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2

My Stockfish on a fairly strong computer found your exact line as best also, but I am going to continue it out a little. You wrote: "I am unable to see why the pawn sacrifice is justified for a small lead in development", but the reality is that you have a HUGE lead in development since the immediate threat is Nd3 ed Qa3 and Bxa1, and other moves allow ...


1

Word of advice regarding the screenshot of lichess you had posted in the OP: Whenever you're checking with an engine, try to limit the number of best variations to 1-2 lines, as the more variations you choose the more distributed the allocated resources of the engine become and the less accurate the displayed evaluation. Black here is clearly better thanks ...


6

tl;dr: Wrong move order by black in the opening: the c4 advance must be prefaced with Nd7 in the played Zaitsev variation. That said, and although your hunch about the early c4 is correct, I'm afraid there's no simple answer that immediately explains why the immediate c4 is bad and why Nd7 is so crucial, since the Ruy Lopez and the Zaitsev are highly ...


3

We can only imagine that he somehow had a human moment, and messed up. The normal move instead of 16...c4 is 16...Nd7 17.Ra3 and only then 17...c4. The way it was played, it was almost the forced loss of a pawn. He had the option of Qb6, but it left him with a miserable position anyway. [FEN "r2qrbk1/1b3pp1/p2p1n1p/1ppP4/Pn2P3/5N1P/1P1N1PP1/RBBQR1K1 b - -...


11

Phonon's answer is great, and I might not otherwise try to add anything, but I thought that adding Anand's own words might be worthy. In particular, of note, is that his "bad" Be7 holds his position together while his rooks go to work. This is not uncommon in Sicilian lines with d6 and e5 (and f6), and worth remembering if you play similar lines. So, here ...


31

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 ...


3

Positional thinking is more abstract than tactics. If there could be an algorithm for positional thinking then positional thinking would be like tactical thinking and not something else. However, there are thinking steps like noticing weak squares. I suggest starting with a pawn structure book. Soltis' "Pawn Structure Chess" is a classic and the book ...


2

My two cents on this is to study lots of classic games - chess.com articles by GSerper and especially Bryan Smith are an excellent place to start. The book Chess Training for Post Beginners is also excellent (the title is misleading - I learnt a tonne when I was 2100) - gives you a review of all the main positional elements (bishop pair, good knight vs bad ...


2

Ignoring your example game here are a few things I think about. ..g6 weakens the dark squares around the castled king. Have a plan for protecting those squares. for example, do you have a dark squared bishop that can get to g7? Look out for direct attack on f7. for example, White queen on b3, bishop on c4 and rook on an open f-file. Can you prevent ...


5

First, there is no hard-and-fast rule, but if I were to generalize, probably Pg6 in more cases as it blunts the incredibly dangerous Bd3. Playing h6 in some positions invites Bxh6 in many cases. In the game you reference, Shirov played h6, but he also knows that Bh6 gh; Qh6 ideas will immediately be met by Bf8-g7, which is a common saving idea. In other ...


0

The three elements of chess were initially cosidered to be space (position), time (development) and force (material. Of these, material is generally considered to be the most important. But if you are about to be checkmated, it doesn't matter how many pieces you may be ahead by. Thus, a positonal or space advantage can be considered as having control of an ...


1

It is slow. At a time you should be developing and getting the rest of your pieces out, you play c4, meaning that eventually to get your standard play with b5-b4, you will need to finish your development, then move your queen again, and only then get in b5-b4. That gives time for white to do a lot of different things, depending on how you develop. You will ...


1

Positional play means to play for small advantages in the position rather than for material or a direct attack on the king. There are a lot of books that go in-depth on the subject. I'll try to keep it simple though. A lot of positional play revolves around improving the mobility of one's own pieces while restricting the mobility of the opponent's. By ...


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