attacker of all; as a “defender”, without the initiative, your opponent wants to exchange pieces off to weaken the attacking pressure you may create – especially mating attacks.
24...Kg7 was another move that the opponent played that you did not expect, but I like Black's move here. It serves two main purposes. The first is that Black (while trading down pieces like the Queens) is anticipating an endgame and in endgames, King activity becomes more important. The second reason is a common attacking motif of moving the King up to slide the Rook into the corner an up the side files to attack. Black must have known this motif because they followed up with ...Rh8 to attack your weak h-pawn (I don't really like Black's choice to go after this pawn now with the Rook, but at least they are following up their plans they create). If I was Black in this position, I would not play ...Rh8. I have pieces worse off that I could improve the position of. Look at that Knight on b8. What is it doing over there? Nothing! I'd probably play something like …Nd7 or …Bd6 and improve my minor pieces first.
By move 36, the game looks about even, but Black still feels under attack. When the desperation move 36…Rae8 is played, then your response should be to keep the pieces on the board to attack (like with the Queen trade before). Trading even one pair of Rooks greatly helps Black defend.
After this, Black’s connected passed pawns quickly decide the game; with more pieces on the board, pawns don’t mean as much. When more pieces are traded off the board, then pawn structures and ideas become even more important and pawns grow in value since they have better chances of promotion.
With all of this said though, I think you played a fairly solid game. There were a quite a few positional mistakes, but other than that: you looked pretty good there. Addressing the forum title, when “you are losing without knowing what is happening”, it is usually positional factors at play. Computers are great at pointing out tactical ideas, but not too great at explaining “positional” elements that a human player might usually be able to pick up on.

KeSetoKaiba
ArtNJ wrote:

This is a great game to teach you a lot of positional concepts.  I don't have time right now, but will later if no one else takes up the gauntlet.  First, lets go to the tactic you missed.  Suggest you set up the board and catalogue every aspect about the position you can think of after his 19th move which should help you spot the tactical issue you missed.  

I got you; my post #7 tries to "take up the gauntlet." 

Ikamal, I still recommend going through the game yourself though (as ArtNJ suggested). This is a great game to do this with because of the positional ideas present, but I'd suggest that you do this type of review with as many of your games as you can - especially loses; this will greatly help improve your chess happy.png

ArtNJ

Looks like a lot of commenters missed the tactical situation on move 20!

Hint:  retreat squares?

KeSetoKaiba

You're right, I did not see any tactical shots on move 20 when I briefly looked at it. Is it 20.Nxh5!? with the idea that if Black takes our Queen with 20.Qxf3, then Black has the intermezzo Nxf6+ before recapturing the Queen? This looks to gain a piece. Is this what the move 20 shot was?

Laskersnephew

ArtNJ is pointing out that while strategic ideas are important, chess is also a very concrete game, and you have to pay attention to the actual situation on the board. After 19...Qf5? Black has trapped his queen on f5 and seems to have no answer to the upcoming Bh3! by White. If you notice that, the question of whether to exchange queens answers itself.

KeSetoKaiba
Laskersnephew wrote:

ArtNJ is pointing out that while strategic ideas are important, chess is also a very concrete game, and you have to pay attention to the actual situation on the board. After 19...Qf5? Black has trapped his queen on f5 and seems to have no answer to the upcoming Bh3! by White. If you notice that, the question of whether to exchange queens answers itself.

Bh3? is not as great as it may look. This just helps Black exchange Queens, which is what Black wants to do anyway. Instead of ...Qf5?!, probably something like ...Qc4 is better anyway if Black wants a Queen trade. This way, Black's pawns become closer to the White King in this pawn storm where time to attack is sometimes worth more than even concrete material. 

Laskersnephew
Sorry if I was unclear. Avoid the exchange with Qd2, THEN play Bh3
KeSetoKaiba
Laskersnephew wrote:
Sorry if I was unclear. Avoid the exchange with Qd2, THEN play Bh3

Ah, okay; this makes more sense. In this case, White should win material, although the Black Queen can escape. After Bh3, Black has an interposing on g4 (by Knight or Bishop) and this clears escape routes for the Queen (although Black still drops material due to fxg4).

DeirdreSkye

 

3 really terrible exchanges(Queen , bishop and rook) plus failing to understand that you should open the position for the bishops was what make you lose the game. Still it was a very instructive game that can teach you a lot.I will suggest to take one more look  at it and understand the mistakes.

drmrboss

Your 6. Qe2 is acceptable. And also forget about those useless comments from the diagram (I crop to get a quick pgn). 

The main reason your attack was  delayed was due to attacking with wrong pieces/wrong order.


