Questions tagged [positional-play]

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

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14 votes
3 answers
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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
95 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
  • 240
-2 votes
2 answers
4k 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
  • 11
-1 votes
1 answer
89 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
172 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
177 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
196 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
183 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
103 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
  • 599
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
440 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
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8 votes
5 answers
997 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
  • 204
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
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5 votes
1 answer
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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
57 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
288 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
474 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
  • 2,478
2 votes
4 answers
178 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
172 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
288 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
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8 votes
1 answer
232 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
287 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
521 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
923 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
263 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
  • 2,789
6 votes
1 answer
618 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
99 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
607 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
312 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
  • 1,817
6 votes
2 answers
662 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
338 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
  • 369
4 votes
2 answers
865 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
1k 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
  • 369
4 votes
2 answers
946 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
1 vote
1 answer
174 views

What should be the next move for Black?

Both sides have had equal points untill now. If the Black knight is moved, then White can move their knight with discovered check. What should Black do? [FEN ""] [StartPly "11"] ...
shatheesh's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
87 views

Why is the evaluation of the move h5 dependent on position of the bishop?

[FEN ""] [startply "50"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. Re1 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 Nc6 13. d5 Nd8 14. a4 Ra7 15. Nf1 g6 16. Bh6 Re8 17....
bretlee's user avatar
  • 2,525
2 votes
1 answer
211 views

Why this move is good here but not few moves ago?

[FEN "r1bq1rk1/p2p2pp/1pn1p3/5p2/1PP1n1P1/P4N2/1BQ1PP1P/R3KB1R b - - 0 1"] Here, 1... fxg4 gives White an advantage. But 1...Nxf2 2.Kxf2 fxg4 is equal. Why is that?
bretlee's user avatar
  • 2,525
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

When should I play f3/f6?

For context, I've been playing chess for around two years now, and my rating on Lichess is ~1850. When I first started playing, I learned a lot of heuristics for playing well, e.g. rooks are better ...
user23766's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why does Black want to trade off their King's Bishop in many d4 lines?

I feel that in many lines starting with d4, such as the Queen's Gambit Declined, or especially the Nimzo-Indian, Black is more than happy to trade their King's Bishop for White's knight on c3. For ...
Marc Vaisband's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
293 views

What is the best move for White in this position?

[title "White to move"] [fen "2b2rk1/pr2n1bp/2p1p1p1/2pqPp2/N2p1P1Q/1P1P1N2/P1PB2PP/1R3R1K w - - 1 0"] In this position, I was considering the best move for white. Re1 seems good but why not Ba5? Or ...
Oliver Dransfield's user avatar

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