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dai_feind_katana 20 ( +1 | -1 )
I keep geting caught in bad positions! It is starting to bother me. Mabey I am to tired, or mabey even blind for seing them-Until it's to late! Could someone play me, or view my games to see where my problem is coming from?
error 24 ( +1 | -1 )
im not an expert, but in some of your games, you played Nf6 to 1. e4. I personally dont think thats a very good move, considering it doesnt really help the postion much, and e5 will force you to be on the move, while they open up more.
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halfpast_yellow 40 ( +1 | -1 )
1...Nf6 I get fine results with 1...Nf6 to 1.e4, yet I haven't looked at your games but perhaps trying a simpler way of approaching the start of the game would help, try to get a pawn in the centre, develop each piece to a useful square, don't move a piece more than once at the start and castle quickly. Don't do a quick attack or threat on a piece, try to be 'solid' and build up to an attack all your pieces can get involved in.
jeffz_2002 340 ( +1 | -1 )
Me too, but maybe some ideas ... Firstly, 1. e4 Nf6 is not a bad move, in fact it's the first move of Alekhine's defense, which is one of the most modern types of openings. The first few moves go: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. c4 Nb6 4. d4 ... you might think that Black has played terribly (3 N moves! and White's pawns have claimed a lot of space!), but that's the nature of the defense. To quote verbatim from my little opening book (Znosko-Borovsky's "How to play the chess openings"):

"But ... because these pawns are too far advanced and cannot be defended by other pawns, they demand constant protection and prove, in the long run, to be very weak. White's advance is gradually neutralised by repeated attacks on these pawns. ... we see the triumph of principle of the general plan, in which it is not a particular move that counts, but the whole series of moves forming a complete strategical plan. The Knight moves to b6 not to occupy that square but to weaken White's pawns and afterwards attack them, e.g., 4. .... d6 5. f4 dxe5 6. fxe5 Nc6. It is now Black who is developing his pieces with direct threats and without loss of time in doing so." ... etc.

So, you can play 1. ...Nf6, but it's not as straightforward as some of the more traditional (read: 1. ... e5 or 1. ...e6 ) defenses, and you might be getting lost in the ideas. Personally, I don't feel comfortable playing this defense, at least, not yet.

So why do you get caught in bad positions? There are several possible reasons, of which I'm guilty too:

1. You don't pay attention to what your opponent is doing. After each move, ask yourself, "Why did he/she play that? What does it mean? Where can it lead?"

2. You didn't look over the entire board before committing to a move, and basically shafted yourself... I posted another thread, "important advice for lower rated players" (I think that's what it's called), that goes over what I felt was great advice, certainly the best I ever received.

3. You didn't have an overall plan for your game. To paraphrase Harry Golombeck from "the game of chess", chess is a logical game in which drifting from move to move is a sure recipe for disaster. Every move you make needs to have a point - is it to gain space? To attack a weak point? To set up a tactical threat? To deliver check? The simple "one-move-attack" is no good, since the other player will always see it (it's best to assume he/she will, anyway) and avoid it, and then your piece is usually left off in space. To see examples of overall plans, get some annotated games (Chernev's "Logical Chess Move by Move" is hyper-annotated!).

4. You overlooked a simple tactical idea (e.g., fork, pin, skewer, check) and your opponent didn't! The best thing to do, especially at the beginner level (ours), is to study tactics. Most beginner games aren't decided by subtle positional points, but by tactics and outright blunders (e.g., sticking your Queen on e4, after which the other guy takes it with his Knight, and you kick yourself). In fact, I'd almost go so far as to say that 90% of beginner games are decided by tactics and blunders, with the other 10% being decided by blunders and tactics.

(out of ideas for now, will try to come back)

Can you post a link to some of your games and mention where the bad position occurred? That way, some of us may have something more concrete and directly applicable to tell you.

