35

Very simple. Join a chess club and play people face-to-face.


33

"Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do. Strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do." -- Savielly Tartakower What follow are the most salient features of the position that jump out at me, and these are the sorts of things one needs to look for when there seems to be nothing to do: You have no structural weaknesses ...


31

Castling is extremely useful in almost all games. It lets you do two things at once. First, it moves your king from the center to the side of the board, where it is much more difficult to attack for the opponent. Second, it brings one of your rooks towards the center of the board, and it crucial in bringing both of your rook into the game. There may be a ...


29

In principle, the middlegame is indeed just raw calculation. In principle, the entire game of chess boils down to only that. But since the space of possible move sequences is so vast, chess is of course too complex from the standpoint of pure calculation for that to be all that we do when we play. And after all, even our computational superiors (chess ...


28

You unblocking your opponent's passed d-pawn with 2. Rxc4 is what went wrong from a pragmatic perspective. You are up a piece. The only way black wins this position is by promoting pawns so that you're not up a piece anymore (e.g. pushing that 2-to-1 queenside pawn majority). This can be easily stopped with the following approach: Keep your rook where ...


27

Carlsen crushed it, made almost no mistakes whatsoever in rapid. It is as if he was playing at classical time controls. Chess is about not making mistakes. If your opponent doesn't make mistakes then you're only going to get a draw even if you play like an engine. He did play good moves as well. Example on move 37 the position is a draw but he gave himself ...


27

As you mentioned, playing the man can mean several different things, but before I answer I want to say that no one can become a better player by only playing the man - objectivity is the number 1 priority. Many top-level GMs do play the man and the most notable example I can give is the Kasparov-Kramnik match in 2000. Kramnik knew that Kasparov disliked ...


26

Because of the observation you make, that the tree of possible game paths for chess is finite, chess is indeed solvable in exactly the same sense that tic-tac-toe is. So optimal strategies for chess do exist; however, no one has any idea what they are. Whereas tic-tac-toe is solved thanks to a quite small space of possible games, chess is nowhere near solved ...


23

Is it a good strategy to always play like a grandmaster? Obviously yes, but unfortunately 99% of chess players are unable to do this even if they wanted to. ;) Is it a good strategy to knowingly play moves that you know (or strongly suspect) to be mistakes? No. "Mistake" in the sense that there is an answer that screws you if your opponent finds it. ...


22

The first thing to learn once you know how the pieces move is basic tactics and general strategy. Tactics: In certain positions it is possible to gain an advantage doing a certain move or sequence of moves. This is referred to as tactical motif/pattern and for a list of all kinds of motifs take a look here. You don't need to start learning all of them at ...


22

Is my dark squared bishop that important in this position or what's the idea behind this? Yes, your dark squared bishop is very important in this position. Your opponent doesn't have one, so yours is unopposed. Furthermore you have the minor advantages of the two bishops. Doubling your opponent's pawns isn't as big a plus as you imagine in this position. ...


21

I think you partially answered your question. The main fact that you can "...execute tactics now without thinking..." is definitely a good start. Also that fact that you said, it "feels right" is also a good start although you don't really want to play a tactic just because it "feels right". Information on tactics can be found from Louis Holtzhausen site ...


21

It's all Sun Tzu; If the player is a tactician, play positional. If the player is positional, play tactical. If the guy is booked up in a line -- don't play into it unless you have a surprise... It is not about off the board antics. Is the guy out of form or a little sick? Then make the game long and complicated... Then as SubhanKhan mentioned: at the ...


20

First of all, the isolated pawn is a dynamic strength, and a static weakness. But what does this mean? This means that he represents a pawn weakness, but compensates this weakness in some other way. In short, Black should strive towards endgame, while White must obtain some sort of pressure/attack in order to compensate for his weak d-pawn. Why is this ...


20

The thing is, in this example you opponent didn't play all that badly. h6 and g5 looks too risky to me, but blunting your bishop (with d6) and gaining space on the queenside makes some sense. Right now b5 is a threat and you might want to prevent it by playing a4. This would be the positional treatment of the position. There are two problems with pushing ...


20

It'll depend on the rest of the position. If it's relatively open, chances are you can keep the opponent's king in the center and launch an attack. This might well be a decisive advantage; preventing castling on both sides can be much harder than just one side or none at all. It's worth noting that 'artificial' castling (e.g. Ke8-f7, Rh8-e8 and Kf7-g8) ...


19

One basic endgame rule of thumb that could help here, is that 2 connected passed pawns on the 6th rank are worth about as much as a rook, and 2 connected passed pawns on the 7th rank beat a rook. By playing 3. a4, you allowed the black b pawn to pass, and connect with the already passed black c pawn. This is disastrous - you've basically given your opponent ...


18

This is a variation that was played fairly frequently, but it has been more or less worked out to a draw, so it is less common at the top levels now. The Ruy Lopez is a very concrete opening, and the capture on c6 has to be carefully considered as it relates to the exact position. In terms of opening principles, you're giving up a bishop for a knight ...


18

First, a side note: I play the black side of the French Defense almost religiously, and my results against the Exchange variation have traditionally been very good. It's not a variation that's feared by most French Defense practitioners. Neither, for that matter, is the Advance variation, which gives black a very clear plan of strategic counterattack based ...


18

If we remove the component of flawed, human players from the equation and consider just the game of chess itself as it is spelled out by the rules, then chess is purely a game of skill with no room for chance. That is, it is in principle possible for there to be a perfect chess player that plays optimally against every possible move sequence by an opponent, ...


18

When chess players play very fast, they think in much the same way that you think when you talk really fast. You don't think about nouns and verbs and grammar and dictionary definitions of words, although language is incredibly complicated; you have that all internalized. Good chess players have internalized the standard patterns of chess the way that you ...


18

This position is a draw with White to move. However, the same position would lead you to win if it was black to move (Zugzwang). The basic theory for you to promote the pawn when the opponent king is having the opposition is you need to have your king in front of your pawn 2 ranks ahead of the pawn, (i.e. if pawn's on e3 King needs to be on e5) (opposition ...


18

I recognize that attitude. Remember, first, that chess is hard. That's why it took so long to get computers to be able to play it well. The rules are simple enough but understanding how those rules fit together to build strategy when the opponent is also building their own strategy, is very difficult. It's not even quite like backgammon, where I like to ...


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