35

When a GM, or even lesser strong players reach a position that is totally unfamiliar, they have to break it down into components. They evaluate the following for BOTH sides. In general, a lot of this is done subconsciously by strong players. Material, and what pieces are better. Sometimes a well-placed knight can be better than a rook, for example. Can any ...


35

The material balance is only temporary. After White goes c4, Black will lose a piece. If Qf5, White has f3 trapping the bishop. All alternatives to Qf5 leave a piece unprotected (for instance c4 Nxc4 Bxe4 Qxe4 Qxc4 +-) [Event "Chess Calculation: Chapter 1"] [Site "https://lichess.org/study/VFtoodiL/uG0A42Q9"] [Date "2021.09.12"] ...


28

I think it is because 21.Rfc1 wins the c7 pawn. If black responds with a queen trade, she can't defend the pawn on c7 because white's bishop can attack a defending rook on c8 or d7. [White "NN"] [Black "NN"] [FEN "3r3r/2p1kppp/B2qp3/2Qp4/6b1/PP2P3/3N1PPP/R4RK1 w - - 0 1"] 1. Rfc1 Qxc5 2. Rxc5 Kd7 3. Rac1 {and the pawn falls} That said, the position is ...


28

In short, the key idea is to prevent white from playing h2-h3! Bc4 forces the exchange of light square bishops, and thus, sets up Rh3 which blocks the h2 pawn and keeps both the h2 and g4 pawns weak. Concretely, the only piece currently covering h3 is the light squared bishop on f1, so by trading the bishop with Bc4, which white cannot prevent as Bg2 leaves ...


26

I play the white side of this position often, and have an incredible winrate because to be honest, it feels very hard for black to develop naturally. Here's an example of how things can go wrong: [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 7. Bg5 Qb6 8. Nd2 c5 9. c4 Qxb2 10. Rd1 Qxd4 11. Qb3 Qxe5+ 12. Ne2 Qc7 13. cxd5 exd5 ...


24

It is true that Rfc1 wins the c7 pawn, but even if that where not the case, Rfc1 is significantly better technique than initiating the exchange yourself. The black queen is pinned against the king, so there is no risk of black evading the queen exchange. Stepping out of the pin will just waste a tempo, because then you'll still be able to exchange. If ...


23

There are three general types of players: Positional, tactical, and universal, which is being adept and comfortable in both positional and tactical games. Tactical means that you love open positions that require a lot of calculation, and often include all-out attacks. Positional chess is generally slower, and you work to build small advantages by placing ...


21

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. The rook doubling is in fact part of a grander scheme that Kramnik has in mind. Once black commits to d6, Kramnik targets a very concrete objective: To ...


20

Should I focus on opening? Do you regularly fail to get out of the opening? Regularly get beaten whilst still in the opening? If yes then you definitely need to work on your openings. Do you usually come out of the opening with a playable position? If yes then you are wasting your time spending more time working on openings if your goal is to improve. Do ...


19

It just seemed obvious to me that gambits would work better with faster games, for the same reasons as given in the comments - it's harder to defend than attack, etc. I tried looking at several gambits in the lichess database to support this theory. In classical+rapid games, White wins 53% of Evans Gambit games vs 43% for Black. In bullet+blitz games, it's ...


17

Good question! The positional priorities in this position do not really lie in whose bishop has more prospects, but rather in the emerging pawn structure, potential pawn breaks, and either side's ability to create targets and holes in opponent's camp. In short, c4 here is an extremely committal move which should only be played if it can be backed by very ...


17

Short answer: Since after the bishop recapture on f8 (and not the rook recapture!) white is tactically and positionally completely busted, with 5 active black pieces against a completely exposed king in the centre and no foreseeable chance of consolidation in order to eventually benefit from the material advantage. First observations: 15...Bxf8 is with ...


17

By playing 11...h6, you created a weakness on g6, and you created a target on h6, now it is easier for white to open up a position around your king by pushing their g-pawn. White also has a potential bishop sacrifice on h6. In general it is best to avoid pawn moves in front of your king, especially when facing a pawn storm.


16

I think of game time decisions as yin-yang of tactics vs strategy (or positional play). In that order, tactics are the move-by-move calculations with the aim of achieving material gains (or preventing material losses if you are defending). Positional considerations are your intellectual efforts that do not involve precise calculations, but rather have the ...


15

The following traps do not lead to any positional loss for the side setting the trap. It's obviously not an exhaustive list- A common trap in the Sicilian [FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c3 Nf6 4. Be2 Nxe4?? 5. Qa4+ Bd7 6. Qxe4 Queen's Gambit Elephant Trap [FEN ""] 1. d4. d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Nxd5?? Nxd5 7. Bxd8 Bb4+ ...


15

Classically positional play is what is described in part 2 of Nimzowitsch's "My System". Part 1, The Elements, is more tactical in nature. It describes play in open files, using the 7th and 8th ranks, passed pawns, pins, discovered checks and a few other features. Part 2, Position Play, deals with stuff like Fighting for the center, which you do by moving ...


15

I disagree that it is primarily about development. This is a very common theme, and it comes down to the fact that e5 is not easily defended by a pawn (aka "artificially isolated"). Bg4 soon will trade one of the pe5's defenders, and it will need constant watching. It is not a big deal that you will be trading the Bc8 on f3 since white already traded on c6 ...


15

tl;dr: "Yes." Discussion: Technically, this position is governed by the basic concept of the "Outside Passed Pawn" and the winning method is to use that pawn to restrict the opposing king's ability to defend the other pawns on the board. The purest expression of that concept is in David's answer, which is to just use the one pawn and leave the other as a ...


13

I recently progressed from 1800 to 2000 in my USCF tournament rating. I don't know how that compares to chess.com ratings. Here are some differences I think I can perceive between my play now and then (I'm not sure what the relative importances are): I memorized a lot of opening lines using spaced repetition (I know, you're not supposed to do this at such a ...


13

Improving positional understanding is a longterm project. You do it by playing, by analysing, by going through well annotated master games and by working through books on the subject. But contrary to tactical exercises these things often don't have an immediate effect. Personally I also misapplied a lot of positional concepts that I had read about. ...


13

I don't know what does "playable" mean for you, but... even though 9... Kh8 isn't a losing move, it's just a waste of time. Even a greater waste of time is the suggested plan with Ng8 and Bh6. Why? Because almost in every position there are more imbalances and you have to choose the most important. Let me explain it: You've already listed two imbalances in ...


13

Yes, white is better in this position, because it controls more space. The black position is somewhat cramped, particularly the queenside pieces (Bd7, Nb8, Ra8) are difficult to develop. The queenside pawns are blocked so the play is going to happen on the kingside. (there might be some tactical ideas for white in the far future related to a piece sacrifice ...


13

e5 does nothing for you and helps your opponent. Why? First, it does nothing for your development. Much better would be d3 which releases the c1 bishop and protects the e pawn. If your opponent plays de then you retake de and he is left with doubled isolated pawns on the c file and an isolated pawn on the a file. If he doesn't then exchange queens he also ...


13

Black gains a tempo. Black has played two bishop moves, but white has played Nc3, a3, and bxc3. Once the smoke clears, black has a lead in development with one minor piece out (vs none) and can immediately castle. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the doubled pawns are a weakness that can be exploited later. If white does not play a3, black has no immediate need ...


12

The concept of a knight which is so powerfully placed (generally on e6/e3) that the game wins itself dates, according to Winter, from: An observation by Zukertort after 26 Ne6 in the simultaneous game Steinitz v Maas, London, 5 November 1873: ‘The appearance of the knight at K6 [e6 for white, e3 for black] is generally, for the opponent, the ...


11

can somebody explain what are the factors should be considered if we have opportunity to castle on both sides? 1. The most important factor is king safety; Long castle is less safe than short one, because king is closer to the center, thus can be attacked faster. You will lose a tempo to properly secure the king with Kb1/Kb8 ( thus protecting the loose a-...


11

My feeling when playing players under 2000 is, that they usually lack a certain sense of urgency. They often play decent chess, when there is something to do, like attacking the king, but they don't understand that if they allow a certain setup, they will always be slightly worse. When they do realise that they shouldn't have allowed a certain move, they ...


11

The general rule of thumb is that: if the queens are off the board then it's generally safe to keep the kings central in order to use them as active pieces (specially in endgames) instead of tucking them away into a safe corner. But that's just a general rule, and like any other rule in chess it is to be taken with caution, because at the end of the day ...


11

Overall, that is totally fine, and it worked great. That said, without a detailed calculation of any promotion and stalemate possibilities on the k-side, the easiest win will be running to b2 and just queening the a-pawn since you may well have to do that anyway. That is best done with the p on g6 still far away, and white cannot ignore it, so he has to go ...


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