And finally, it's better to get caught in a bad position in a chess game than it is to get caught in a bad position with your girlfriend by her father ...

buddy2 67 ( +1 | -1 )
impatience All the above advice is good. You're young and it's easy to forget a minor detail that your opponent catches, then it's downhill. Take your time. Get a practice board and move the pieces around. It's allowed in correspondence. Read a lot of good books with practical examples. Don't lose patience. You're an intelligent young man, as your background attests. Take every loss as a lesson. All the best players on Gameknot have lost thousands of games before they got good. In my opinion, there's no shortcut. If you stick to it, you'll make steady progress and pretty soon you'll be laughing at the predicaments your opponents get into. Good Luck!
bogg 14 ( +1 | -1 )
dai_feind_katana If you play the Alekhine's Defense you can not go far wrong by examining the games of fmgaijin. He has been playing it at a high level of competition for many years.
dai_feind_katana 23 ( +1 | -1 )
Thank you all. Thanks for your advice, and spirited responces. I will take all of this into consideration. You are right. I am young and have much to learn. And that is what I shall do. Thanks again. Best reguards, Katana.
caldazar 522 ( +1 | -1 )
After looking over some of your recent losses, I have a few comments:

1. You often overlook threats and attacks against your pawn and pieces. After deciding upon a move, get in the habit of asking "After I make my move, can my opponent then take any of my pieces or pawns for free?" Also, it doesn't hurt to ask "After I make my move, can my opponent give check? If he can give check on the next move and did so, would I care?" You need to do this on every move to make sure you're not giving away material for free, at least until such double-checking becomes second nature to you.

2. On a related note, before deciding upon a move, you need to ask yourself "Why did my opponent make the move he did? What threat does his move contain?" After you've identified the threat, you can then think of how to deal with it, usually in one of three ways: 1. Ignore it and continue with an idea of your own since his threat is meaningless. 2. Directly defend against the threat. 3. Execute a larger threat (i.e. counterattack) so that he must defend against your threat and consequently will have no time to carry out his threat. If you don't understand what your opponent is trying to do, you're playing hope chess ("Well, I'll try this idea and hope nothing bad happens.")

3. You need to understand pawns and pawn structure better. The weakness of the pawn is also its greatest strength. In general, no enemy piece wants to move to a square attacked by a pawn because it will get captured, and pieces are generally more valuable than pawns (here, a 'piece' is a queen, rook, knight, or bishop; basically anything except a pawn). Use this to your advantage by placing pawns in places where they attack squares that enemy pieces would like to take up position. Also, pawns can never move backwards so advancing pawns forward is both useful and potentially dangerous. By advancing pawns, you may be attacking pieces that will be forced to move or gaining control of squares deep in your opponent's territory. However, because pawns are so weak (they only attack two squares at a time whereas other pieces can attack many more squares at once), then are easily attacked and need to be defended by other pawns and pieces. Far-advanced pawns are more difficult to defend in general since they will be located farther away from your main army. Also, when advancing pawns, be careful about leaving holes in your position; i.e. squares that can no longer be controlled by any pawn. For instance, if you advance your d-pawn, you want carefully consider whether it will be worthwhile to advance your b-pawn too because if you do, you leave a hole at c3 (pawns can't move backwards to come back and defend the square later). The reason you don’t want to leave holes in your position is that now if an enemy piece lands in the hole, you'll have to use one of your pieces to try to attack the enemy piece that's sitting in the hole if you want to dislodge it. Some holes are okay; if no enemy piece can use the hole effectively, then the hole is not really a weakness. If you already have a lot of piece controlling the hole, again the hole may not be an issue because it'll be a long time before your opponent can make use of the hole. But you need to carefully weigh the consequences of pushing your pawns to make sure the benefit you obtain from the push outweighs the drawbacks.

4. On the subject of pawns, take note that they are the least mobile of all your forces. They can only move one square forward (except on the first move of the pawn), capture on one of two diagonal squares, and can be blocked from advancing if your opponent positions a pawn or piece directly in front of your pawn. This means that it's far easier to set up your position so that you have a nice pawn configuration and then arrange your more mobile pieces around this pawns rather than try to get pawns out of the way later if they’re blocking your pieces from performing useful functions. With this in mind, when positioning your pawns, try to consider how a particular pawn positioning might interfere with one of your pieces. If you find that moving a certain pawn to a certain square makes utilizing one of your pieces more difficult, you have to examine whether what you gain by the pawn push is worth the inconvenience.

5. Attack with all your pieces. If you attack an enemy position that's defended by three pieces when you only have two attacking pieces, your chances of success will likely be low. But if you attack the same position with every piece you've got, well, then your opponent's in for a major defensive burden. You have 8 pawns and 8 pieces at your disposal; you need to use most, if not all, of them effectively if you want any aggressive action to succeed (well, using a king effectively usually means keeping it safe until the endgame).