Throughout the game, I thought I had a positional and piece advantage, but I STILL LOST!

What did I do wrong? (using Ruy Lopez btw)

[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 
2. Nf3 Nc6 
3. Bb5 Nf6 
4. Nc3 a6 
5. Bxc6 dxc6 
6. O-O Nxe4 
7. Nxe4 Bg4 
8. h3 Bh5 
9. g4 Bg6 
10. Nc3 Qd6 
11. Re1 O-O-O
12. Ne5 f6 
13. Ng6 hxg6 
14. d4 Rxh3 
15. Kf1 Rh1 
16. Kg2 Qh2 
17. Kf3 Qh3 
18. Ke2 Re8 
19. Kd2 Re8xe1 
20. Qxe1 Rxe1 
21. Kxe1 Qg4 
22. Be3 Bb4

At this point, I surrendered because I'm at a positional disadvantage, my knight is pinned and my rook is still undeveloped.

I know one weakness of using Ruy Lopez is that your left side develops slowly, but damn! Where did I make a mistake? Was I just unlucky?

EDIT 1: OMG I just realized he baited my king-side pawns to open up for an attack! >:(

I should've read this article earlier: Keeping Your Castled King Safe

  • 1
    After 19.Be3! instead of 19.Kd2?? you win easily. That was the only mistake you made. Other moves are less precise, but still good enough to ensure victory. Best regards. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 21:13
  • Gah! You're right!
    – NoName
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 21:38
  • 1
    Actually, I am not so sure it's an easy win. After several minutes, Stockfish gives White a slight advantage (1.2) and says 1.... Rh2 2.Kd2 Bd6 3.Ne2 Qxg4 4.Rh1 c5 5.Rxh2 Bxh2 6.c3 Rd8 7.Kc2 cxd4 8.cxd4 Kb8 9.Rc1 Bd6 10.Kb1 Re8 11.Qd3 Qe4 12.Qxe4 Rxe4 13.Rh1
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 23:07
  • 1
    Also, this isn't a position you should be resigning in. Yes, it's objectively lost, but it isn't the type of win that's going to come easy for a lower rated opponent and one of those lost positions where if you play on funny things can happen.
    – user2398
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 4:35
  • 3
    This is question number 1000! Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 14:32

3 Answers 3


Two things leap out at me:

  1. Moderate error: After 8...Bh5, you're a piece up but you're not done developing and your knight on e4 is unprotected. Reasonable moves (I'm sure there are others) include 9.d3, supporting your knight and allowing your bishop to develop; 9.Re1, centralizing your rook and supporting your knight; and 9.Ng3, kicking Black's bishop and moving your knight to a safe square. Instead you played 9.g4, weakening your king's position and forcing the Black bishop to a place where it attacks your knight.

  2. Huge error: You're still doing OK as of 13...hxg6, but your h3-pawn is under attack. (Note that this wouldn't have been an issue if you hadn't played 9.g4.) The simplest defense is 14.Qf3 but 14.Kg2 is possible too. Instead you let Black's rook capture on h3 and now your king is under severe attack.

You could have defended against the ensuing attack better, but I'm not going to bother with that because the way to win games like these is to not even let it get to that point.

  • Yea... 9. g4 was such a bad move.
    – NoName
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 20:43

I think that after

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. O-O Nxe4 7. Nxe4 Bg4 8. h3 Bh5 9.Ng3 Bg6 10.Nxe5 Qd6 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Re1+ Be7 13.Qg4

it is lights out for black. In general, avoid moving pawns in front of your king after it has castled kingside or queenside. Try to catch your opponents king while it is still in the center.

  • In general, avoid moving pawns in front of your king after it has castled kingside or queenside. You KIDding?
    – user2398
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 10:24
  • 3
    @BroSlow If you have an additional question, that's fine. But "you kidding?" isn't very helpful.
    – user2001
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 11:37
  • 2
    Guess you missed the capitalization.
    – user2398
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 11:38
  • 1
    Perhaps it is more accurate to say: "Avoid moving pawns in front of your king in open positions", of course there are exceptions to this too, but they are not that common. In closed positions, like KID, pawn storm is very common, almost thematic.
    – Akavall
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 13:35
  • 1
    Yes, there is a line in the KID where black pushes the pawns in front of his king with abandon, but the reason we immediately think of that line is that it's the exception, not the rule. Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 20:49

Three (bad) things happened:

  1. You weakened your kingside by playing g4.
  2. Black castled O-O-O, to take advantage of number 1, while protecting his king behind the phalanx of (doubled) pawns.
  3. The worst thing that happened was that 13. Nxg6 hxg6 opened up the h file for Black in front of a rook that had not moved. You should have moved the N back to f3 to keep a defender in place, and to keep the h file closed. On move 14, your best chance was the defensive Qf3, rather than the developing d4. You had a won game up to move 13, and a questionable game after 14...Rxh3 (Black could have played differently than he did and gotten a perpetual check to compensate for his piece down.)
  • If he plays Nf3, Black has 13...h5!? Plus the bishop on g6 is too strong. 13. Nxg6 is correct. 14. Qf3 or 14. Kg2 was required. Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 14:08
  • @Wes: If Black plays 13...h5!?, I play 14. Nh2, supporting the pawn on g4, and eventually the pawn on f3. These two pawns dampen the B on g6. But White could have saved himself on move 14 with Qf3 or Kg2.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 19:22
  • After Nh2, hxg4 opens the h-file anyway. So Nf3 doesn't really stop black from opening the h-file. Better to play Nxg6 and get rid of that strong bishop. Also, note that after hxg4 you can't play hxg4, because of Qxh2+! Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 20:48
  • @Wes: If Black plays hxg4, I play Qxg4 CHECK and bring my queen to the defense.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 0:11
  • structurally, its worse for White because of the isolated pawns Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 4:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.