I played with white. I suspect that not having control in the center might be the problem. Is that true or is there something else?

The game GIF: https://lichess1.org/game/export/gif/qtKvS9zz.gif

The game URL: https://lichess.org/qtKvS9zz/white#40

[Event "Rated Blitz game"]
[Site "https://lichess.org/qtKvS9zz"]
[Date "2023.11.06"]
[White "GamalOthman93"]
[Black "alHajjj"]
[Result "0-1"]
[UTCDate "2023.11.06"]
[UTCTime "18:34:54"]
[WhiteElo "1158"]
[BlackElo "1156"]
[WhiteRatingDiff "-6"]
[BlackRatingDiff "+6"]
[Variant "Standard"]
[TimeControl "300+3"]
[ECO "B06"]
[Opening "Modern Defense: Standard Defense"]
[Termination "Normal"]
[Annotator "lichess.org"]
[FEN ""]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 { B06 Modern Defense: Standard Defense } 4. d5?! { (0.72 → 0.11) Inaccuracy. Nf3 was best. } (4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Be3 O-O 6. Qd2 c6 7. a4 d5 8. e5 Ne4) 4... Nf6 5. Bb5+?! { (0.12 → -0.77) Inaccuracy. Be2 was best. } (5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 c6 7. O-O b5 8. dxc6 b4 9. Nd5 Nxc6) 5... c6 6. dxc6 bxc6 7. Ba4?? { (-0.59 → -2.57) Blunder. Bc4 was best. } (7. Bc4 Qa5 8. Bd2 Ba6 9. Bd3 Qb6 10. Rb1 Nbd7 11. Qe2 Nc5) 7... O-O?! { (-2.57 → -1.91) Inaccuracy. Qa5 was best. } (7... Qa5 8. f3 Nxe4 9. fxe4 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 Qxa4 11. Qd4 Qxd4 12. cxd4) 8. Qf3 Bb7?! { (-1.86 → -1.22) Inaccuracy. d5 was best. } (8... d5 9. exd5 cxd5 10. Bb3 Bg4 11. Qg3 d4 12. Nce2 Bf5 13. Qh4 d3 14. cxd3 Nc6 15. d4) 9. Bg5?! { (-1.22 → -1.97) Inaccuracy. Nge2 was best. } (9. Nge2 Nbd7 10. O-O d5 11. Be3 Ne5 12. Qh3 Nc4 13. Bh6 dxe4 14. Bb3 Nd6 15. Bxg7 Kxg7) 9... Qc7 10. O-O-O h6 11. Be3?! { (-1.31 → -2.02) Inaccuracy. Bxf6 was best. } (11. Bxf6) 11... Nbd7 12. Nge2 Ne5 13. Qh3 Bc8 14. Qh4 g5 15. Qg3? { (-2.90 → -5.56) Mistake. Bxg5 was best. } (15. Bxg5 hxg5 16. Qxg5 Qb6 17. f4 Qe3+ 18. Kb1 Nxe4 19. Nxe4 Qxe4 20. Nc3 Qg6 21. Qxe7 Nc4) 15... Nh5 16. Qxg5 hxg5 17. Bxg5 f6 18. Bf4 Nxf4 19. Nxf4 Bh6 20. g3 Bg4 { White resigns. } 0-1
  • 2
    Please add details of your game here otherwise your question is liable to be closed.
    – Brian Towers
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 21:03
  • 2
    The opening phase is far from perfect, but the real issue is that you let your queen get trapped.
    – Evargalo
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 7:50

5 Answers 5


It is not clear what sort of advice you would most benefit from, but what strikes me most about your game is that you had no idea where your pieces belonged. In all openings, the object is to bring your pieces as quickly as possible to their best possible squares. The best possible squares are usually determined by what your opponent does and here your opponent showed their hand early by opting for a Pirc-Modern set up with a K-side fianchetto and d6. Against this there are various well-established "systems", meaning harmonious arrangements of the pieces that coordinate nicely against the oppenents chosen formation.

Among these (a) a classical QP configuration with c4, d4, e4, Nc3, Be3, Qc2,(b) an Austrian formation with d4, e4, f4, Nc3, Nf3, Bd3, and several others. You tried correctly to get your pieces out quickly but put them on bad squares, where they had little chance to combine. Bb5+ was pointless, just improving Blacks center. Retreating to a4 left it isolated. Qf3 had no purpose. You seemed to be planning to castle on the Q-side, where you had given your opponent an open file. You needed to castle K-side and prepare for that by developing your KN. After all that, I was not surprised that you got your Q trapped!

The recommended books will serve you well, but try to read them with the understanding that I stress. Development is firstly knowing where your pieces belong, and secondly getting them there.


The early game wasn't too accurate but the problem doesn't really come from there. You placed your queen on f3 way too early and without a clear purpose, then by putting your bishop on e3 and knight on e2 you made a trap for your own queen.

You could have got a reasoanble position by going Nf3 instead of Qf3 and then castle on the kingside


No. The problem is you started attacking too early. You then got your queen trapped due to a lack of tactical understanding. I reccomend reading 'how to reassess your chess' by jeremy silman to improve strategy. Also read the art of attack by vladmir vukovic for tacktics and attack.


Your game was an attempt and a considerable battle, however, there were several inaccuracies and errors in the game.

During the start of the game, move No. 4 was an error as per my vision. You pushed a pawn, trying to gain space, however, you underestimated the fianchettoed kingside Bishop, which holds great power.

In the opening, you must aim to develop as much pieces as possible, and the strategic space-gaining ideas usually come in the middlegame.


Do not give checks, unless necessary is a rule that you violated in the game. I see no value of the check in the 5th move.

Overall, there are several mistakes and improving your positional chess should help you get better.


Follow the opening principles and calculate!!

The root of your downfall is that you don't follow the opening principles. You need to learn and apply them. It took you 12 moves to clear your back rank, and you did so in the wrong order. After learning the opening principles, always choose the move that is the most 'efficient', i.e. allow you to fullfill the most principles at once. Place the pieces on their most active squares.

The other reason you lost, is that you didn't correctly consider your opponent's best response to your move (i.e. calculating/ looking ahead).

Both are the most typical beginner's mistakes, and they're very easy to fix!

Move 4: violation of opening principles: Moving a pawn (twice) instead of developing a piece. This is a loss of a valuable tempo. Also, you weakened your center and activated your opponent's bishop.

Move 5: calculation mistake. the check is a one-mover. You didn't consider Black's response, that forced you to move the piece again. Always think about what your opponent can do in reply, before moving the piece. This tremendously helped your opponent, because it allowed him to dismantle your center (even with tempo..).

Move 7: not only allowing Black tactical possibilities, but also simply violating the principle of controlling the center / active piece placement.

Move 8: Violation of the principle to not to get out your queen too early. You should have prioritized the development of your minor pieces, e.g. playing Nf3 instead. In the end, your queen even got trapped.

Moves 15/16: calculation mistakes. You could have gotten two pawns for a bishop, instead you gave a queen for two pawns. Even on move 16, when you couldn't save the queen, you could've gotten more material for it than 2 pawns.

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