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50

As the old poem says: For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of the rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. Exactly the same principle applies in ...


32

Castling is extremely useful in almost all games. It lets you do two things at once. First, it moves your king from the center to the side of the board, where it is much more difficult to attack for the opponent. Second, it brings one of your rooks towards the center of the board, and it crucial in bringing both of your rook into the game. There may be a ...


32

I'm not at all disagreeing with the existing answers - both sound. Indeed every pawn is a potential queen. However, one aspect of the question remaining is: why struggle for a pawn as opposed to a more decisive plan? In the games that you are watching, if they are between capable and well-matched players, very often the game will be quite well balanced with ...


14

World Champion Tigran Petrosian was known to be almost impossible to beat. He's your man. Study his games and legacy. Per Wikipedia, he lost 1 out of 129 Olympiad games. Olympiads are top-notch tournaments and the score is over 20 years of play. He's not a flash in the pan. In his 8 Euroteams competitions (held every three years from 1957 to 1983) he ...


13

The way I see it, neither of you was aggressive in the opening -- you both tried to get rid of your pieces as quickly as possible! Being aggressive is getting many pieces in active positions quickly, not giving them away. When we give advice, we have to take into account the level of the players. Both of you need to work on the most basic skill first: Piece ...


13

Black is going to lose the bishop regardless. White is attacking the queen in such a way that it will have to move (or be captured), and there are no available safe squares from which it can continue to protect black's bishop. After the queen retreats, white will be free to capture the bishop with his bishop. By playing Bh3 first, black can at least generate ...


11

There's the Poisoned Pawn variation of the Winawer: [fen ""] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Qg4 Qc7 8. Qxg7 Rg8 9. Qxh7 cxd4 In general, though, it's hard to find a good pawn for Black to give away in the French.


11

It's definitely not a good idea. If it were one, there would be a real opening for it. One problem with moving all your white-squared pawns 1 space forward, is that you lose so many moves developing your pieces. However, this is the 'small' disadvantage. The big one is, that all of your white squares are very weak. Look at this position: [fen ""] 1. a3 e5 ...


11

This is a bit trivial as an answer, but too long as a comment. You claim that you can develop "as good as White" but that is simply not true. White begins by interposing the Bishop 4.Be2. You play 4..Bg4. It is now a mistake to play 5.Nf3 because 5..Bxf3 spoils whites Pawns and makes his King insecure. But 5.d4! also gains a development tempo, and forces ...


11

Another point which has not been raised by the excellent answers above is that pawns are easy to block. A pawn can be blocked by just one piece in front of it, and it cannot take the piece which blocks it. Contrast this with any other piece, which can take a piece which blocks its movement (barring other circumstances such as a pin). This property means that ...


10

Preceding answers and comments make many good points. Why struggle for a single pawn? The simple answer is: Chess games are mostly won by material advantage! Generally being up a single pawn in an otherwise safe position is a clear advantage, often a winning advantage. In such a situation a GM analyst might say: And the rest is technique! Of course there are ...


10

You haven't understood the puzzle. The puzzle asks you to find the best move for white after Bxg4 by black. It does not ask you to find the best move for black after Rh1 by white. Having found Rh1 for white the moves that follow are illustrative only. They do not show all the possible black replies and there is no suggestion that the line chosen for black is ...


8

In my opinion this is a pretty hard question to answer, because there is no single correct answer to it. The choice of opening repertoire for a player should be determined by his play style, e.g. do you prefer to be aggressive always on the offense or are you more of a tactical player, looking for strategic weaknesses in your opponent's position, do you ...


8

The issue with your opening strategy is that you neglect the development of your pieces. While you are pushing your pawns, your opponent will bring their pieces into the game. In general, the three most important guidelines of the opening are: Controlling the center. The closer a piece is to the center, the more influential it becomes. Developing your ...


8

The main point of the engine recommending exd5 is because it opens up the diagonal from c8 to h3. By playing an early e6, the bad light squared bishop is really weak and has terrible scope, which is why taking with the e pawn could be followed with developing your bishop onto a square on a more open, free diagonal in the future. As long as you castle and don'...


7

The Cozio defenses, both with 3....Nge7 (1) and 3....a6 4.Ba4 Nge7 (2), have been played by top grandmasters like Nakamura and Aronian. According to the Game Database of ChessTempo both variations are quite regularly played and equally popular: 1160 games for (1) and 703 games for (2). Unsurprisingly, both variants are very similar. After (1) white usually ...


