Originally posted by Kevin Mcfarland
I am really finding myself stuck at my current level. Any tips?? Anyone want to look throught my games? Anyone want to give me some lessons? Anyone want a chess study partner? Just looking to really move my game foward. Thanks Kevin
Take a look at the games you recently lost and those you recently won. Consider the behaviors that (most typically) resulted in wins or losses.
Games you lost involved:
(1) Miscalculation (material losing blunders). Solution: spend more time/care on calculation.
(2) Lack of development of pieces in the opening. Solution: get your pieces out unless there is good reason (in the context of opening theory) not to.
(3) King stuck in the middle and unable to castle due to lack of development. Solution: pay more attention to king safety. Related problem: weakening pawn moves in front of your uncastled king.
(4) Ceding the center to your opponent early on. Solution: fight to control the center. Develop your pieces and pawns around this goal unless there is good reason to do otherwise.
The game you won against hubris started out in similar vein. With the move 4.g3? you seriously weakened your kingside -- you had already moved your f-pawn for the gambit, which was ok, but 4.g3 on top of that in this situation was not. Fortunately for you your opponent did not take the g-pawn and then proceed to open up the center and attack your vulnerable king, taking the initiative while developing, as happened in this game (though note that Black mismanaged his attack here as well):
Instead of 4.g3? you could have played 4.Bc4, which would have accomplished three things: (1) developing your kingside to prepare castling; (2) controlling the center (the bishop attacks d5); (3) attacking a key square, f7. Note that your opponent could still have played 4...Bh4+ forcing you to move your uncastled king to f1. For those who know the King's Gambit opening this is apparently a strong opening sequence for White. Do you know this opening? Are you comfortable with the intricacies of a highly tactical opening like this? If not, don't move your f-pawn before castling.
At any rate, because of or despite your opponent's play, you managed to: (a) gain a space advantage in the center; (b) develop your pieces (c) get your king to safety. This done, you then increased your central space advantage, restricting your opponent's pieces and driving them to poor squares (such at any rate, is my unanalyzed impression at a glance). This in turn led to tactical opportunities for you.
Concentrate on these four things and I'll bet your performance improves.