Questions tagged [positional-play]

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

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4
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3answers
1k views

Does the Caro-Kann or the Tartakower System of the Queen's Gambit Declined help with positional skills?

In the following Wikipedia biography on Gary Kasparov, I read the following: From age 7, Kasparov attended the Young Pioneer Palace in Baku and, at 10 began training at Mikhail Botvinnik's chess ...
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1answer
61 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....
2
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1answer
170 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?
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3answers
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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 ...
18
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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 ...
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4answers
150 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 ...
11
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2answers
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Why does Black want to trade off her 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 her King's Bishop for White's knight on c3. For ...
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5answers
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Why is Ne2 better than Nf3?

I played Nf3 for attacking on king side which is about to castle having some plans to make a battery in future after castling but I feel Ne2 is making a block for Re1 at some point. Any suggestions? [...
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2answers
89 views

Why move the queen’s rook to defend d-file instead of king’s rook?

In this position, why is it better to move the queen’s rook to defend the d-file instead of the king’s rook? Moving the king’s rook to the d-file becomes more challenging. Is it important to leave ...
18
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6answers
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Was this “caterpillar” strategy a good way to advance my pawns?

I recently played an online game as Black in which I thought up a silly, but effective, to ay advance my doubled pawns in the endgame. Here is the relevant part of the game. [FEN "8/6p1/2p2kp1/1p1p4/...
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2answers
669 views

Can someone explain the positional advantages for white?

[FEN "3r1rk1/7p/bq2ppp1/p1R5/Pp2P2P/4QB2/1P3PP1/3R2K1 w - - 0 1"] As far I can see, Black’s bishop has more scope than the white one, White has some isolated pawns, and the Black pawns rule the 5th ...
6
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1answer
453 views

Overprotection Of A Piece

What exactly is the logic behind the concept of “overprotection of a piece”? Wikipedia says that it "...provides greater freedom of movement for the pieces protecting that square." If the protected ...
5
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3answers
392 views

How should one decide which rook to put on a central file? [duplicate]

How should one decide which rook to put on a central file? I usually just move the one which is closer to the file, unless there are weak squares in my position that one rook is defending. In ...
4
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3answers
173 views

Why is 16.d5 a blunder in this position?

In this position I'm White and I have just played 16.d5. Stockfish labels the move as a blunder. I do understand I had better moves than this, and it's not the move I would play if I were to get this ...
3
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2answers
103 views

Confused about timing of cxd5 and dxc4 in the Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD)

Recently I've been playing the Queen's Gambit Declined as my primary response to a d4 opening by white. While analyzing past games with engines, I've realized that as the game progresses, there's a ...
5
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3answers
154 views

In Caro-Kann, which one is less risky, the main line or the Steinitz?

After 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4, the most popular move (main line) is 4...Bf5. But former world champion Anatoly Karpov seems to like 4...Nd7. Since Karpov's style is "solidly ...
4
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6answers
301 views

How could I have improved my attack in this game?

I won the game easily because my opponent left a rook hanging in the end. I believe I missed opportunities to build a stronger attack, but I am not sure how I could have done so. [FEN ""] 1.d4 e5 2....
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1answer
498 views

Can anyone explain why Re7 is one of the lines suggested by the computer?

I was analyzing a game and got stuck in this position by Re7 move. I do not want to mention the player's name. As seen in the diagram Bc5 is misleading, but Bd6 is one of the lines. Bd6 is OK, but Re7 ...
3
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1answer
173 views

Example highlighting overprotection

Nimzovich was a proponent of the idea of over-protection, a concept which I don't understand well enough to ever implement in my games. Are there any example games at the GM level that illustrate this ...
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9answers
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Study endgame first before studying opening? Is it true?

While looking for and comparing suggestions that will help me to improve in chess, I have noticed that some people and some chess book authors suggest that you should study the endgame first. Some ...
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1answer
649 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?
16
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10answers
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What is the correct definition of a bad bishop?

