33 votes
Accepted

Why is ..Kh8 so much worse than ..Kg7 after Nf6?

Excellent question because the difference between these two king moves is actually quite subtle! In general you're completely correct that moving the king two diagonal squares away from it ensures the ...
user avatar
  • 4,822
26 votes
Accepted

As a beginner, how do I learn to win in "won" positions?

There are two key things you need to do. The first is to know how to win a won endgame. You do that by studying endgames. That will do two important things for you. Apart from teaching you how to win ...
user avatar
  • 73.9k
26 votes
Accepted

Why is capturing the bishop in this position a blunder?

It is a blunder because White can win a piece instead. The Black queen is in a molasses of its own pieces, and White has a very good chance of trapping it. Capturing the bishop loses this chance, ...
user avatar
21 votes

Understanding Kramnik's play in game 1 of Candidates 2018

The short answer is: white's making it difficult for black to challenge the center with their central pawns. But that's not really revealing much, so let us dig deeper into this beautiful middlegame. ...
user avatar
  • 11.8k
18 votes

As a beginner, how do I learn to win in "won" positions?

I remember reading about this from one of GM Yasser Seirawan's books. What you want to do is: Pick a target Figure out how to attack it In this case the obvious target is the White pawn on a3. Why ...
user avatar
  • 21.1k
17 votes
Accepted

Is it good to have a tendency to exchange pieces?

Now is this really the way to play chess? Well, it is certainly a way to play chess. It's the way Aryan Tari chose to play Magnus Carlsen in the Altibox Norway tournament a couple of days ago. Swap ...
user avatar
  • 73.9k
17 votes

Why is 12... d4 a blunder?

Because black can play 12...Nd4 instead. The threat is to catch the bishop b5 with ...a6 and ...b5 and eventually ...c4. I do not see how white can prevent this. White loses a piece.
user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

What is a pawn hook?

Here's a position from one of my games. I'm playing White versus a master: [FEN "r2qk1nr/pp2bp2/2p1p2p/3pPnp1/1P6/P1N2N2/2P2PPP/R1BQR1K1 b kq - 0 11"] [White "D M"] 1... g4 This ...
user avatar
  • 15.1k
14 votes
Accepted

Why are opening books so popular?

I think there are number of reasons why these are so popular: It is easy to start learning openings. You can read about ideas and memorize some lines. It is not so easy to learn middle game or end ...
user avatar
14 votes

Is it good to have a tendency to exchange pieces?

Is there something wrong with my approach? Yes. This is how I am playing nowadays and can beat ~1500 player 50% of time( rest is due to tactical errors) I mean i do wanna improve my tactical skill ...
user avatar
  • 15.1k
13 votes
Accepted

Why is this position considered to give white a significant advantage?

[FEN "r4rk1/2p1qppp/1p3n2/p7/2B4B/4P3/PPQN1Pbb/2KRR3 w - - 0 1"] 1. f3 {traps the bishop} Rad8 2. Re2 Bxf3 (2...Bd6 Rxg2 Kh8 Rh1 {the Black king is not safe at all}) 3. Bxf6 Qxf6 (3...gxf6 ...
user avatar
  • 3,450
12 votes

Database of every possible move in chess

No, it would not be possible for such a database to exist. Calculating it would require an infeasibly large computer and the calculation would take so long that your computer wouldn't exist for long ...
user avatar
11 votes

As a beginner, how do I learn to win in "won" positions?

First consider the difference between a 'truly' won position vs a 'theoretically winning' position. By that I mean - a position that is within your own abilities to convert to a win, in a way you can ...
user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Pawn Sacrifice Justification

As was stated in the answer to this post made by D M, one idea of capturing in this manner is to open up the g-file for white's rooks to attack black's king. In the game this proved to be a very ...
user avatar
  • 7,322
10 votes
Accepted

Queenless Imbalanced Middlegame

First, I don't think that there is any doubt that black has significant compensation, but clearly, black is still trying to hold this, not win it when talking two computers playing each other. I ...
user avatar
  • 31.9k
10 votes
Accepted

Why is h4 much better than h3?

Why is h4 much better than h3? It's very simple. The prospects for the bishop are much better on g3 than h2. On h2 the bishop does nothing useful and it will take a lot of moves to get it back into ...
user avatar
  • 73.9k
10 votes
Accepted

Why is this seemingly quiet and normal position actually -3?

You mentioned seven points which give Black an advantage. Here are two more: White has a bad bishop, blocked by its own pawns on c4 and e4. Conversely, Black's bishop is good. Black is more ready for ...
user avatar
  • 21.1k
9 votes
Accepted

How to break through their "Great Wall of China"

In order to make progress, one or both of you need to break through that wall. Each of you seem to have the best chances on the side near the opponent's King--you have a passer on the kingside; your ...
user avatar
  • 2,113
9 votes

What should my plan be in this middlegame?

The only opening move I really didn't like is 6…Nc6. Usually you don't want to put something in front of your c-pawn in these d-pawn openings. And incidentally it also seems to lose a piece (because ...
user avatar
9 votes

How to proceed with the book "Pawn Structure Chess" by Andrew Soltis?

I'm not familiar with the book itself, but for learning pawn structures it isn't important to memorize every single thing. The key is to understand the general ideas behind each structure. E.g.: what ...
user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Middlegame plan for this position

Your advantage is smaller than you think. After Kg7 Black is safe and has joined rooks. The pressure on the c file is annoying and ties up your knights. My first move, almost without thinking, is Qf3, ...
user avatar
8 votes

How to break through their "Great Wall of China"

White cannot break this Great Wall of China in this position. In fact, White is slightly worse and here's why - 1. Pawn chain Black's pawn structure is better than White's. The pawn on e6 is the ...
user avatar
  • 9,215
8 votes
Accepted

Can playing against Computer help?

For computer engines it is much harder to simulate a "human" style than just playing good. If you want to improve your play against humans, play against humans. Use the engines to analyze your games. ...
user avatar
  • 2,497
8 votes
Accepted

Was this sacrifice a good one?

Given that you are a piece up with a dominating position, exchanging the bishops isn't a problem at all. Note, that it is just an exchange, not a sacrifice. You could have played 19.Bc7 instead, in ...
user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Why are these sacrifices good moves? What are the winning follow-ups?

This is a very long question. And you can use Stockfish to check tactical solutions. Solutions of all positions except the 5th ends with mate or huge material gain. In position 5, Black plays a ...
user avatar
  • 4,322
8 votes
Accepted

How to improve my early endgame / late middlegame?

It sounds like you are looking for strategic guidelines in non-theoretical endgames. Then a modern classic is Endgame Strategy by Mikhail Shereshevsky. Strong players tend to like this book, which ...
user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Middle game and endgame principles

There are quite a lot of basic principles. Whole books have been written on the principles of strategic play, for example. Basis rules are useful and will get you on your way. For more advanced ...
user avatar
  • 208
8 votes
Accepted

Having knightmares, what to do?

The solution is: play better chess. Train your tactical skills so you can better anticipate the opponent's knight's threats (and also make a better use of your own knights). Avoid creating weak ...
user avatar
  • 13k
8 votes
Accepted

How to attack in Scandinavian Defense

To paraphrase Garry Kasparov "An attack truly begins when a pawn attacks a piece". It is often very difficult to conduct an attack with just the minor pieces (Knights & Bishops) and your ...
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible