33 votes
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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 ...
NoseKnowsAll's user avatar
  • 5,783
28 votes
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Why does GM Larry claim that this sacrifice is brilliant?

Because it is brilliant No, Larry was not wrong, and neither are all the grandmasters and chess commentators who praised (and are still praising) the move 17.Rxb7!! Nobody, and I am sure neither ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 16k
26 votes
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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 ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 97.1k
25 votes
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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, ...
Rewan Demontay's 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. ...
Ellie's user avatar
  • 12k
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 ...
Allure's user avatar
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17 votes
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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 ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 97.1k
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.
Nils Lindemann's user avatar
17 votes
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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 ...
D M's user avatar
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16 votes
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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 ...
bjedrzejewski's user avatar
16 votes
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Is Silman's book 'How to Reassess Your Chess: Chess Mastery Through Imbalances' any good?

"!?" means interesting move, not inaccuracy. The symbol for dubious/inaccurate move is "?!". Anyway Silman is considering 2...b6 to be the main response by Black. 2...Bxd5 is ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
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 ...
D M's user avatar
  • 19.3k
13 votes
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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 ...
B.Swan's user avatar
  • 3,488
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 ...
Grade 'Eh' Bacon's user avatar
11 votes

Bishop and Knight exchange with opponent's Rook and pawn

In the middle game, where pawns are generally less important than the endgame, two pieces are better than one. So, in the middlegame the bishop + knight are worth noticeably more than the rook and ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 97.1k
10 votes
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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 ...
Scounged's user avatar
  • 7,998
10 votes
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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 ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
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10 votes
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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 ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 97.1k
10 votes
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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 ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 27.1k
9 votes
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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 ...
Baljej's user avatar
  • 218
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 ...
Inertial Ignorance's user avatar
9 votes
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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, ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
9 votes
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Can White win this middle game?

As SecretAgentMan already said in his comment, whites only attempt is to sacrifice the queen. This can be done on g5, e5, c5, or b4. On Qxe5 or Qxc5 the knight takes, which keeps the blockade. Qxb4 ...
Nils Lindemann's user avatar
8 votes
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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 ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
8 votes
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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 ...
mainsequence's user avatar
8 votes

How to attack in Scandinavian Defense

In a position such as this, where White's army is kind of sitting back and you haven't castled kingside, you might try a pawn storm. For a first step you may play h6 or castle queenside, both of which ...
D M's user avatar
  • 19.3k
7 votes

Best books on middlegame strategy?

The two books by John Watson about strategy. These themes are considered from a historical viewpoint usually in contrast to the way they are presented in textbooks. Even if you find a favorite ...
MichalRyszardWojcik's user avatar
7 votes

Longest period with each piece "hanging"

Since a game with all 14 pieces, as kings are excluded, hanging has probably not happened yet, and will not for a long time, I will answer as best as I can. Under these circumstances, I think that the ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
7 votes
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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 ...
Dag Oskar Madsen's user avatar

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