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How about a game of chess?

That’s exactly right. My phone keeps capitalizing the first letter, and I don’t always remember to make it lowercase.

Was my feedback helpful?

How about a game of chess?

Well she is beautiful, so I’m not too offended. I really enjoyed this game. Thanks so much for playing. It was a very engrossing game 😃

How about a game of chess?

oojason said:

Thanks - you’re very kind, I’m enjoying the game very much - though I’ve remembered how much easier it is seeing potential moves and how the game may unfold when just watching a match - as opposed to playing in one 😃

You play very well; logical and always pressing & probing - whilst also maintaining a solid base for defence. It’s intriguing to both watch and play against.

Well you play solidly yourself. Though I gained a material advantage early on, you still had pieces placed in such a position that left me worried. That’s why I almost forced the queen and rook trades. Sometimes the best strategy is to secure a material advantage, then trade till the little advantage becomes more significant. Even a one pawn advantage means much more when there are fewer pieces on the board.

How about a game of chess?

Feedback for Warbler:

So here is the promised feedback. Sorry it took so long. First, while I neglected to take advantage of a pawn fork on turn 6, I traded bishops with you, thus making you move your pawn away from the king’s side. Since you castled on that side, it proved to be a huge weakness for you, which I took advantage of down the road. From a strategic standpoint, you generally want to keep your three pawns on kingside on their starting squares, or perhaps move them one square forward. You performed a fianchetto, which on its own can be a sound strategy, but with your pawn out of place, this presented a huge vulnerability that I knew I could exploit once you had castled.

On turn 10, I knew I had limited my own options, first by missing the pawn fork, and next by having my remaining bishop blocked in pretty well by my own pieces. But I saw an opportunity. Your most advanced pawn was defended by only one other pawn. If I could remove that pawn, I’d have a shot at gaining a pawn advantage and removing your portion of control of the center, generally the most important part of the field to control. I moved my queen to where she could attack your pawn on a subsequent move on c7 (generally it is frowned upon to bring your queen out too early, but if I blitzed your weak flank, I thought I could secure an early checkmate). When you moved your bishop to h3, this was a huge mistake, as now your king’s file is completely exposed, your bishop is undefended and on the same diagonal as my remaining bishop. I realized I could do even more damage. I traded knights. You captured with your pawn, which allowed me to put my queen in an offensive position, gain the other pawn on f4, and begin moving in on your weak kingside.

You lamented that you should have captured my knight with your queen instead of the pawn. However, you would have suffered worse if you did. My move would have then been:
… e5 (threatening your queen)
fxef Bxh3 (winning your bishop)

You could have followed up with:
exf6 Bxf1 (capturing your rook and gaining a bigger material advantage)

And you could either take my bishop or capture the pawn on g7, which would drastically weaken my position, but my material advantage would probably be insurmountable. So in reality, taking the f4 pawn with your pawn was to your advantage.

I did try to get your undefended bishop by then advancing my pawn to e5, either forcing a trade and giving me greater offensive potential on your weak flank, or if you didn’t pay attention, giving me a free bishop and even more advantage on that side. However, you attacked my queen with your knight, and an interplay between us continued.

Ultimately, through a series of moves, I was able to capture that bishop. I tried to overwhelm you with multiple threats that you would not be able to counter them all. You had successfully prevented it for a time, as you had made counterattacks that would have resulted in an equal exchange of material if I did not defend my own pieces, but eventually I had your queen on d3, knight on e2, and bishop on h3 under attack. You had to move your queen, yet try to keep her defending your bishop and knight, but she was overworked and could not defend them all, and your bishop fell.

Now your rook was under attack. Though it would have hemmed your king into a largely immobile spot, it would have been better to defend vulnerable avenues of attack by moving your rook to g1. But unfortunately, you moved it to e1 where it was much less useful, and so I pressed the attack and moved my knight in closer, still hoping to secure a quicker mate, I had several pieces positioned to overwhelm your position, but it wasn’t enough. I had to call forth a rook to break through.

This was where you made your final mistakes. You advanced your queenside pawns, hoping your defenses were secure enough. You most certainly were not yet safe, as I had a substantial advantage near your king. You could not possibly hope to hold off all my pieces. I decided to threaten your rook by attacking with my knight on e3. I knew it was undefended and hoped you would actually capture it. You did. I was able to subsequently force a series of moves where I kept your queen neutralized behind my bishop with no good position to come to her majesty’s defense. I now had a rook, bishop, and queen against a very defenseless king, and while I could not dictate the exact sequences of moves, I saw several paths to unpreventable checkmate. Your best bet was:

  1. Ng3

But from there I would have played:

  1. … Rxg3
  2. axg3 Qh1+
  3. Kf2 Qg2 mate

You took the bait to capture my knight, and your queen was useless for the rest of the game.

That was my thinking. I think you still did well and played better than in past games. Remember to keep your king safer. You left him exposed from early on, and did not call forth enough material to his defense when the situation became more deadly. Even moving your rook to g1 at any point after I attacked it with my bishop would have delayed checkmate. And moving your queen away was the nail in the coffin. Don’t always grab an easy piece.

Thanks for playing me, Warbler. I hope we can play again sometime. 😃

This post has been edited.

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