My Latest Game Analysis of one of my chess students
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Game # 1: ChessOptimist - pranchero
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Game # 1: ChessOptimist - pranchero
1. d4 d5
2. Nf3 Nc6
( Although this move in the opening is acceptable, it is not adviceable. One basic principle in the opening is to "control as many squares in the center as possible". The center squares mentioned her are c4, d4, e4, f4, c5, d5, e5 and f5. Having said that, the usual move before playing Nc6 later is to play ...c5 first for some important reasons, one of them is to fight for control in e5 and c5 squres which white's d4-pawn is in control of, and second, playing c5 gives black's queen more moving space by opening the d8-a5 diagonal. Now this queen has the option to go to Qc7, Qb6 or Qa5. For example, 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 c5 4. e3 Nc6. Now look at the position now. Black's queen has a lot of free movement on the diagonals d8-a5, black's c5-pawn putting some pressure on white's d4-pawn, and lastly the posibility of opening up the c-file to put pressure on white's c-pawn later on and the posibility of taking control of that open file. )
( In accordance with the principle of "control as many center squares as possible", this bishop taking more control of the e5 square as well as the diagonals h2-b8 with some pressure on black's c7-pawn. )
4. e3 e6
( White wanted to later on place his knight solidly on Nc3 so that he could have some control of the e4-square which black's knight at f6 could post effectively on. Playing a3
prevents black from later on attack the planned Knight going to Nc3, and therefore maintains
control of the e4 square. For example, 5. c4 Bd7 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. a3 Bc3 8. bc3 Ne4 and we can see now how black's knight dominates the e4 square, and he could follow this up by playing f5 ).
6. c4 0-0
( See how greater movement white's queen has when he first played c4 before playing Nc3 with lots of options on the d1-a4 diagonal ).
8. Bc4 Bf5
( Usually having doubled pawns on the same file is a kind of pawn weakness, just like what white now has with his pawns on f2 and f4, but this is compensated with white having great control of the e5-square. So in this case, the usual and most preferred option for black is to plan to play ...e5 so that he could free his bishop on c8 as well as have some opening on the e5-file. For example, 8....Qe7 9. 0-0 e5 10. de5 Ne5 11. Ne5 Be5 and notice how black's position is much freer with this option than with the exchange of bishops with 8...Bf5. )
10. Qd2 Qe7
11. 0-0 Qd6
12. Rad1 Ne7
13. Rfe1 Bc6
( With the help of white's pawn at c4 and f4, this knight has posted strongly and securely at e5 and it could give an overall pressure on black's position. This could have been prevented by black if he planned to play e5 in move # 9. )
15. Ba2 Bd5
16. Nd5 ed5
( A "preventive move", preventing one of black's pieces particularly the knight at f6 to post this piece strongly at e4. Preventive moves are necessary and very helpful in keeping ones position safe from any tactical dangers from the opponent's pieces.. )
( A better plan for black here is to try to look for files to open to give more space and movements for his pieces, and one way here is by playing 17....c5 18. dc5 Qc5 19. Kh1 Rac8 with some play now on the c-file. One important middle game principle is to "find open files for your rooks and open diagonals for your bishops to give them play on those newly opened files or diagonals". That is one way of giving your pieces more "breathing space" where they could try to work something out ).
18. g3 Nd7
( "Rooks doubled on the same file gains more strength, so playing Re2 with the posibility of playing Rde1 is a good idea for white to have greater control of the open e-file. Another middle game principle is "fight for open files" and black did that when he placed his rook on e8, facing white's rook on that same file. )
( White could also play Rde1 and gain greater control of the e5-square with his doubled rooks. The idea Rc1 is to try to give black a weak doubled pawn structure on the c-file by exchange his knight on c6, if allowed by black. For example: 20....f6 21. Nc6 bc6 and we could see now that black's pawn structure on his c-file is very weak. One concept on how to gain advantage over the opponent is to "find ways of creating weak pawn structures on your opponent's side" and these weak pawn structures could be doubled pawns on the same file, isolated pawns and backward pawns that are hard to defend. )
( Ne5 is wrong because white is able to win black's pawn at d5. It is important to remember that "winning even a single pawn could create such huge advantage, usually giving one an advantageous endgame with that extra pawn or giving one's pieces more squares to post on due to the lack of pawns on the opposite side. Remember that Chess champions with the likes of Anatoly Karpov wins a lot of games simply by winning a single pawn, so the trick to remember here is to "find ways of winning even a single pawn or more and avoid losing them to reach an advantageous endgame". So a better option for black here would be to play 20...Ne7 planning to follow it up with 21...c6, so that white's rook on c1 won't have much to do on that file. )
( This is the right way to win a pawn, opening up the d-file and targets and nips black's d-pawn )
22. Qd5 Qd5
( Slightly better for black is to try to avoid exchanges after losing the pawn by playing 22...Qe7 instead. The reason here is that after the exchange of queens, white's pawn advantage has become stronger going into the endgame, but if there are still queens present on the board, black can still complicate the game and try to find some tactics using his queen. Without his queen, black will have less forces to complicate things to try to compensate for his lost pawn. This principle also holds true when one loses a piece. After losing a piece, "avoid making exchanges and try to use all your pieces to complicate things and find ways to compensate for the lost piece". On the opposite side, if one wins a piece one good principle to follow is "exchange as many pieces as possible to end up with a winning endgame after winning a piece or even a single pawn or two. ).
