Questions tagged [positional-play]

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

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18
votes
6answers
4k views

What is a “monster knight”?

I was watching an agadmator video explaining a game between two chess engines, and at one point in the video after a knight move, agadmator talks about how that knight then became "basically a monster ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

Is my positional pawn sacrifice justified?

Today I have played a game and the following position was reached: [fen "rn1qk2r/p4ppp/1p2bb2/1Q1pp3/8/3P2P1/PP2PPBP/RN2K1NR b - - 0 1"] 1... Nd7 2. Bxd5 a6 3. Qb3 Nc5 4. Bc6+ Ke7 5.Qa3 Rc8 6. Bg2 ...
7
votes
2answers
203 views

Firouzja vs Kovalev: what went wrong for black in the opening?

In the first round of the ongoing Wijk aan zee Masters tournament, Firouzja won vs Kovalev. Apparently, right out of the opening white had gained a winning edge. In particular, somewhere around 16......
26
votes
3answers
2k views

Understanding Anand's Bc4 move vs Ivanchuk 1992

In the Ivanchuk vs Anand game (1992), the game leads into an endgame after lots of exchanges, which by no means looks (to me at least) winning for black: they both have 2 rooks, 2 bishops, and black ...
7
votes
2answers
166 views

I am 1400, how do I improve my positional play? [duplicate]

My lichess puzzle rating (tactics) is around 2100, while my game rating is only around 1400, so I'm pretty sure that means my positional play is utterly trash. There aren't any positional puzzles out ...
6
votes
3answers
319 views

Is h6 or g6 better to defend the h7 square against a combined attack by a queen and bishop?

I am setting the question from black's perspective, but it holds the same for white too. Many times in my personal games a position arises where a Bishop along the b1-h7 diagonal and a Queen on the h-...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

What does it mean to play “positionally”, and how do you train that?

I often hear this term thrown around when people are analyzing chess, but I don't really know what it means. I assume it's a generic term that means to play defensively, or to set up for the future. ...
5
votes
2answers
734 views

What is a winning position in chess?

I am new to chess, so I have some difficulties on understanding some concepts. For example, by watching games usually I hear that a player has a winning position, or a better position respect to the ...
8
votes
1answer
689 views

How to “crack” this position?

I find this particular final position from a personal game intriguing. Even though there's a material advantage, there's no clear path to the victory. Does anyone have any good ideas on how to crack ...
0
votes
2answers
163 views

Why doesn’t the computer like my odd queen trade?

I played a game as Black some months ago on chess.com in which I made a rather amusing, in my opinion at the least, queen trade. I won the game in the end, but only after being a bastard and promoting ...
17
votes
6answers
7k views

Was this “caterpillar” strategy a good way to advance my pawns?

I recently played an endgame as Black in which I though up a silly, but effective, to advance my doubled pawns. Here’s the relevant part of the game. [FEN "8/6p1/2p2kp1/1p1p4/p2P2K1/P1P5/1P6/8 w - - ...
4
votes
3answers
843 views

What is the weakest file on the board?

If f2 and f7 are the weakest squares on the board, if the f-file the weakest file on the board? For example, other than attacking f2 and f7, is there a theoretical advantage in dominating the f-file?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is this a missed win?

I found myself in this position as Black. I played Kb6, but the engine on chess.com suggested that the move Kb7 is a missed win, and the continuation below would have been winning for me. It gave no ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

What move did I miss?

I played b4. According to computer, it is a "missed win" move by me. But what move did I miss? What move should I have played? (I am white. And played b4 but I got "missed win")
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Pushing the e-pawn

I am having trouble understanding why the move e5 which I played in the position below is not correct according to Stockfish (6th move for White) I am not doing this move by winning a tempo, but I ...
4
votes
2answers
570 views

Why is 6. Nge2 better, and 7. d5 a necessary push in this game?

I have two questions about a recent game that I played on Lichess. Question 1: Why is it necessary for White to push d5 now in the game, in this position, and why is Be3 a blunder? I did play d5 ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

What is the best continuation for White?

