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Questions tagged [positional-play]

A style of play emphasizing capture of strategic squares and prophylactic moves.

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3 votes
2 answers
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For a beginner focused on reducing blunders, should I study positional theory or tactics more?

I've been playing chess for about a month, learning strategies and principles along the way. Initially, reviewing my games to identify frequent mistakes helped me progress from a complete novice to ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
108 views

When is it worth it to sacrifice a knight or bishop in order to force the opponent to move the king down a rank and lose castling rights?

Specifically, I'm confused why the game review on chess.com says this move was a blunder: I did end up losing the knight, but that's what I expected to happen. I did it on purpose to force the king ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
317 views

What's the benefit to attacking f7 or f2 during the opening?

I remember a specific chess.com lesson on common openings, and it seems like one of the most common and safest openings is to take control of the center with the king and queen pawns and the attack ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
175 views

Is it ever advantageous to make a trade that loses material for the sake a positional advantage?

For example, trading a bishop or a knight for a pawn for the purpose of breaking up the opponents pawn structure. Is this sort of thing ever a good idea? If so, could you provide some examples (or ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
107 views

How do you systematically analyze an arbitrary chess position?

I've recently been learning the fundamentals of the game using the chess.com lessons and game reviews, but the thing I can't seem to figure out is how to even know what to look for or focus when ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
106 views

Who was the first player to state that bishops are more valuable than knights?

Was this concept ever implicitly understood, like controlling open files with rooks?
Jamieson's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is it better to take with the knight than with the pawn in this position?

[fen "r3k1nr/p2b1ppp/4p3/3pP3/8/1p1B4/2PN1PPP/R3K2R w - - 0 1"] I recently had a chess game in which I played as white and the position was as shown in the picture. I chose the move cxb3, ...
Rasmus Andersen's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
161 views

What openings fit the tastes of a positional player? [closed]

I am a very positional player, but, I cannot find good openings that suit my tastes. What are the lists of openings that result in strategic / positional positions?
MrChessR's user avatar
  • 242
-3 votes
2 answers
10k views

Best move in algebraic notation

I have no experience in chess, and I tried my best to answer this question myself but am finding difficulties. What is the answer? It's for another game.
Deb's user avatar
  • 17
-1 votes
1 answer
93 views

Nimzowitsch and the defensive theory of open lines

I have read from Nimzowitsch over and over again how one could use a file as the basis of a restraining operation. All those who know his work know what I speak of, but good players at all levels ...
Achbiter's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
177 views

Is this position winnable for white if black just shuffles?

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/p7/Pp1p1p1p/1PpPpPpP/2P1P1P1/8/8/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] If black were to just shuffle the rook between h8 and h7 until white makes a capture or puts a piece on a square ...
Hank's back rank's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
190 views

Trying to improve

I have a question hopefully someone can help me out. 3 days ago I won a tournament (25+5) semi-rapid section under 1450 OTB. I scored 5/5 beating some high rated players. My rating OTB semi-rapid ...
Dimitar Zhekov's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
203 views

Ponziani 5.. Nce7?! why is this a blunder?

The following position is from the Ponziani opening. Starting 5.. Nce7, the computer gives over +3 advantage for white, but throughout the line I couldn't see why this is such a clear positional ...
Gulzar's user avatar
  • 226
1 vote
3 answers
216 views

Any engine that can play like Petrosian?

So, I am a big big fan of Petrosian and his Style. I tried to search for engines that can actually try to imitate it's style, instead I found Tal's engine (Opental 1.1). Can anyone help me?
Elliot's user avatar
  • 13
0 votes
1 answer
105 views

What's the positional threat in this opening of the London?

In a London system course, when explaining the following line, the author mentions that with 4.Ne5 "White is creating a big positional threat of Nxg4." [FEN ""] 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3....
antonro's user avatar
  • 629
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to come up with candidate moves or ideas in positions "with no action"?

Here is an example position: [fen ""] [Startply "40"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. e5 Nd5 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 O-O 8. a3 Ba5 9. Bc4 Nb6 10. Ba2 Bxd2+ 11. Qxd2 d5 12. ...
Gulzar's user avatar
  • 226
7 votes
1 answer
442 views

The case of the mysterious retreating bishop

In the following position from a Caro-Kann fantasy gone wrong, the engine suggests 15.Bf2 with advantage of (+2.5) among other close-by candidates such as Bf4 (+2.2) and Rfe1 (+2.0). [Title "...
Mateen Ulhaq's user avatar
  • 1,304
8 votes
5 answers
1k views

How strong is Stockfish's positional understanding without AB search?

