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I often go from winning positions to losing positions. What could I do to stop doing this?

For an example, take a look at this games of in which I played as Black.

[FEN ""]

1. e4 {0} 1... e5 {4} 2. Nf3 {0} 2... Nc6 {3} 3. Bc4 {0} 3... Nf6 {7} 4. d3 {0} 4... d6 {4} 5. Ng5 {0} 5... Be6 {28} 6. Bxe6 {0} 6... fxe6 {6} 7. Bd2 {0} 7...Qe7 {22} 8. Nf3 {0} 8... O-O-O {2} 9. Nc3 {0} 9... d5 {27} 10. O-O {0} 10... d4 {3} 11. Na4 {0} 11... Qe8 {55} 12. Qe2 {0} 12... Nb4 {6} 13. b3 {0} 13... Nxc2 {7} 14. Rac1 {0} 14... Na3 {27} 15. Nxe5 {0} 15... Bd6 {31} 16. Bf4 {0} 16...Nh5 {23} 17. Qd2 {0} 17... Nxf4 {31} 18. Qxf4 {0} 18... Rf8 {16} 19. Qg5 {0} 19... Qe7 {33} 20. Qxe7 {0} 20... Bxe7 {2} 21. Rfd1 {0} 21... Nb5 {42} 22. Re1 {0} 22... Bd6 {56} 23. Nf3 {0} 23... e5 {9} 24. Nc5 {0} 24... Rde8 {18} 25. Rc2 {0} 25... Na3 {11} 26. Rcc1 {0} 26... b6 {55} 27. Na6 {0} 27... Kb7 {20} 28. Nxc7 {0} 28... Bxc7 {3} 29. Nh4 {0} 29... Rf7 {15} 30. Nf3 {0} 30... Nb5 {32} 31. Ng5 {0} 31... Rd7 {38} 32. Nxh7 {0} 32... Nc3 {3} 33. a4 {0} 33... b5 {10} 34. axb5 {0} 34... Nxb5 {1} 35. Rc5 {0} 35... Nc3 {64} 36. Ng5 {0} 36... Bd8 {22} 37. Nf3 {0} 37... Bf6 {43} 38. Ra1 {0} 38... Rc7 {7} 39. Rxc7+ {0} 39...Kxc7 {1} 40. Rxa7+ {0} 40... Kb8 {6} 41. Ra5 {0} 41... Kb7 {27} 42. h4 {0} 42...Ra8 {8} 43. Rxa8 {0} 43... Kxa8 {1} 44. g4 {0} 44... Ne2+ {112} 45. Kf1 {0} 45... Nf4 {5} 46. g5 {0} 46... Bd8 {14} 47. Nxe5 {0} 47... Kb7 {28} 48. b4 {0} 48... Kb6 {1} 49. Nf3 {0} 49... Kb5 {3} 50. Nxd4+ {0} 50... Ka4 {8} 51. Nc6 {0} 51... Bb6 {9} 52. d4 {0} 1-0
  • If this was online, please put a link to the game. What you have posted above is a lot of work to input into a chess program to analyze. – PhishMaster Mar 21 at 16:24
  • Well I played it in fritz.you could also paste into chess.com analyzer:just go into chess.com>play computer>and then the analyze icon> + icon – bretlee Mar 21 at 16:47
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    Not clear what you are asking. Are you asking about how to not blunder? How to win a won position? or something else? It is common in amateur games to shift back and forth between winning and losing positions so in the general case the way to prevent that is to become stronger. – Michael West Mar 21 at 17:18
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    @bretlee If you've analyzed this already, I'm wondering: did you consider the moves the computer suggested while you were playing the game and reject them, or did you not consider them at all? Also, what time control is this? Did you have ample time to think during the game? – D M Mar 21 at 17:21
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    "I often go from winning positions to losing positions.What can i do to stop doing it." And an example game. That's not a clear question? – D M Mar 21 at 18:32
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There is not a lot of depth necessary to the analysis. Both sides made a lot of tactical errors. In annotating this game, I did put in a lot of written positional notes along the way. This game, more than anything, shows that you need to spend more time looking at tactics problems. That is the primary thing that you need to do to stop going on these wild swings from winning to losing.

 [FEN ""]