7

Avoid queen mating on g2 is easy: f3, Qg3, Qh3+ are decent options Re4, Kf1 also prevent immediate mate but are not good Winning this position is objectively speaking impossible. Black is up a piece and white does not have sufficient compensation for it. Most players would resign if playing somebody of 1800 strength or even less. If black is a beginner and/...


7

The answer by @Brian Towers is both beautiful and true, but not always true. It is perhaps true if you think of every pawn as a potential queen. However, in endings, especially in Rook endings, the textbooks will tell you not to be drawn into passive defence but to keep your pieces active, and counterattack. That being said, you may not have the choice. ...


6

if you decided to know how good an opening/defense scores, is there an online database that keeps track of all the games ever played, or do you take for granted what other players told you? For instance if you buy Chessbase, it will deliver a big database with some games. There you can look up for the openings, which were played by the big players. I like ...


6

Here is one line: [fen ""] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 c5 7. Bxe7 Qxe7 8. Nb5 O-O 9. Nc7 Nc6 10. Nxa8 cxd4 Black has castled, and is pretty well developed, while the white king is still in the center, and white does not have one normally developed piece. You probably won't find many games with professionals playing the line, ...


6

There is also the gambit from the game Capablanca-Alekhine (St Petersburg, 1914), but it's not very good. [fen ""] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 h6 (4...Be7;4...Bb4)5. Bxf6 Qxf6 6. exd5 Bb4 7. Bb5+ The check is annoying. If black could castle without disturbance, this gambit would perhaps be playable. I have thought about using the same idea one ...


6

Being aggressive and taking the center are two different things. Regarding being aggressive, if White is making defensive moves, it's OK for Black to do the same as long as each move has a strong purpose. For example, Black might fix flaws in his position by repositioning poorly placed pieces or securing his King. If he instead chooses to attack and there ...


6

After 22. ... Nf6, white will reply 23. Qe6!, threatening a nasty discovered check. 23. ... Bf8 won't work because it is mate after 24. Re7+ Kh8 25. Qxf6+ Kg8 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Qxh7#, and 23. ... Kh8 loses to 24. Bg5! and Black's position will collapse.


6

I would say that type of formation leaves a lot of weak squares, as enemy pieces can occupy pretty much any dark square they want (mainly b4, d4, f4, h4) and start an attack from there with help from the pawns. These pieces will never ever be kicked away. White's light squared-bishop will also suffer because he has nowhere to go, so, for that strategy to be ...


6

The "e" columns being open is not an issue for king safety. Your king is only there temporarely. After ...exd5, Black would probably follow with ...Bd6 and ...0-0, then at some point ...Re8 to exploit the semi-open file. ...cxd5 is a playable alternative, but your c8 bishop would become a much worse piece. It's hard to see how you'll liberate him ...


6

I Suspect that after 3... Rxd5 4. f7 is strong enough: [FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 0 1"] 1.Rgxg5 Bxf5 2. Qxf5 Qd1+ 3. Rg1 Rxd5 4. f7 The obvious threat is Qf6 mate. Starting with the variations in which black tries to cover f6 we have: If 4...Rb6 then 5. f8=R# If 4...Rd6 then 5. Qxe5 Rf6 6. Qxf6# Since all variations ...


6

Having the kings indian as my main opening in response for 1.d4 I see nothing immediately loosing (I might be wrong) and would personally be happy to play this position. The variations I have considered are hopefully inline with my argument that black is doing fine and If I have missed something obvious or have misrepresented white please let me know. ...


5

There is only one difference between black and white: The first move(no, the color does not count :p). This means that white starts with the initiative. They can make threats first and black should respond. At the moment white lets the initiative go(that is, allows black to make threats to which they must respond) the colors have "switched"(no, this does ...


5

Yes, when your opponent makes defensive and passive moves, you should try to take initiative and attack, no matter what color you are playing. Because White make move first, in very first stage of game they have initative, and Black must counteract against it, so they technically defense, but after opening this advantage becomes a little significant.


5

I am a 2210 FIDE-rated player and I have played the French defence in tournaments as a primary defence to 1. e4 since I was a child. Although you may find gambit lines on the Black side in some variations (as many good answers here have shown), you will not be able to play such gambits unless White is cooperative and willing to play against them. The fact is ...


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