[FEN "4r3/pq3k2/1p4p1/2p1Qn1p/2PpN3/3P4/PP3PPP/R5K1 w - - 0 1"] It is White to move the above position. After Ng5 check, the Black king can go only to g8 or f8. If the Black king goes to g8, they ...
1
vote
2answers
271 views

Checkmate in 7 moves?

In the below chess position, the chess.com computer analysis says that there is a checkmate in 7 moves for Black, but I can't find the way. Can you help me find the solution? White's last move was ...
6
votes
1answer
590 views

Is there any way white can win?

[fen "1K6/1P3q2/1P6/P7/3k4/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] Is there any way that white can win or draw in the above game?
21
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2answers
4k views

The Game of the Century - why didn't Byrne take the rook after he forked Fischer?

I'm guessing that there's a pretty simple explanation for this, but I can't seem to see it. [White "Donald Byrne"] [Black "Robert James Fischer"] [fen ""] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. d4 O-O 5....
3
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0answers
61 views

Life imitates chess: is a player' style of play determined by personality and can style of play be altered? [closed]

There's a popular saying along the lines of "life imitates chess", my understanding is that cool, calm and collected players like Karpov will tend to opt for positional play while unsettled skittish ...
3
votes
1answer
215 views

Short and long term plans in a closed game in the Sicilian Defense

Today, I have played a game as Black. I reached this position, with Black to play: The position, as you can see, is closed. The truth is that I had difficulty finding a plan here, considering the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Na5 not played in this line of the French Defense, Advance Variation?

I find Na5 a good resource for black in this line of the french, profiting from the fact that white's b-pawn is binned to the bishop. As far as I can understand this position with my limited chess, I ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Is White controlling this game?

Which side is in a better position here : white or black ? Is White controlling this game as all rook, knight, bishop, queen are in open position now ? What are the chances for black to come back ? [...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Winning plan for black in this line of French Defense: Advance Variation Main Line

I play the French Defense as both white and black. I often play this line with black suggested by Korchnoi if I am not wrong. I have found a way to prevent the sudden b4, via Bd7 (if 8.Rb1 Bd7 9.b4 ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

How do I identify strong pieces?

Depending on the situation, some pieces that are ordinarily worth the about same value (say a knight and a bishop, or two of any piece) have different practical values because one piece is stronger ...
3
votes
5answers
242 views

Why is 3. Nc3 played in mainline of the Modern Defense?

After: [FEN ""] 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 by far the most common third move is 3. Nc3. This goes against the principle of not blocking the c pawn with the knight as white, now of course principles can be ...
4
votes
3answers
248 views

Chess strategy versus positional chess

If one master writes a book on chess strategy (example here) and another writes a book on positional chess (example here), are they writing more or less on the same subject? Do other major chess ...
1
vote
6answers
228 views

How do I make the right move after an opening? [duplicate]

I'm slowly getting better at my chess skills, but the one thing that bugs me the most right now is not knowing which piece to move after many of my pieces have been developed and the king has been ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Understanding Kramnik's play in game 1 of Candidates 2018

The position I'm studying is the middlegame part of the game 1 of Berlin Candidates 2018 between Kramnik and Grischuk, which Kramnik won with the white pieces. In particular, I'm interested in ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

How good of a tactical player is Magnus? [closed]

Everyone knows the amazing positional ability and endgame ability of Magnus Carlsen, but how is his tactical skills. I have heard someone say tactics are not his specialty? is this accurate
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Assessing an early c4 against white's Stonewall structure

I made a horrible decision as black in a game, and I do not understand why it's incorrect. [fen "rn2kb1r/pp2pppp/1q3n2/2pp4/3P1P2/2PQPN2/PP4PP/RNB1K2R b - - 0 1"] I played c4, Stockfish considers ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

How good is this variant of the Sicilian defense?

I am relatively new to chess SE, so I am not sure how to include the chessboard thing. [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Bc4?! Nxe4 6. Bxf7+ Kxf7 7. Qh5+ ... 8. Qd5+ and ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Name of pawn struture in B42 Sicilian defense

I like positional games, and the Sicilian defence is very dynamic, however the B42 Sicilian defence is quite positional, but the pawn structure has some weaknesses. I would like to learn more about ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

Why Stockfish 9 fails to see the draw?

I can reach a draw with White in the below position. The Stockfish 9, however, gives 28.1 points for black after Kf3,Ba1,Ke4,Bb2,Kd3. [FEN "8/p7/kpP5/qrp1b3/rpP2b2/pP4b1/P3K3/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. Kf3 ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Which openings (black/white) should man play against a player, who is not good at endgame but a tactical beast?

I'am looking for openings with white and black against strong junior players, which are mostly tactical beasts but not good at endgame.
1
vote
2answers
229 views

What is the thought process of a GM playing bullet? [closed]

I have read other posts (e.g. this) with descriptions of the thought process when playing long time controls, but I'm wondering what kind of information a GM processes during games with very short ...
1
vote
3answers
142 views

Analysis of my recent King's Indian Defense game

I'm looking for any feedback on positional ideas I've missed on a recent KID game I played (as black). We were both about 1900 Elo, although I was slightly higher rated. I've obviously already ...
16
votes
8answers
7k views

Why is exchanging the queens bad in this position?

Stockfish gives +6.6 to the following position. The recommended move by stockfish is Rc1 which maintains +6.6 advantage but if I exchange the queens right away (Qxd6), stockfish gives me +5. What's ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Main Ideas behind Spanish Game, Cozio Defense

I've been practicing the Spanish Game so I can have better tournament results with it, Spanish Game 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 Spanish Game, Cozio Defense and I asked my friend to play the Cozio defense, ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does Stockfish prefer White here?

My analysis of the position: Materially, black is a pawn up. White's rooks and bishop are active. White has potential counterplay on Black's Kingside but I think it can be defended by the move Ng6. ...
8
votes
3answers
285 views

Who has the advantage in this position?

I was in a three%day turn bame, I played almost played a line that would have led me to this position. Black’s central pawns seem to be an advantage, although White being up the exchange scared me. ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Examples of harmony?

Recently my chess tutor used a word which in hindsight is very interesting: harmony. He mentioned I should not just develop my pieces in the opening, but develop them harmoniously. Since then, I've ...
0
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2answers
105 views

What are the most common squares to be overworked?

Generally are there any distinguishable patterns you look find in the opening that you recognize as weak, or exploitable. Or generally any openings that provide the over-bearing sense of duty on a ...
8
votes
1answer
955 views

Why are these weak squares important in this situation?

I'm watching a video on weak/strong squares. I think that I understand the concept, but not exactly why they are important in this game (Carlsen-Karjakin): The video explains how Carlsen maneuvered ...
5
votes
2answers
985 views

When to move/centralize king?

[fen "8/3k1ppp/2p2n2/r2p4/p2Pp3/4P3/PP2BPPP/4K2R w - - 0 1 "] At this position Stockfish has recommended Kd2, and noticing how the black bishops are off the board the king seems safer centralizing ...
1
vote
3answers
254 views

Why wasn't this strategy chosen?

In the below position, White chose to activate his Knight with Ne4. Of course, he will have to play g4 to prevent …f5, and that requires the moves Kh1 and Rg1. These were the moves played in the game. ...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

D4 D5 C4 NF6 Continuation [duplicate]

I'm a quiet and positional player rated in the 1400's and play exclusively online correspondence chess. I always play D4 with white as first move and usually C4 after that. One opening I come into ...
4
votes
3answers
205 views

What to do in a positionally won situation?

In the below position, White is winning because Black cannot do anything. Black's b-pawn is the last fence barring White from checkmating the king rather easily. k1r4r/1p1nppbp/2b3p1/N7/4PP2/3PB2P/...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How could I have played this opening better?

This was a recent game on chess.com. The "Maximum" analysis tool they have says my first mistake isn't until move 9, but I felt like I misplayed the opening even earlier. Indeed black's white squared ...