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jeffz_2002 ♡ 270 ( +1 | -1 )
Important advice for lower rated players Hi, please pardon my offering advice, as I'm just a 1400-rated player, but I wanted to pass on one important piece of advice to players of my level and under:

(When asked what single piece of advice he would offer to players, Bent Larsen said something like the following):
"Before you commit to a move, take one final look around the entire chessboard. Are you missing any captures or checks from your opponent?"

I only bring this up because in the recent past I've played several games where my opponent has lost pawns or pieces through obvious blunders, resulting in huge advantages, if not outright wins, for me. It's frustrating for them, and in some ways for me too, for I can feel them kicking themselves!

Gameknot lets you look over everything in depth (several moves deep), but I'd also encourage players at my level and lower to check out the obvious before they commit to a move. I have tried to get into this habit with my games, and before moving a piece I ask myself the following questions, practically in this order:


1. Can my opponent check my King IN ANY WAY? (Checks, even ones that look like nonsense, can sometimes be that start of long forcing combinations that either screw up attacking/development plans, or shred my defenses. Sometimes nonsense/sacrificial checks take a few moves before they really hit hard.)

2. When I move this piece, can it be taken in any way?

3. When I move this piece, the locations (i.e., pieces, pawns, squares) that it was defending are now undefended. Can they be taken advantage of in any way?

4. (A bit harder to see, sometimes ...) When I move this piece, does it open any future checks or attacks for my opponent? (for example, if I'm playing White and move a Knight far up the board (e.g. past the 4th rank), my opponent can easily knock it back with a simple pawn push; another example is setting up my pieces for a Knight fork)

An example of #4 can be seen in the opening 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6. White can then play 3. Nxe5, and with 3. ...fxe5, White can get an annoying (tough) check with Qh5+ ... true, Black doesn't /have/ to play fxe5, but it's still a sticky situation for Black.


I am sorry to preach, especially since I'm not that good! But I'd encourage players at my level to think through these four questions before finally posting their move ... it has helped me with my games immeasurably. After all, at the beginner level, chess games aren't usually won or lost by superior positional play or endgame knowledge, but by outright blunders and simple tactics.

Hope this provides some food for thought ...

brobishkin ♡ 46 ( +1 | -1 )
Good advise... Mr. Larson has always been a fav of mine... Very solid player with some solid advise... But you should never have to pardon yourself for advising someone of some chess wisdom and knowledge... That is unless it's your advise that you're not sure of or kabitzing during a game... Thanks for the advise but I already use the thought tecnique but forget from time to time... So maybe this little reminder will help...

fllouka ♡ 27 ( +1 | -1 )
very practical! I think your advice is very important even for very good players (as they sometimes forget it !) I think the best advice in chess is never play in a hurry & suspect every move from your opponent whatever his/her ranking is.
cairo ♡ 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks for your advice jeffz_2002 and reminders of same, that is always very useful to have this repeated.

Yours fllouka are good as well and therefore I think it is nice with CC-games, when you in most cases have good time to avoid blunders and mistakes.

Good luck onwards with your games.

Best wishes
fllouka ♡ 17 ( +1 | -1 )
for Cairo thanks for your comment, I like your picture in Egypt (my home country by the way !). It is nice to get a response from such a highly rated player.