At move 8.  a3 , not necessary, waste a tempo , play f3 instead. 9. Not Nf3??, rather play 9. f3!! then g4,( bishop has to run, you gain another tempo)  h4 .(threatening with pawn strom)

Within 3-4 moves your attack become dangerous to him. Castling opposite side is a race, if you can damage faster than your opponent you win, otherwise , you lose. 

 

DeirdreSkye
drmrboss wrote:

Your 6. Qe2 is acceptable. And also forget about those useless comments from the diagram (I crop to get a quick pgn). 

The main reason your attack was  delayed was due to attacking with wrong pieces/wrong order.


At move 8.  a3 , not necessary, waste a tempo , play f3 instead. 9. Not Nf3??, rather play 9. f3!! then g4,( bishop has to run, you gain another tempo)  h4 .(threatening with pawn strom)

Within 3-4 moves your attack become dangerous to him. Castling opposite side is a race, if you can damage faster than your opponent you win, otherwise , you lose. 

 

   I never said 6.Qe2 is not acceptable. I said that it was possibly better to play Bd3.

    As for your 9.f3 move, clearly shows what I said in another thread : You are unable to think on your own.

9.f3 significantly delays White's development on and Black can ever castle q-side.

 


 I advise the OP to ignore engine trolls like him. Too much engine use has made them unable to think on their own or even understand what others are saying.

Aizen89

I have some general points: 

1) Your a3 pawn push was an example of a wasted move.  You said it was to avoid a pin by Bb4, but the B had already moved once.  If B had been moved to b4, you'd have been okay anyways with sometime like Qc4.  Even if he supports the B then, play a3 at that time.

2) Just having taken a 60-look at the game, the bigger problem for you is your pawn structure.  You had two super easy targets and Black was quick to capitalize on them.  He only had one easy target and the color of your Bishop made it hard to target it.

lkamal

Thanks all for your comments and advises.

@ArtNJ - I could not figure out the way to trap the queen, but with the help of an engine I found it. sad.png

Also, it's good to hear that I should not trade and ease the pressure, this is something I did not know.

@KeSetoKaiba

Thanks for the O-O vs O-O-O advise, I did not know this.

36…Rae8 - I could not figure out a way to avoid this trade.

a3 pawn move - I was worried about a pin; but true I could have thrown him out later.

"This is a great game to teach you a lot of positional concepts." - I am completely unaware of this. If possible, please provide some analysis from a positional concept.

 

KeSetoKaiba
lkamal wrote:

Thanks all for your comments and advises.

@ArtNJ - I could not figure out the way to trap the queen, but with the help of an engine I found it. . 

Also, it's good to hear that I should not trade and ease the pressure, this is something I did not know.

@KeSetoKaiba

Thanks for the O-O vs O-O-O advise, I did not know this.

36…Rae8 - I could not figure out a way to avoid this trade.

a3 pawn move - I was worried about a pin; but true I could have thrown him out later.

"This is a great game to teach you a lot of positional concepts." - I am completely unaware of this. If possible, please provide some analysis from a positional concept.

 

You're welcome. Basically anything that is not immediately tactical ends up being positional in nature wink.png I would "provide some analysis from a positional concept", but I think you already have that here. I especially think you should re-look at posts from DeirdreSkye and the third post from ArtNJ. I am not saying that the other posts are not positional in nature (a lot of them are too), but these especially highlight ideas that are positional. For example, one positional idea clear by now (as has been repeated in several posts) is that "even exchanges" should be avoided if you are the one one the attack or if the exchange is a passive piece for an opponent's unactive one; these trades are not "even" even if the material balance is the same. For instance 38.Rxe8?? just gives up a crucial attacker for a passive one (despite both Rooks "worth the same in material"), this only greatly helps the opponent. 

In summary, there are a lot of positional ideas here already. They are not always intuitive to see at first, but that is what everyone posting in this forum is here for happy.png After practice and study, they will become much more intuitive to see in your own games. 

Ashvapathi

When you castle on opposite sides, you have two options:

1) Wait for your opponent to attack your castle. Weather the storm, and then win the end game. Very risky strategy. Requires great defensive skills.

2) attack your opponent's castle before he attacks your castle. You have to crash through his castle using your pawns and pieces and then checkmate him. So, you have to pawn storm on his castle, open lines of attack for your pieces and then sac your pawns or even pieces to get to his king. Then, checkmate him with your remaining pieces. Very risky strategy. Requires great attacking skills. 

In practical games, most players prefer to attack, so opposite side castling leads to both sides trying to attack the other king. Whoever succeeds first, wins. So, castling on opposite sides leads to sharp games.

Youri attack fizzled out because you could not get to his king. You didn't get to his king because you were not sacing any pieces or pawns to bring the king in open. You didn't open lines of attack on his castle.

(Oh, BTW, you don't trade pieces particularly the queen when you are trying to launch an attack. Trading pieces weakens your attack and you get into the endgame zone)