Is a bad bishop a bishop that is trapped by your own pawns? (For example, all your pawns are on dark squares, so the dark squared bishop is bad.) Or is it when your opponent's pawns trap your bishop'...
14
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8answers
15k views

What is an accurate way to evaluate chess positions?

I've been interested for a while about a computer chess AI algorithms (and got the chance to work on one at some point) like Minimax, and as the core component of these algorithms is the so-called ...
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3answers
383 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 ...
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7answers
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What are the reasons why I should not try to take a Knight with my Bishop if it'll result in doubled pawns?

For instance, in the Ruy Lopez, after [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 why shouldn't I take the Knight? 4 Bxc6 dxc6 Now Black has a doubled pawn. It isn't a very popular line of play, ...
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1answer
66 views

Advanced Pawn Structure books [duplicate]

Hello fellow chess players. I've recently returned to the learning of this game, and as I forgot several ideas on deep mechanics, I read (again) "My System", from Nimzowitsch, and found it very useful,...
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2answers
291 views

Why this is the best move?

I'm new here, so I just like chess and I don’t study too deeply. I could not understand the move Qxe5. Can someone explain to me?
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3answers
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Positional thinking by Grandmasters

How do Grandmasters think in an unknown position and make the best move?
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1answer
85 views

How should white push for advantage in the Nimzowitsh attack of the Petrov's defense?

This line of the Petrov defense can often lead to opposite side castling and the general rule for that is attacks happening on both sides of the board. However, I noticed that it's very difficult to ...
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2answers
179 views

Can anyone recommend a positional book focused on preparing pawn breaks?

Feel free to share more than one book. I'm very interested in understanding better those preparatory moves.
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10answers
4k views

Switching from 1.e4 to 1.d4?

I've only played 1.e4 as white so far (in clubs, tournaments, online, everywhere!), in the past 5 years since I learned chess. And it has been very fun, but I want to explore the dark side as well, as ...
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4answers
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How do I understand White's +6 advantage here?

[White "White (to move)"] [Black "Black"] [FEN "rnq1kb1r/ppp3pp/4pn2/4N3/2QP4/2N2P2/PPP3PP/R1B1K2R w KQ - 0 13"] In this position, White can still castle, but Black cannot (having moved the king ...
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3answers
2k views

Good Knight Against Bad Bishop Endgame - A More Constructive Plan?

I reached the position below in a recent tournament game [Event "Recent Tournament"] [Site "Deepest, Darkest Oxfordshire"] [Date "Feb 2020"] [White "Ian Bush"] [Black "A Young Victim"] [Result "1-0"] ...
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2answers
153 views

Analysis of a middlegame out of the Queen's Pawn Game: Zukertort Variation

What positional considerations must be made in order to come up with a plan for White in this position? What are the ideas behind the central squares and weaknesses that must be analyzed for both ...
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2answers
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How to go about beating chess engines?

I play regularly long games (60min each) with Droidfish/Stockfish the depth is always close around 21. From time to time I overlook taktical flaws in my moves, obviously playing on worse positions ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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6answers
279 views

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

I'm slowly getting better at my chess skills. The one thing that bugs me the most right now is knowing which piece to move after many of my pieces have been developed and the king has been castled. ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
137 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 ...
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2answers
237 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......
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2answers
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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 ...
4
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3answers
141 views

Better moves-game analysis

Aside from the blunder 27 Nh3, what moves should have been made to make this game winning for white? rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 ...
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2answers
150 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 ...
7
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2answers
194 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

How to improve positional chess understanding?

I am a normal player with ~1500 FIDE rating, and I am quite good at tactics and trap things. But I falter at the positional games and I am bound to make mistakes where the things are non-tactical. So ...
19
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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 ...
5
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3answers
348 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-...
24
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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. ...
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3answers
569 views

Analysis of a position-Why is my move so bad?

I am trying to understand this position a bit better and would appreciate some help in doing so. I am black and it's my turn... I played the move ..c5. I don't have a deep understanding of this ...