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  1. 29 Oct '07 03:39
    Ok, so I'm having trouble with knights coming in and forking pieces early/mid-way through the game. It seems like there's always some way for my opponents to do this, despite my best efforts. I also rarely find the opportunity to return the favor.

    Now, looking back at a lot of those games, I saw that my opponents usually had their pawns mostly on his first three rows, with few or none on their fourth and usually none past that. My pawns tend to be mostly moved forward, with many on the third and fourth rows.

    Is this my problem? From the little I've read I heard center control is important, but when I use pawns to secure it I usually end up not gaining much of an advantage and my opponent slips in behind. Should I keep more of my pawns back and use only a few and some other pieces to secure the center? Should I open up fewer spaces to develop other pieces?

    Thanks to anyone who can give me some advice.
  2. 29 Oct '07 03:47 / 2 edits
    When I began playing chess 6 months ago I too had that same problem. It would be rare if I didn't lose a rook to a knight fork in a game. Overtime, however, I began to see these threats before I lost a piece.

    I would advise you practice tactics, here are two good tactic servers :

    < http://chess.emrald.net/index.php >
    < http://www.chesstempo.com >
  3. 29 Oct '07 03:51 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by omni3
    Ok, so I'm having trouble with knights coming in and forking pieces early/mid-way through the game. It seems like there's always some way for my opponents to do this, despite my best efforts. I also rarely find the opportunity to return the favor.

    Now, looking back at a lot of those games, I saw that my opponents usually had their pawns mostly on his first pen up fewer spaces to develop other pieces?

    Thanks to anyone who can give me some advice.
    first off how many pawns are you moving? Because if you keep moving pawns and neglect developement all kinds of tactics will happen to you. My advice is to get a tactics book preferably Yasser Seirawans "Winning Chess Tactics" and go to this site often(very often) http://chess.emrald.net/index.php once your tactics

    once you have done this get some books on the openings and start developing an opening repertoire.

    Edit: Dang you Drew! beat me by a millisecond! I've never been to chesstempo I'll have to check it out.
  4. Standard member Jamin
    Irresponsible Quoter
    29 Oct '07 03:58
    Originally posted by omni3
    Ok, so I'm having trouble with knights coming in and forking pieces early/mid-way through the game. It seems like there's always some way for my opponents to do this, despite my best efforts. I also rarely find the opportunity to return the favor.

    Now, looking back at a lot of those games, I saw that my opponents usually had their pawns mostly on his first ...[text shortened]... pen up fewer spaces to develop other pieces?

    Thanks to anyone who can give me some advice.
    Highly recommend the emerald site, Chess Tactics Server ( URL posted earlier by DrewL)

    The puzzles presented are sometimes a little on the challenging side (For me that is!) but a lot of them present you ways to fork your opponent's pieces, in addition to looking for the shortest path to mate... Just don't get frustrated with the puzzles right away, take your time and look at the solutions... and above all enjoy!

    -J
  5. 29 Oct '07 03:59 / 1 edit
    Beat you by 4 minutes TomTom.



    I plan to be in the 1800s by this time next year
    How? I too would like to be in the 1800s in a year.
  6. 29 Oct '07 04:14
    Originally posted by Drew L
    Beat you by 4 minutes TomTom.



    I plan to be in the 1800s by this time next year
    How? I too would like to be in the 1800s in a year.
    Because my strength is higher than my rating is right now. Have you seen some of games of mine that I have posted in this thread "40 moves in 30 minutes" and the game I posted in "finally got to play d5! in the sicillian." also I am going to be on CTS all the time and in the "1001" books by Fred Reinfeld
  7. 29 Oct '07 04:42
    I don't think it's my openings, which I play straight from wikipedia (which has a great compilation of chess openings if you guys don't already know). I think it's just being a tactical dunce =P

    I'll have a look at some of those sites. I appreciate the help.
  8. 29 Oct '07 04:45 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by omni3
    I don't think it's my openings, which I play straight from wikipedia (which has a great compilation of chess openings if you guys don't already know). I think it's just being a tactical dunce =P

    I'll have a look at some of those sites. I appreciate the help.
    just because you get the openings from some database doesn't mean the problem can't be your openings. Do you have any clue as to why each of the moves are made in the openings that you get from wikipedia? Once you learn the basic strategy of an opening you can play the whole game better even when you aren't in the "book" anymore.
  9. 29 Oct '07 05:04 / 2 edits
    If you've ever watched kids being coached in football they are always being told too "look up" to see what else is going on around them. If you remember this and make the "up" stand for Unprotected Pieces and every move say: "Look Up" then look at every piece on the board checking for unprotected pieces you will improve quite dramatically at first. Your opponents unprotected pieces are potential targets and your own unprotected pieces are possible weaknesses. This seems laborious at first but you'll find the time it takes to check across the board will soon speed up.