At zero depth/search, i.e. only using its neural net, Stockfish's tactics would, of course, be abysmal, but how strong is its positional evaluation? Can it be compared to grandmasters or to club ...
Anna's user avatar
  • 216
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why does GM Larry claim that this sacrifice is brilliant?

On this webpage GM Larry Kaufman claimed (at least up to 2012) that the following move was brilliant: [Title "Kasparov vs Shirov (Horgen 1994)"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/...
user21820's user avatar
  • 2,816
5 votes
1 answer
106 views

Is there any positional assessment that includes a factor for how difficult it is to play the correct moves?

As I understand it, current positional assessments by computers evaluate a position based on optimal play by both players from this point. i.e. a trap moves that bait an opponent into making a mistake ...
Brondahl's user avatar
  • 585
2 votes
0 answers
62 views

Please advise which books are about strategy with explanations [duplicate]

I have many books that show openings, endplays, tactics, different puzzle to find best moves, databases with games, articles... All this stuff shows specific moves, which I have to find by myself. I ...
Tamila Ambeon's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
298 views

Chess calculation when there's more than 10 best moves

I have seen quite few positions where opponent has more than 10 good moves if I play a specific move. Even at that time, I have seen people calculate for so long. Is it that they are looking at all ...
Billy Istiak's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Positional analysis after a dubious move

I was analyzing a game and found that the engine gives -3.42 after 1. Rb1 and +2.72 after the subsequent 1. ...Nc2. Is Nc2 really such a bad move? For comparison, 1. ... Nd5? results in almost the ...
Javier's user avatar
  • 163
4 votes
5 answers
578 views

Where can I find exercises where the best move isn't always a tactical one?

I know solving a lot of tactics problems has its benefits, but also its limitations. In a real game there is no way to know if a tactic is present — maybe the best move is defensive. I am seeking ...
Ian Olsen's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
105 views

Opening suggestion where my side castles king side and has king side majority

I'm looking for a set of openings that are more likely to lead into positional play where my side castles king side and have king side majority. Theoretical advantage is not required. The plan is to ...
jf328's user avatar
  • 2,488
2 votes
4 answers
179 views

What strategic principles contribute to black's advantage in this position?

I calculated to the following position during a game: [FEN "r1r3k1/5pbp/p2qpnp1/3p4/3P4/2N1PB1P/P5P1/2R1QRK1 w - - 1 22"] At the time I believed black would have a slight positional edge ...
Green's user avatar
  • 21
3 votes
2 answers
175 views

Why is two pawns defending a outpost regarded as a strong outpost?

Quoting Irving Chernev: A brilliant sacrifice which must be accepted. Refusing the Pawn means that Black could never free himself by … d5. It would also enable White to play 16 ♘c3 next move (...
miniHessel's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
295 views

Did Lichess Level 8 truly lose this game?

Jonathan Scrantz played this game against Lichess Level 8: [Title "Jonathan Scrantz VS Stockfish Level 8 (3000) after 9. Kh1"] [FEN ""] [Startply "17"] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 ...
user21820's user avatar
  • 2,816
8 votes
1 answer
235 views

Why did Karpov choose this knight placement over the normal Ruy Lopez knight manoeuvre?

I was studying some Karpov games and I came across a knight manoeuvre that I hadn't seen before in the Ruy Lopez, shown in the below game (moves 15,16...): [Event "Milan"] [FEN ""] ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 992
5 votes
1 answer
292 views

When should I care about an opponent's pin?

This has been a problem that has been vexing me for a while, and it manifested again in my most recent game in which I played Black: [FEN ""] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bg5 ...
Valuska's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
4 answers
3k views

In this game, should white sacrifice their bishop to expose black's king?

I (black) reached this position in a game and realised that black's king would be totally exposed if white's bishop decided to take the pawn (1. Bxh6 gxh6). Is the smart move here for white to ...
Mitchell Graham's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

If the back row of white pieces is moved to be in front of the pawns, which side should I play?

I remember this starting position played many times by my grandfathers. But I am too young to recollect the results of their games. If I have to choose, which side should I play? (White moves 1st)
TSLF's user avatar
  • 325
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does blitz change the relative value of position vs material?

The way I see it, true gambits trade material for position, which in turn could give you opportunities to regain more material. However, in blitz play, you are less likely to notice those ...
MWB's user avatar
  • 475
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

{Landa vs Zhu Chen, Bad Wiessee, 2006} Lichess giving a +4.7 to white. Why?

