Be more focused on winning positions

Bfighter4935

Hi there,

 

Recently I lost serveral games on a stupid move allowing my opponent to mate me in 1 or 2 moves.

It's even more frustrating that in all those games I was clearly in a winning position, and my analysis was confirmed by the use of an engine.

 

Question is: in a winning position, how to be more focused on immediate threats ?

 

bxm1000

I had that problem a lot. you are not alone. I Wil suggest you check every possibility you could do and take your time don't be in the rush.

Bfighter4935
bxm1000 a écrit :

I had that problem a lot. you are not alone. I Wil suggest you check every possibility you could do and take your time don't be in the rush.

Most of the time I forget a long range piece at the other size behind oppenent's pawns and/or the Queen is close to my castled King. Now I take more time on the next opponent moves and I come to endgames with much more confidence.

I'm also very nervous when it is time to exchange the Queens.

ghost_of_pushwood
Bfighter4935 wrote:

 

I'm also very nervous when it is time to exchange the Queens.

why?

torrubirubi
You should consider objectively every exchange. If you for example are material up and this is enough to win, it is almost always good to exchange the queens, so you have more control on what will happen. I will not think twice in exchange my queen for (for example) two minor pieces if I get an easy win with a pawn up.

Concerning blunders in winning positions: the more experience you have, the more you stay focus until the very end of the game. It is simple: you have to analyse all moves until the very end, period. Forget blitz / bullet, actually even rapid is a kind of blitz.

I suggest to play more Daily Chess and really spend enough time to find good moves. But don’t do the mistake to play a lot of games at the same time (I did it in the past, it is like playing blitz against a lot of people). Only two games, one with white and one with black, so you are sure you have enough time to analyse.

Write down all your analyses, your thoughts on the positions, the more details the better. This is really helpful. And check ALL forced moves for both sides, even if they look silly. Something that I am trying to improve is not to stop too early with the analysis. Make a list of your typical mistakes and try to avoid them in the future.

And post your games, so other people can help you in the analysis. It is amazing how many strong people are kin to help you (free chess lessons!).
Zerneal
 
Happened recently to me, and the other player was 145 points lower rated than me, i believed i was winning because i was making the calls and there were no open files for my opponent's rooks and his queen was not particularly threatening (she spent all her time on c7, b8 and b7), but this happened:
 
 

torrubirubi
This hurts! The only way here was to sac the knight and play further with a pawn down.

I know this kind of blunders. Usually it is good to pay a lot of attention to the position when you don’t have a nice pawn shelter (king safety first).

This kind of mate happens more often after a long castle, where the king doesn’t have access to the corner.
Zerneal
torrubirubi wrote:
This hurts! The only way here was to sac the knight and play further with a pawn down.

I know this kind of blunders. Usually it is good to pay a lot of attention to the position when you don’t have a nice pawn shelter (king safety first).

This kind of mate happens more often after a long castle, where the king doesn’t have access to the corner.

 No i should've just recaptured with the queen, but i never saw the threat, although i had a deep concern with my king on such a square and such and empty "castle".

Bfighter4935

@Zerneal: that's typically the move I missed in my latest lost games meh.png

@torrubiruni: thank you for all you precious tips ! 

 

Bfighter4935

Below one of my most stupid loss:

 

With the terrible 3.g3 I missed it was creating an obvious blind spot on h2...

The move 3.f3 was the only move to play. But I played to fast, and when I realized it was already too late.

After 3.f3 what would have been the sequence ?

 

 

 

ghost_of_pushwood

If only you hadn't waited a move to play g3!  2 g3 looks like it wins the queen--unless he sacks the exchange (via 2... Rg5).  And 2 Bg4 also looks good (threatening 3 g3 once more).

Your 2nd move allows him to get in his only threat (such as it is).  And sure, 3 f3 (or 3 f4) would've gotten out of it--as would simply 3 Qxh5 (there are advantages to being 3 pieces up!). happy.png

Luitpoldt

There is no greater inducement to making blunders than being fixated on unfolding your own plan, which blinds you to everything else.  So if you are in a winning position and going in for the kill, watch out.  Every attack creates a certain instability in your position, so beware of counter play.

h4_explosive

1) try to exchange pieces whenever possible and when it doesn't clearly weaken your position

2) don't try anything fancy, just play simple, correct moves

3) don't allow your opponent any counterplay (this is probably the most important imho)

Bfighter4935
ghost_of_pushwood a écrit :

If only you hadn't waited a move to play g3!  2 g3 looks like it wins the queen--unless he sacks the exchange (via 2... Rg5).  And 2 Bg4 also looks good (threatening 3 g3 once more).

Your 2nd move allows him to get in his only threat (such as it is).  And sure, 3 f3 (or 3 f4) would've gotten out of it--as would simply 3 Qxh5 (there are advantages to being 3 pieces up!).

 

I think I already had g3 in mind, thats why I played it mecanically, but too late.

Bg4 was also a viable alternative. I had clearly many options to end the counter-attack propely.

ghost_of_pushwood

And I'm still wondering why you get nervous to exchange queens... happy.png

Bfighter4935
ghost_of_pushwood a écrit :

And I'm still wondering why you get nervous to exchange queens...

 

Sorry I didn't explain my fears earlier... It's just because the Queen is a powerful piece.

When exchanging you must be sure it's not a trap, a sacrifice for mate combination, or a way to stop a winning attack. In any case you must double-check that the situation will be better after the trade and there is no hidden deadly conter-part.

 

h4_explosive
Bfighter4935 wrote:

In any case you must double-check that the situation will be better after the trade

 

well, no, actually not really. if you can exhange queens being +9 at the moment, but after the exchange it will be only +7 and your opponent has 0 counterplay, then you probably should go for it even though it doesn't technically improve your position.