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Upon reviewing a game I played. I started to feel bad about exchanging my attacking bishop for my opponent’s useless one. But I believe that I had no other choices. I want your opinion about what I should have done in this situation.

I am a 1200 rated player on chess.com

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1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.d4 d6 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Bc4 Nh6 7.O-O a6 8.a4 Nd7 9.Nc3 c6 10.b4 Bxb4 11.Na2 Bf8 12.Bd2 Nf7 13.Bxf7 Nc5 14.Ba5+ Kd7 15.Rfd1+ Ke7 16.Bb3 Nxe4 17.Rd8 b6 18.Bxb6 Rb8 19.Rad1 Rxb6 20.Rxc8

In the end I won by checkmate because he blundered. What I want to know is how should I handle positions where my opponent is just attacking my attacking pieces. Additionally, please try to find where my weak points are in the game.

  • 3
    2...f6 was a mistake. White could have done 3.Nxe5! – SmallChess Jun 12 '15 at 13:04
  • To me, it was more like a blunder rather than a sacrifice. – SmallChess Jun 12 '15 at 13:05
  • 1
    could you give explanation why 19.Rad1 it a blunder rather than a sacrifice of a bishop – oddcoder Jun 12 '15 at 13:10
  • It's a mistake because your bishop is better than his. It's not a sacrifice because the bishops are of equal value. – limits Jun 14 '15 at 21:11
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Given that you are a piece up with a dominating position, exchanging the bishops isn't a problem at all. Note, that it is just an exchange, not a sacrifice.

You could have played 19.Bc7 instead, in that case black has to react 19…Ra8 or he will lose even more material (for example 19…Rb7 20.Rxc8 Kd7 21. Rxf8 with three pieces for a rook, which is a bit much …).

Concerning your weaknesses:

Only 10.b4 strikes me as truly bad, blundering a pawn and misplacing your knight. And 15.Nc3 would have prevented your second pawn blunder.

So you won this game because your opponent blunders pieces whereas you only blunder pawns. Stop blundering pawns and you'll start beating those players that blunder pawns. And then we'll talk about why 2…f6 is a bad move and how to punish it.

  • very inforamative and yeah I found how bad is 2...f6 as there are sharp responds as 3.Nxe5 ? thank you – oddcoder Jun 12 '15 at 15:42
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18... Rb8 19.Bc7

He cannot continue with 19... Rb7 (you will simply capture his bishop for free).

Now if you play 20.Rad1 and follow with 21.R1d7+, he will be forced to capture your rook with his light bishop (otherwise you are going to soon capture both his queenside pawns for free), you would reply by taking his rook with your d8 rook and then destroy his two queen-side pawns. Your victory is then guaranteed!

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Here are my thoughts - sorry, thought you were playing black. Hopefully still of value to you.....

2...f6 was indeed bad...resulting in Nxe5 followed by Queen incursion.

4...dxe5 is bad, allowing queen trade and subsequent loss of castling privilege. Losing the right to castle while every other piece is still on board is bad. Queens alone being removed does not make it safe enough. Can you see how white's early castling "doubles down" on black's inability to castle - making that disadvantage stand out even more?

6...Nh6 is also bad, inviting doubled pawns. Although the trading of pieces WOULD suit the black uncastled king. Is that bit of safety worth the doubled pawns? Is a question to try and answer.

9...c6 is a lot of pawn moves so far and has weakened the dark squares around the black king - AND white still has his dark squared bishop. It appears as if 7...a6 was preparing for a later ...b5 (which WOULD give the black white-squared bishop the nice long diagonal) except that 8...b5 doesn't work here because of white's earlier 8. a4 It looks like maybe black noticed this a little late and decided on 9...c6 instead. Yet this is the type of calculation to try before committing to moves. Black shouldn't have felt compelled to make another pawn move in the vicinity JUST because he suddenly realized that ...b5 wouldn't work.

12...Nf7 just losses a piece outright. Black is now down a piece, therefore positional considerations like pawn structure or active/inactive piece are really not relevant for him now. Unless the lost piece provided an irresistible initiative that outweighed material, then positional considerations take a back seat to material and should not be considered on par with it. Once material balance is restored, positional factors regain their importance.

As to your question:

  1. How should I handle such conditions where my opponent Is just attacking my attacking pieces?...Before putting your pieces into positions of attack, you should try to calculate whether your opponent can easily just chase them. If he can, perhaps a short term plan could involve a way to PREVENT him from easily chasing them?

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