Here is the lichess study for the game which is often presented as study. I am curious here, as to why White is given a strong advantage, even though the material is equal and Black has a lot more ...
Soham's user avatar
  • 267
9 votes
3 answers
561 views

How do I play against the Queen's Gambit Declined Tartakower structure?

I play the Exchange Variation against the QGD, but I'm really struggling against the Tartakower style setup in the QGD, when black plays b6 and c5. As White, I just don't really know what I'm supposed ...
totalpatzer's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is h4 much better than h3?

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1 [Event "Rated Rapid game"] [Date "2021.08.09"] [Result "0-1"] [Variant "Standard"] [TimeControl &...
maxmitz's user avatar
  • 675
9 votes
6 answers
4k views

Why is 11. .. h6 such a bad move?

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [...
maxmitz's user avatar
  • 675
8 votes
3 answers
934 views

Material vs positional advantage: does Stockfish give good advice?

This is from Yusupov's "Build up your chess" volume 1, chapter 11 (pins). [Event "Munich"] [Site "Build Up Your Chess"] [Date "1994"] [Round "Diagram 11.4&...
AirOfMystery's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
264 views

Who is actually winning here?

I came across this interesting position: [Title "Black to move (with full castling rights)"] [FEN "r2qkb1r/pp1nn1p1/7p/5N2/3p4/2P2N2/PP2QPPP/R1B3K1 b kq - 0 1"] On first glance, ...
user21820's user avatar
  • 2,816
6 votes
1 answer
622 views

Can a 2000 Elo rated player teach me middlegame play properly?

I have reached 2500 in the chess.com tactics trainer while I haven't study theory and my FIDE rating is 1637 (I reached 1930 in rapids a year in France). I want to study with a coach and there is one ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

Black's tools in the Caro-Kann Advanced Tal Variation

What are Black's plans to play for an advantage in this variation? [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 The kingside development seems so slow, allowing ...
guitarcat's user avatar
  • 361
3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Playing with Ranks Advantage

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] I was planning to play white against the computer, starting with the positional advantage as shown above. I don't know how to ...
TSLF's user avatar
  • 325
3 votes
1 answer
615 views

Why is Ne4 considered as an inaccuracy whereas it is one of very few moves which saves d3 pawn?

[FEN "r2q1rk1/1p3ppp/p4n2/2Pp4/1Pn5/P1Bp3P/3N2P1/R2QN2K b - - 4 21"] With Black to move Ne4 is not even in top 5 moves and engine says its an inaccuracy. I know it considers fastest winning ...
Shreyash Talpade's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
317 views

Josh Waitzkin chessmaster mastery quiz - spatial advantage, trading bishops

Update: The computer aspect of this can be answered with showing more lines such as in the lichess engine where h6 is slightly preferred to f5. Based on: Josh Waitzkin Chessmaster Strategy Section 7 -...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,162
6 votes
2 answers
663 views

Which classical players' games should I check if I want to analyze positional players? [closed]

I am regularly analyzing games of grandmasters and now I want to check the classics. Who do you recommend to me as a positional player? Thanks.
FuzzyFiso's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
366 views

How do I create sharp, tactical positions?

It is said that you shouldn't simply look for combinations every move; rather, you should create positions that tend to create tactical opportunities. But what does this actually mean? I think my ...
actinidia's user avatar
  • 379
4 votes
2 answers
868 views

Positional chess understanding in the early game

As Black, when given a choice of taking the White's pawn, for what reason should I consider taking d5 pawn with e6 pawn? Wouldn't this open up the king's file and put it at risk of being attacked in ...
Sam S.'s user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How come it's actually Black with the advantage here?

I was analyzing a recent game of mine, and I noticed something interesting. After I blundered back a bishop on move 16, the evaluation was -3.4, which is still strongly winning for Black. [White "...
actinidia's user avatar
  • 379
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Which open source chess engine has the most positional understanding?

Most open source chess engines with hand-tuned evaluations are known for their innovations on search (Fruit, Stockfish). I was inspired by HIARCS' generally more human-like play and the fact that ...
Kenn Costales's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
6k views

How can I punish the "bad" knight on c3?

I play the Caro–Kann Defence against 1.e4 as black, and for whatever reason it feels like I get the following line way too frequently: [FEN ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Nc3?! This ...
aquirdturtle's user avatar

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