23. Bd5 Nd4
24. Rd2 Nf5
( Opening up the d-file for his rook on e2 with a tempo, attacking white's knight . Immediaty playing 24. Rc7 could give white some problems after black pressures the bishop with 24...Rad8! as white's rook on d2 has no defense. ).
( In the endgame, one of the most popular winning strategy is to "try to win as many pawns as possible to reach and advantageous endgame" So the opposite principle here is to "try to avoid losing pawns to prevent having a lost endgame.)
( It is know that "rooks on the 7th file does a lot of damage on the opponent's position" and if this rook is doubled with another rook, this gives even more damage just like what white's rooks on c7 and d7 are doing, with pressures on black's pawns on the 7th rank, especially the more important pawns on f7, g7 and h7 where black's king is located. )
( Black could try 27.;..Rf8 but to no avail, because white can now play 28. Rb7 and then 29. Bd5 with lots of pressure on black's f-pawn. )
28. Rf7 Rc8
29. Rg7 Kh8
30. Rh7 Kg8
31. Rb7 Nc4
32. Bd5 Kf8
33. Rbf7 Kg8
34. Rfg7 Kf8
SUMMARY OF LESSONS LEARNED:
1. There is an opening principle to "try to control as many center squares as possible" and one of the best ways to do this is to place pawns in the center. Black went against that principle when he played 2....Nc6 instead of playing c5 before playing Nc6. That is also the reason why white has gained a lot of control in the center when black exchanged bishops with 8...Bf4 9. ef4, and white's pawns on c4 and f4 created a strong grip on the e5-square.
So if you are either white or black, in a general sense it would be better to play c4 before playing Nc3 for white, and for black, c5 before playing Nc6. Playing c4 for white or c5 for black also gives more space for the queens in the diagonals d1-a4 for white and d8-a5 for black.
2. Try to find ways to post your knights strongly into the opponent's position because it could creat a lot of stress on the opponent's overall position. That is what white has done when he strongly posted his knight with 14. Ne5 supported by his pawns at c4 and f4.
3. Preventive moves are necessary to keep your opponent's pieces from going to strong posts. Some of the moves in this game that shows that are 5. a3, preventing black from playing Bb4 and therefore white's Knight on c3 gains greater control of the important e4 square. Another would be 17. f3, preventing black's knight on occupying the e4-square.
4. Middle game principle:"find active play for all your pieces" and some ways to achieve this is by opening up files for your rooks and opening up diagonals for your bishops. So instead of playing 17...Nc6, black could find more active play for his rooks on the c-file by playing 17...c5 instead.
5. Doubled rooks on an open file is idea and is the best way to control that open file. Also, fight for open files so that you may find a way to dominate that file or prevent the opponent from dominating that file. White's idea of playing 19. Re2 is to possibly play Rde1 next, so white could gain greater control of the open e-file. Anyway, black played correctly when he played 19...Rfe8 as this rook faced white's rook on the open e-file and is another example of fighting for open files.
6. One middlegame and endgame strategy is to "try to win as many pawns as possible to end up with an advantageous endgame". White has successfully done that when he baited black to exchange knights on e5 after 20...;Ne5 21. de5, enabling white to win black's d-pawn. The opposite principle here is to "try to prevent the opponent from winning pawns to keep them from gaining an advantageous endgame". Also remember that chess champions with the likes of Karpov thrives on the strategy of winning a single pawn and turning that pawn advantage into a winning endgame.
7. The moment you lose a piece or even a single pawn, it would be better to "prevent exchanging pieces and try to use your pieces to complicate the position to compensate for the lost pieces/pawns. After losing a pawn after 22. Qd5, black could have more fighting chances by avoiding the queen exchange by playing 22...Qe7 instead. After 22...Qd5 23. Bd5, we could see that it became easier for white to turn his one pawn advantage into a win, but with queens still on the board black would have the posibility of using his queen to create complications like attacks and tactics with his queen.
8. Place your rooks on the 7th rank at every opportunity, because "rooks on the 7th file are very powerful, attacking the opponent's base pawns.