50

Initial Analysis White is clearly in a dire situation, since Black is threatening mate in one on either h7 or h8 if White doesn't do anything. But the White king can't move move nor can White get rid of any of the pawns that surround the king. White's rook, the only White piece, is too far away to do anything. The move 1. Ra8? to try and stop 1... Qh8# fails ...


38

Very simple. Join a chess club and play people face-to-face. You'll improve rapidly after that.


37

It was one game in online rapid. You cannot deduce from one game that 1.Nh3 is sound or not sound. Carlsen was actually MUCH worse out of the opening, and just outplayed Dreev later. It really means nothing other than Carlsen is currently much stronger. Most likely 1.Nh3 is not good, and this is unusual for a first move: Stockfish already evals this as -.62 ...


36

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 ...


36

This is very hard to answer since the question is very broad, but in the opening, always ask yourself "what piece haven't I moved out yet?" If you move pieces twice or three times in the opening, and I am developing each one after only one move, soon you will be fighting with only two or three pieces against me with 5 or 6. You will not win that way. Other ...


34

"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 ...


32

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 ...


31

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 ...


30

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 ...


29

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 ...


26

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 ...


26

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

Good question. I let Stockfish 11 think on the position, and even by around depth 25-26 it didn't suggest Bf6. But like in your case, after making the move on the board, Stockfish suddenly realizes it is the best move. Although what's also odd is that after Bf6 gxf6 Qxf6, it takes Stockfish longer than at least depth 27 to realize it's a mate in 9 moves/18 ...


25

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. ...


24

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 ...


23

It's not a ridiculous question. Before discussing your precise example, let's cover some basic grounds: Purely from an optimal play perspective: having more space translates into having more activity and thus more options for your pieces, and that's really the key point here. The more space your pawn structure provides, the more maneuvering possibilities ...


23

I play for two purposes: to win the game, or when winning is unlikely, to draw the game. to improve my chess skills, which eventually enables me to win/draw more games. These are good goals, although you might want to add "to have fun" because if you don't have fun you are quickly going to lose motivation. I do not care about my opponents' ...


22

It would certainly allow for more attacks due to kings being stuck in the center, but fundamentally changing the game, which in a way dumbs it down, is not good. It would be less complex. I also do not want to think that I spent 40 years of my life studying something only to have it changed. I do not want the rug pulled out from under me like that.


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

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 ...


21

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


21

It really depends on what you mean by "lengthen". I am not a GM, but as an "ordinary" Master, I have played 1700s before, who were lost by move 10, but the game still took 50 moves to finish. If you are trying to stay equal longer, that is a harder question to address. If you are just taking about purely lengthening the game, then you are looking to trade ...


21

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. ...


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) ...


20

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 ...


19

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 tell ...


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, ...


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