Questions tagged [positional-play]

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

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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
168 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?
7
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3answers
1k 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 ...
11
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
1
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4answers
148 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 ...
7
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5answers
1k views

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? [...
3
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2answers
651 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 ...
1
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2answers
82 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 ...
5
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3answers
390 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
97 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
151 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 ...
1
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1answer
83 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 ...
6
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4answers
1k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
174 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.
1
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1answer
62 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,...
4
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2answers
147 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 ...
10
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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"] ...
17
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6answers
6k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
135 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 ...
6
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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......
24
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
7
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2answers
186 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 ...
5
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3answers
347 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. ...
5
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2answers
853 views

What is a winning position in chess?

I am new to chess, so I have some difficulties on understanding some concepts. For example, by watching games usually I hear that a player has a winning position, or a better position respect to the ...
14
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3answers
4k views

Positional thinking by Grandmasters

How do Grandmasters think in an unknown position and make the best move?
8
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1answer
702 views

How to “crack” this position?

I find this particular final position from a personal game intriguing. Even though there's a material advantage, there's no clear path to the victory. Does anyone have any good ideas on how to crack ...
0
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2answers
175 views

Why doesn’t the computer like my odd queen trade?

I played a game as Black some months ago on chess.com in which I made a rather amusing, in my opinion at the least, queen trade. I won the game in the end, but only after being a bastard and promoting ...
18
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6answers
7k views

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/...
4
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3answers
863 views

What is the weakest file on the board?

If f2 and f7 are the weakest squares on the board, if the f-file the weakest file on the board? For example, other than attacking f2 and f7, is there a theoretical advantage in dominating the f-file?
6
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2answers
2k views

Why is this a missed win?

I found myself in this position as Black. I played Kb6, but the engine on chess.com suggested that the move Kb7 is a missed win, and the continuation below would have been winning for me. It gave no ...
1
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1answer
195 views

What move did I miss?

I played b4. According to computer, it is a "missed win" move by me. But what move did I miss? What move should I have played? (I am white. And played b4 but I got "missed win")
5
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2answers
2k views

Pushing the e-pawn

I am having trouble understanding why the move e5 which I played in the position below is not correct according to Stockfish (6th move for White) I am not doing this move by winning a tempo, but I ...
4
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2answers
580 views

Why is 6. Nge2 better, and 7. d5 a necessary push in this game?

I have two questions about a recent game that I played on Lichess. Question 1: Why is it necessary for White to push d5 now in the game, in this position, and why is Be3 a blunder? I did play d5 ...
1
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2answers
120 views

What is the best continuation for White?

[FEN "4r3/pq3k2/1p4p1/2p1Qn1p/2PpN3/3P4/PP3PPP/R5K1 w - - 0 1"] It is White to move the above position. After Ng5 check, the Black king can go only to g8 or f8. If the Black king goes to g8, they ...
1
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2answers
371 views

Checkmate in 7 moves?

In the below chess position, the chess.com computer analysis says that there is a checkmate in 7 moves for Black, but I can't find the way. Can you help me find the solution? White's last move was ...
6
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1answer
648 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?
21
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2answers
4k views

The Game of the Century - why didn't Byrne take the rook after he forked Fischer?

I'm guessing that there's a pretty simple explanation for this, but I can't seem to see it. [White "Donald Byrne"] [Black "Robert James Fischer"] [fen ""] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. d4 O-O 5....
3
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0answers
62 views

Life imitates chess: is a player' style of play determined by personality and can style of play be altered? [closed]

There's a popular saying along the lines of "life imitates chess", my understanding is that cool, calm and collected players like Karpov will tend to opt for positional play while unsettled skittish ...
3
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1answer
233 views

Short and long term plans in a closed game in the Sicilian Defense

Today, I have played a game as Black. I reached this position, with Black to play: The position, as you can see, is closed. The truth is that I had difficulty finding a plan here, considering the ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Why is Na5 not played in this line of the French Defense, Advance Variation?

I find Na5 a good resource for black in this line of the french, profiting from the fact that white's b-pawn is binned to the bishop. As far as I can understand this position with my limited chess, I ...
10
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4answers
4k views

Is White controlling this game?

Which side is in a better position here : white or black ? Is White controlling this game as all rook, knight, bishop, queen are in open position now ? What are the chances for black to come back ? [...
4
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1answer
127 views

Winning plan for black in this line of French Defense: Advance Variation Main Line

I play the French Defense as both white and black. I often play this line with black suggested by Korchnoi if I am not wrong. I have found a way to prevent the sudden b4, via Bd7 (if 8.Rb1 Bd7 9.b4 ...
3
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2answers
136 views

How do I identify strong pieces?

Depending on the situation, some pieces that are ordinarily worth the about same value (say a knight and a bishop, or two of any piece) have different practical values because one piece is stronger ...
3
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5answers
310 views

Why is 3. Nc3 played in mainline of the Modern Defense?

After: [FEN ""] 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 by far the most common third move is 3. Nc3. This goes against the principle of not blocking the c pawn with the knight as white, now of course principles can be ...
5
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3answers
348 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 ...
2
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6answers
268 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. ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Understanding Kramnik's play in game 1 of Candidates 2018

The position I'm studying is the middlegame part of the game 1 of Berlin Candidates 2018 between Kramnik and Grischuk, which Kramnik won with the white pieces. In particular, I'm interested in ...
1
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2answers
241 views

How good of a tactical player is Magnus? [closed]

Everyone knows the amazing positional ability and endgame ability of Magnus Carlsen, but how is his tactical skills. I have heard someone say tactics are not his specialty? is this accurate