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28

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 ...


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 ...


25

Good question, and I think that there are a lot of different common patterns/tactics that improving players would do well to learn: (very roughly ordered from simplest to most difficult) "Simple" tactics and endgames knight forks and bishop forks - get in the habit of just seeing the squares that would be forked instead of needing to spend time looking ...


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 ...


20

Losing a queen early on without any compensation or counterplay means almost certain defeat against anybody except for absolute beginners. There is a certain "point system" which can be used to evaluate a position: Basically you assign points to certain aspects of the position, like material, piece activity, king safety, space advantage, etc. Adding all ...


18

Gaining 400 points in a single year is not a reasonable goal for an adult playing at 1600. To do this, you will need to be +25 against your peers, where a peer is someone with the rating you have at the time the game is played. That being said, if you're going to try it, the first step is to get an instructor. Your instructor will be able to identify the ...


17

In this position, the material imbalance pretty much tells the whole story, as a queen and two pawns against two knights is, barring significant positional compensation, an overwhelming material advantage. And in this case, the non-material positional considerations only serve to emphasize Black's advantage: the white king is exposed, and his pieces are not ...


17

It is lost. You can enter all positions of six pieces into a tablebase, like this online one. It's mate in at most 39 moves, for example: [FEN "4N1K1/5P2/6k1/8/6n1/8/N7/8 w - - 0 1"] 1.f8=N+ Kf5 2.Kg7 Ke4 3.Nb4 Kd4 4.Kf7 Kc5 5.Na6 Kd4 6.Nac7 Ne5 7.Kf6 Nc4 8.Ke6 Na5 9.Nd6 Nc4 10.Nf5 Kd3 11.Nd5 Na5 12.Nf6 Nc4 13.N8d7 Kd2 14.Nd5 Ke2 15.Kf6 Kd2 16.Nc5 Kc2 17....


17

my feeling is that Caruana lost the game, more than Carlsen won it. Whenever two players play a game without making any errors the result is a draw. Most games have lots of errors and it is usually the player who makes the last error who loses. As far as I can tell, Carlsen didn't make any winning!! or distinctly good moves Not true. Carlsen made many ...


16

[FEN "R5k1/5ppp/8/2r5/1b6/8/5PPP/6K1 b - - 0 1"] 1... Rc8 2. Rxc8+ Bf8 This is an example of what Tim Krabbé calls an 'unguarded guard' - a linepiece checks, and a piece interposes on an unguarded square. That page mentions Topalov - Polgar, Novgorod 1996 (see below); while not a true back rank mate, it comes close. Here are some endgame studies with other ...


15

1...R8xe3 wins a piece (the knight on e3), because either recapture leads to worse things for White, since the d2 bishop is pinned to the white queen, and the f-pawn recapture opens the possibility of mate on g2: [fen "4rbk1/pp3pp1/1nq4p/8/1PP5/P3N1P1/Q2BrP1P/3R1RK1 b - - 0 1"] 1...R8xe3 2.Bxe3 (2.fxe3 Qg2#) Rxa2


15

I think you best shot is to play 200 rated games of G/60 or longer this year and seriously analyzed each game (like imagine if you analyzed each game for 1 hour plus, tried to find similar high level games, tried to find as many different plans in the position, etc) in addition to doing regular tactical exercises on chess.com trainer or some other good site (...


15

Oh sure, here are two examples (annotated): This is a neat puzzle from the chess.com tactics, with white to play! [title "White to play!"] [fen "1q6/2b2ppb/4p1k1/7p/2Np1p1P/3P1Q2/6PK/8 w - - 0 1"] 1.Ne5+ Bxe5 {black has to take else white either checkmates or wins the queen.} 2.Qg3+ fxg3+ {Pawn takes queen is forced else white checkmates} 3.Kh3 {and ...


14

I don't think one style has an advantage, or at the GM level, there would only be one style; the other would be extinct. The very definition of a tactical player is Mikhail Tal AKA 'The Wizard of Riga.' Others include Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov. Anatoly Karpov and Tigran Petrosian are great examples of positional players. Fischer himself said that ...


13

All of the suggested can improve your tactics skills. Anything that makes you think hard about chess positions (particularly sharp and complex ones) will. I would add "perfecting the way you calculate variations", i.e. making sure that your calculation is as effective as possible. This was well described in some book, I think it was "Think like a grandmaster"...


13

Solving alot of tactic puzzles is a fantastic way to improve for a beginner. One of the reasons for my improvement was the constant solving of tactics on chess.com's tactics trainer feature, which basically made me shed my beginner skins, since tactics almost always play a decisive role in the games of beginners. However, you must also play many normal ...