    The chess tactics server (CTS) http://chess.emrald.net/ is a brilliant training tool but you'll probably want to learn and practice the basic tactical themes before you go there and Yasser Seirawans book is excellent for this. When you're on CTS just ignore your rating...check the box in your profile for: Break on Failure and Break on Success...then after each puzzle you can review it by either retrying or just clicking through. (Don't worry if there is the odd one you don't understand).

    As you only gain rating points on CTS if you solve the puzzle within a short time frame it'll be a while before there is any ratings improvement - but the success rate, which is recorded as a % in your profile is arguably more important than your rating. Wormwood got me onto this idea and now I ignore my amazingly low rating and just set about doing 10 or so puzzles perfectly. You'll also notice that each puzzle has a rating, so you should find the lower rated (say under 1100) puzzles are easier to do.

    Also I recommend "Discovering Chess Openings" by John Emms as an excellent introduction to opening principles and the reasons behind the opening moves and rules. Following a database is like using a map that gets you across the first third of the jungle...when you arrive at this point - where will you go?
  10. 29 Oct '07 05:24
    Originally posted by Mahout
    If you've ever watched kids being coached in football they are always being told too "look up" to see what else is going on around them. If you remember this and make the "up" stand for Unprotected Pieces and every move say: "Look Up" then look at every piece on the board checking for unprotected pieces you will improve quite dramatically at first. Your o ...[text shortened]... e first third of the jungle...when you arrive at this point - where will you go?
    Exactly what I said just better wording (listen to him!)
  11. 29 Oct '07 06:19
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    just because you get the openings from some database doesn't mean the problem can't be your openings. Do you have any clue as to why each of the moves are made in the openings that you get from wikipedia? Once you learn the basic strategy of an opening you can play the whole game better even when you aren't in the "book" anymore.
    Yeah, there are descriptions of why certain moves are made for the early parts, and I generally take some time to look at the board and see why the later moves (which are often parts of variants and not explained) are made.

    I'm not necessarily saying it's not my openings, but I don't think it is because I usually have a pretty good idea what I'm doing, and it's only after I get past the opening moves that I start to suck (hence the idea that it's tactical)

    I spent about an hour on that puzzle site, and while at first I didn't get hardly any I found that I spotted a lot more of them by the end, getting maybe 50-60%, though very few of those within the time frame required. It's probably better to get them than to do them speedily though. Get the technique and the speed will come, as they say.

    Thanks for the links everyone =) Seems like a great way to improve tactical skill.

    But I'm still curious if my pawns are indeed a problem. Almost every game I've lost where there was still a pawn structure at the end my opponent had his still pretty close in, while mine were pretty spread out (though I usually keep them protecting eachother pretty well)
  12. 29 Oct '07 06:41
    In this game:

    Game 4185141

    Take a peek at your move 16...then look at how the game would be if you had castled kingside instead of playing 16...Rd8. Castling would have activated your rook and you then had two very strong bishops...(bishops work well on open boards)...trading your good bishop for the not so useful knight was good for them. A piece is more valuable when it is in a good position or when it is in favorable circumstances....so if you can trade your bad pieces for the opponents good pieces you get a better position, with pieces working well together, and more winning chances.
  13. 29 Oct '07 07:21
    Originally posted by Mahout
    In this game:

    Game 4185141

    Take a peek at your move 16...then look at how the game would be if you had castled kingside instead of playing 16...Rd8. Castling would have activated your rook and you then had two very strong bishops...(bishops work well on open boards)...trading your good bishop for the not so useful knight was good for them. A pi ...[text shortened]... d pieces you get a better position, with pieces working well together, and more winning chances.
    He can't castle his king had already moved by that point.
  14. 29 Oct '07 07:44 / 2 edits
    Oh...thanks...I should know better ...

    But anyway lets try again: So maybe blacks move 5 could have recaptured with the knight to preserve the castling rights although I'm not sure this is too important here - as castling can be less important once the queens are off. In addition white has used or should we say wasted three moves - just to swap off blacks stationary queen, so black should be looking at a lead in development.

    I reckon black might have developed the kingside bishop before pushing the c pawn and the move 11...c4 kicks whites knight onto a better square. This suggests black could think more about rapidly developing pieces onto good squares in the early part of the game...and may explain why the opposition is getting in behind the pawns with the tactics...

    ...maybe someone else has some useful comments.
  15. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    29 Oct '07 09:06 / 2 edits
    In Game 4185141 you started going wrong about move 5.

    5. ... NXQ retaining the right to castle is probably better than KXQ, then you start dropping pawns at moves 8 and 9.

    If you trully followed this line from a DB then I suggest you stop using it and get a better DB as it is misleading you.

    Try http://www.redhotpawn.com/gamesexplorer/ which has games from here and will give you excellent assistance at your level.