After the queen exchanges at move 23., I realised my pinned knight was going to die. I had a couple of moves to try to prevent the inevitable, but I couldn't:

[fen ""]
1. e4  c5 2. Nf3  Nc6 3. Bc4  e6 4. O-O  d5 5. exd5  exd5 6. Re1+  Be6 7. Bb5  Nf6 8. d4  a6 9. Bxc6+  bxc6 10. Ng5  Qd7 11. Qe2  Ne4 12. Nxe4  dxe4 13. Qxe4  cxd4 14. c3  Be7 15. Rd1  O-O 16. Rxd4  Qc7 17. h4  Bd5 18. Bf4  Bd6 19. Bxd6  Qxd6 20. c4  Rfe8 21. Qf4  Re1+ 22. Kh2  Qxf4+ 23. Rxf4  Be6 24. b3  Rd8 25. Rf3  Rdd1 26. Na3  Rxa1 27. Nc2  Rh1+  0-1

Was I suppossed to see 4 moves ahead after a simple queen exchange? If so I think chess is ridiculous and only geniuses should play it. I am tired of losing because of things like this. I will stop playing chess, BYE.

  • You simply got out-witted, this time. We all lose.
    – Tony Ennis
    Apr 1, 2013 at 3:34
  • Another quick tip: as an alternative to always calculating, you can (and will, given time) develop "gut-feel" reactions to certain piece configurations. The undeveloped rook / knight / bishop chain is one such thing. Placed like that, they are quite weak and aren't contributing to the game; by around move 10 this was becoming a serious issue, and warnings should be going off in your head. By move 18, they directly led to the loss. Don't worry too much though, it's an opportunity to learn - next time you'll know better!
    – Daniel B
    Apr 2, 2013 at 13:31
  • here is another example of thinking to the future r4rk1/p1pq2p1/2npb2p/6BQ/4P2P/8/PPP2PP1/R3K2R w KQ - 2 18 here I took the pawn Bxh6, because I was sure I would get the bishop back, but what happened? 18. Bxh6 gxh6 19. Qg6+ Kh8 20. Qxh6+ Qh7 21. Qxe6 Nd4
    – ajax333221
    May 2, 2013 at 18:19

3 Answers 3


Give credit where it's due; Black made some good moves. What's important here is that you didn't lose because of a queen trade. You lost because your opponent exploited your weak back rank. Your back rank was weak because h2 was under attack by the black Queen, your King's Rook was off having an adventure on d4, and your Queen's Knight was never developed which shut your Queen's Rook out of the game.

In addition to the above, your opponent seized the open e file with his Rook.

In any event, the 20. c4 move is what caused the immediate issue. I'd recommend 20. Na3 instead. After this, Black is having a good game but most of the immediate pressure is off your back rank. I don't think you want to put your Knight on d2 since it may get tangled up with the Rooks; I can see Rad1 in your future, for example.


It's seems to me you have a low understanding of strategic concepts. You don't need to see far ahead into every variation to play good chess. Computers do this but humans can not, instead human players use strategy to compensate.

On move 17 you could try Bf4, developing a piece and gaining some initiative via an attack on the Black queen. You could have then followed up with 18.Nd2 catching up to the developmental status of your opponent.

I could go on about the strategic inadequacies of your game at length but I won't. Instead I will simply point out that when a player is strategically aware they will find their play seems to gain potency as if by magic.

I will recommend a book to you, How To Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman, in which he talks about a list of strategic imbalances to look out for:

  • Material
  • Development
  • Piece quality
  • Space
  • Control of squares
  • Pawn structures
  • Initiative

In this game, in particular, you seem to have no understanding of the need to develope your pieces, and this is what ultimately cost you the game.

Chess can be frustrating at times, the way to eliminate this frustration is through understanding. Keep at it.

(And to answer your question: there doesn't seem to be any way to save the knight after move 23. If 24.Rd4 Black replies 24...Bf5. If you try to clear your pawns off the b-file with 24.b4 ... 25.b5 pawns exchanged then Rb4, again, Black replies Bf5.)


Your game went downhill beginning with 10. ng5, moving your kingside pieces a second time before finishing your development of the queenside. That's what led (more than 15 moves later) to your loss.

Your last chance was on 17 h4. You should have moved your dark squared bishop to f4 to chase his queen before Black started chasing yours, then move your knight to d2 at the first opportunity.

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