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How to Avoid Chess Opening Blunders
Nothing is more annoying that losing a game because of a major blunder. How to avoid these silly moves? GM Damian Lemos discovered that most blunders are played in the opening, because of ignorance of the openings principles (or don’t knowing how to apply them in a real game).
Even GMs commit suicide in the opening, mostly because they think that this particular position is an exception to the rule. But experience told us that all the good openings follow the exact same patterns (even the weirdest ones!).
In this free video for iChess.net, GM Lemos explores these important principles, and the most common blunders in the opening. After watching it, you will be ready to play good opening moves AND punish your opponent when he starts making the same blunders.
Follow Damian analyzes of these games, and you will discover how easy to play the opening is!
Cochrane – Staunton: Develop your pieces!
The opening should be the phase of the game when you develop all your pieces (knights and bishops first), castle, and control the center. But Staunton started moving his queen and opening the position, which is clearly not in his favor.
On the other hand, Cochrane was one of the best attacking players of the time, and he had all the requirements to start a killing attack. His play is very easy to understand. First, he developed all his pieces, and then he opened the position so as his pieces can attack freely the opposite king. He didn’t mind sacrificing some pieces in order to achieve this. The king was the ultimate goal! How to Avoid Chess Opening Blunders – Cochrane
In the diagram position, White has already sacrificed a knight, but he has a better development and a better central control. He could have simply played 8.Nxc7+ Qxc7 9.Bxe6, winning a pawn, but he wasn’t interested in material. He wanted to give mate!
For that reason, he needed to open the center. Which he did after 8.0-0 c6 9.f4!, even sacrificing the other knight!
The final moves of the game are a slaughter…
Reti – Tartakower: Don’t open the position prematurely!
The next classical game is a very well-known opening disaster between two great players of the first decades of the previous century.How to Avoid Chess Opening Blunders – Reti
Tartakower, trying to confuse his opponent, open the position with only one piece developed.
Reti continued his development and sacrifice a knight to lure his opponent into a beautiful checkmate. Can you discover White’s mate in the diagram?
Lemos examines how to punish your opponent in the opening, but if you can’t find the execution, then it will be very hard to win. Click here to learn 10 Essential Checkmating Patterns.
Kovacevic – Popchev: Don’t lose time capturing pawns!
I know what you are thinking, the previous games where played more than 100 years ago. Nowadays, no master (even no club player) would play such blunders. If you were thinking that, you are wrong!
The last game was played in 2007 between a GM and a IM!
Even a player with 2456 Elo points go pawn-hunting in the opening and reached the following disastrous position: How to Avoid Chess Opening Blunders – Kovacevic
Black has the worst position imaginable. He has lost many tempos moving his queen. And the only other pieces developed is the Nh6, doing exactly nothing to control the center!
Also, he has moved many pawns, leaving his position with lots of holes.
After watching the previous games, you should know what to do. White played 10.d5!, opening the center, and he win without major problems in a few more moves.
If you want more insight into the opening principles and how to avoid these embarrassing blunders, click here to get an special discount in the Empire Chess course Best Chess Openings, by GM Damian Lemos.