13

You say: "Do the same puzzles over and over? I'm worried that once I've memorised a puzzle, then I'm not doing so much calculation as memory retrieval." Memory retrieval is exactly what you should be doing! The brain improves recall not by repeated input, but by repeated output. This is why reviewing notes is a terrible way to study for a test, and why ...


13

When you move one rook to the center, the other rook, obviously, cannot cross it. If you play Rfd1, you cannot then play Rae1. And if you play Rad1, you cannot then play Rfc1. So, part of this decision is planning ahead and thinking about which other file you are likely to want a rook on. Relatedly, if you play a move like Rae1, you are trapping your f-rook,...


12

Excellent question and you made a good assumption. I feel like I can execute tactics now without thinking, but I am not really sure what I just did. Maybe I am missing a positional understanding? That's exactly what you are missing, because tactics are the consequence of good positional understanding (this is a startling claim, feel free to disagree!...


12

This whole sequence is bad for white. The minor pieces are stronger at such an early stage of the game. White has virtually no development, while black now has more development and tempo. Almost any player should value 2 pieces over 1 rook. Just continue developing instead of the overly optimistic Ng5. This may be acceptable in the dilworth attack or ...


12

As T.S. Eliot said, "There is no method but to be very intelligent." If the opponent is smart enough to avoid the known short mates and understands basic opening strategy, you'll just have to outplay them. That said, in my experience, new players often miss forks, discovered attacks, and moves that theoretically place a piece under attack, but where the ...


12

The problem is that 5. Qxh5 isn't check, so Black has time for some back rank tricks (instead of capturing the rook on f6): [FEN "r1r4k/1p5R/3b4/4q3/B3P1Q1/1n1P3P/6P1/5R1K b - - 0 1"] 1... Kxh7 2. Rf7+ Kh6 3. Qh4+ Qh5 4. Rf6+ (4. Rh7+ Kxh7 5. Qxh5+) Kg7 5. Qxh5 Rc1+ 6. Qd1 Rxd1+ 7. Rf1 Rxf1#


12

Your description of the computer's suggestions doesn't quite match the position, but if you mean the computer suggests Nxe5, that is correct, as Bxd1 leads to a variation of Legal's Mate. Nxe5 Bxd1 Bxf7+ Ke7 Nd5# If, instead, Nxe5 dxe5 Qxg4 and white has won a pawn, and has a big lead in development.


12

Game 1 of the tiebreak: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1937923 37 Rc7 is a brilliant endgame move under time control, that induces the opponent to make the mistake 37...Kxe4. There were few other options for Carlsen, v.i.z., 37. Kh3 or 37. Rb4. You can see the evaluation jumps couple of points from +0.3 to +2.1 even though materially Caruana ...


11

One approach might be to go through all the moves of a high level game, and if the engine evaluation changes significantly, then save the position for human review. In this case, "significantly" is probably half a pawn or more, although you could also require it to be one full pawn for easier tactics. The rationale behind only looking at high level ...


11

Chesstempo.com is the one I use. It's pretty excellent. I'd like to hear if there's a better one, though.


11

All the things you say are true! But fianchettoed bishops have some advantages as well. Here are a few: They control multiple central squares at once. A fianchettoed bishop attacks half of the center four squares (e.g., a bishop on g2 attacks e4 and d5). Bishops not on the long diagonals can't do this. They also can attack multiple squares around the ...


11

1... gxh6 2. Nxf6+ Kh8 3. Rg8# [FEN "4rb2/pbqr2pk/1p3p1p/4p3/2P3NP/1P4R1/P5P1/2Q2B1K w - - 0 1"] 1. Qxh6+ gxh6 2. Nxf6+ Kh8 3. Rg8#


10

Douglas Crockford has written an accurate overview of Chinese Chess (or Xiangqi) from the perspective of a chess player. I quote the following: The Board Xiangqi can be played on a 9 by 10 uncheckered board. The board is separated into two territories by a river running horizontally through the center of the board. Bishops are unable to cross the ...


10

White is doomed. Black's material advantage is overwhelming. Black wins by trading the pieces away. White's chances go away too. It will come down to Black's Q overpowering the White R, or the Black pawns running downfield to score a touchdown. If it's Black's move: [title "Black to move"] [fen "2k5/1pp2p2/p5p1/3b4/2NBq2P/1PK1N1r1/P7/3R4 b - - 0 1"] 1... ...


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