 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 d6 $4 {Just loses a pawn.} 5. Ng5 $1 Be6 6. Bxe6 fxe6 7. Bd2 $2 {But then, he does not take it.} (7. Nxe6 Qd7 8. Nxf8 Rxf8 9. O-O $16) 7... Qe7 (7... Qd7 {This is the more natural square for the queen, and then 0-0-0.}) 8. Nf3 $2 {He should have left the N there until it had to move. It was defended, so he should have developed.} O-O-O 9. Nc3 d5 (9... h6 $1 {Chance are that white is going to castle short, and your current pawn formation controls a lot of squares, and you are almost developed completely. h6 and g4-g4 will force the knight to an uncomfortable square soon, and also prepare the pawn storm if the white king does castle short.}) 10. O-O d4 $2 {You need to get the Bf8 out, and putting pawns on the same color as the bishop is only going to limit its mobility. Eventually, if the bishop were on c5, with the open f-file, f2 could be come very weak.. Also, the pawns where they were controlled all the central square already.} 11. Na4 $2 {Puts the knight offside. It is trapped, and most times this common tactic is without complications, but here a weakened black king if black plays b5 gives white the counterplay necessary.} (11. Ne2 h6 12. b4 {and e5 is already very weak.} a6 13. a4 {Changes nothing.}) 11... Qe8 (11... b5 12. c4 bxa4 13. Qxa4 Nb8 14. c5 {With a strong attack that compensates for the piece.}) 12. Qe2 $4 Nb4 $2 (12... b5 $1 {With the white queen no longer able to get to a4, now, this just wins a piece.}) 13. b3 $2 (13. a3 $1 Nxc2 14. Rac1 Qxa4 15. Nxe5 $16 {with threats of Nf7 and the Nc2 is trapped. White will end up ahead in material.}) 13... Nxc2 14. Rac1 Na3 15. Nxe5 Bd6 16. Bf4 $4 {This just loses an exchange to the pin.} Nh5 (16... Nd7 $1 17. Nxd7 Bxf4 18. Ndc5 Bxc1 19. Rxc1 b6 20. Na6 Kb7 21. Nb4 {And while you do not catch the Nb4, you are crushing here up an exchange in a favorable position.}) 17. Qd2 Nxf4 18. Qxf4 Rf8 $4 (18... Qh5 {Or Qb5 win this knight due to the pin.}) 19. Qg5 {But white got out, and now, you are only slightly better.} Qe7 (19... Rg8 {This is a very hard-to-find move, but the basis is that you need to defend g7, and it prepares to advance the kingside pawns.}) 20. Qxe7 Bxe7 21. Rfd1 $2 (21. Nc5 {Bringing the wayward knight back into play with a threat of Nxe6 is the most natural move.}) 21...Nb5 (21... Bd6 22. Nf3 b6 {Restricting the knight from c5. I will make note of this in a later note, but on the other side of the board.}) 22. Re1 (22. Nc5 {Again, this is more natural.}) 22... Bd6 23. Nf3 e5 $2 {This is bad for two reasons. One, in general, you are making your bishop worse by placing more pawns on its color, thus limiting its scope. Second, there is a direct tactic.} 24. Nc5 {He finally does it, and now it is wrong. The maneuver Nb2-c4 would have kept a black bishop and rook tied to e5 for a while.} (24. Nxe5 Bxe5 25. Rc5 {And it is still equal because the rook will be out of play after taking the knight back.}) 24... Rde8 25. Rc2 Na3 (25... Nc3 {This belongs on this nice square, which keeps the Rc2 very passive.}) 26. Rcc1 b6 27. Na6 $4 Kb7 28. Nxc7 Bxc7 29. Nh4 {The natural move here would have been g6 keeping the knight restricted from f5. This is a very common idea in chess.} Rf7 30. Nf3 Nb5 $6 {This is not wrong, but you did not see the white's threat, and the refutation of it.} 31. Ng5 Rd7 32. Nxh7 $4 Nc3 $2 (32... Bd8 $1 {And the knight h7 is trapped, and it will cost too much positionally to extricate it.} 33. h4 Bxh4 34. g3 Bd8 35. f4 Rh8 36. Ng5 Bxg5 37. fxg5 Nc3 $19 {You got the pawn back, and improved the position a lot too.}) 33. a4 b5 $2 {Still Bd8.} 34. axb5 Nxb5 35. Rc5 Nc3 {The knight finally goes to the nice square, but the white rook is active so a lot of the sting was taken out of it.} 36. Ng5 Bd8 37. Nf3 Bf6 $6 {This is very passive.} (37... Bc7 {Is better with Bd6 next moving the rook out of the nice c5 square.}) 38. Ra1 Rc7 $4 {Just loses a pawn.} 39. Rxc7+ Kxc7 40. Rxa7+ Kb8 41. Ra5 Kb7 (41... Ne2+ $1 42. Kf1 Nc1 43. Ne1 Kb7 44. b4 Re6 {Keeping a big advantage.}) 42. h4 $2 (42. Kf1 {Was necessary to stop that Ne2-c1 maneuver}) 42... Ra8 $2 {Now it is equal.} (42... Ne2+ 43. Kf1 Nc1 44. Ne1 Kb6 45. b4 Bxh4 $19) 43. Rxa8 Kxa8 44. g4 Ne2+ 45. Kf1 Nf4 46. g5 Bd8 47. Nxe5 Kb7 48. b4 Kb6 {Now d4 can be attacked and it is hard to defend it.} 49. Nf3 Kb5 $4 {Missing the last tactic, a fork on c6.} 50. Nxd4+ Ka4 (50... Kxb4 $4 51. Nc6+ Kc5 52. Nxd8 Nxd3 53. h5 {And queens. Pro tip: Knights are horrible at stopping rook pawns.}) 51. Nc6 Bb6 52. d4 1-0
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    Thanks for your efforts man. – bretlee Mar 21 at 17:38
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    @bretlee You are welcome. You will notice that most of those lines did not need to be very deep, so I will repeat a piece of advice I have seen from the great trainers, Dvoretsky and Yusupov, and that is that most calculation errors occur in the first couple of moves. Work on your vision, and try to do 50 tactics problems per day. Also, read my answer to this question: chess.stackexchange.com/questions/27945/… – PhishMaster Mar 21 at 17:42
  • That was very imformative.But did you friend went for 1000 to 1850 only by solving tactics? – bretlee Mar 21 at 18:35
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    @bretlee Yes, just by doing that one thing! – PhishMaster Mar 21 at 18:37
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1) Pawns are important. It's great that you never gave up an entire piece (for example, you do notice the fork and don't play 50...Kxb4.) But it's bad that you gave up so many pawns.

2) When a piece is pinned, attacking the defender will sometimes work, but it's usually preferable to attack the pinned piece again. You should at least consider doing so.

3) Look for opportunities to trap pieces. Knights on the rim are often a good target for this, as they have few squares they can move to. You did take advantage of one opportunity to trap his knight, but you missed two others.

4) Although tactics are generally more important than openings, you may want to learn at least a little bit about the Two Knight's if you're going to play it. You can get in trouble fast if you don't know what you are doing. I have no idea why he didn't just take your e6 pawn on move 7.

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