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Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE) 
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:17 pm
Posts: 4712
Rating: 2073 USCF
Rating Class: Expert (2000-2200)
 Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
On the heels of our member submitted game series from Dennis, we're organizing a feature in which members ask Dennis questions and hear his thoughts in upcoming videos. Any kind of chess-related question is appropriate, from broad "how can I develop an opening repertoire?" type questions to inquiries about specific positions and games.

So if you want to be part of this new video format, post questions here! Dennis will choose the ones he finds most interesting/helpful and will answer them in the next few weeks.

FIDE 2118, USCF 2073.

Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:12 am

Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:56 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Long Island
Rating: 2130
Rating Class: Expert (2000-2200)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Can you explain moments when memory of a game or position you had studied directly helped you in an actual game. Aside from theoretical endgames or openings.

Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:21 pm

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:31 am
Posts: 13
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Dennis- as a FIDE Master playing in tournaments, how often do you know- or deliberately make big efforts to study- your opponent's preferred openings before going into the game? Do you often play completely 'blind' in this area? Also:

Have you ever seen an obvious 'hole' in an opponent's repertoire and used it to win in very short order?
Does the ubiquity of databases now mean that no-one can 'hide' any more?

Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:22 am

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:40 am
Posts: 10
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Often, when a player is worse in a position, annotators and commentators state something to the effect, "He should complicate the play" - what does that really entail? I assume one way is to keep as many pieces as possible on the board. What are some other things you can try to mix up the position and give yourself a chance to draw/win the game.

Another related question is that there are times in the game when you are worse and it is worthwhile trying a tactical trick or two to swindle your opponent. If he/she sees the same trick, you only lose more quickly but the end result doesn't change. How could you possible determine the probability that your opponent has seen the same trick or not?

Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:31 am
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 4:09 pm
Posts: 11
Location: germany
Rating: 1766 DWZ
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Dennis, I have a personal chess problem. My (relative) strength in chess is tactics and feeling at home in funny and cluttered positions, whereas I can't seem to be able to play strategic positions properly. I figure this is true, as the online chess site I play on rates me almost 300points higher in 960 chess, as opposed to regular blitz. If only I could steer my regular games into these complicated positions, things might go better for me.
Do you have any advice on how to improve? Are there openings that ensure messy positions without having to memorize a lot of theory (and without being bad)?

"Modern chess is too much concerned with things like pawn structure. Forget it - checkmate ends the game"

-- Nigel SHORT

Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:46 am

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:50 pm
Posts: 44
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
I have a concrete question:
I play a special line against the French:
1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Sc3 Sf6
4. Lg5 Le7
5. e5 Sfd7
6. h4

If Black takes the pawn Lxg5, theory says:

7. hxg5 Dxg5
8. Sh3 De7
9. Sf4
This last move is the one I have problems to understand. It is an unusual square for the knight in my opinion. I think it would help me a lot to understand the strategical implications of this knight move.

Best regards and thanks to Dennis!

Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:44 am

Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:04 am
Posts: 70
Location: Brazil
Rating: 2100
Rating Class: Expert (2000-2200)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Hello Dennis! Greeting from sunny Brazil!
A very interesting question is : when you should ( or you shouldn't ) exchange in the center in positions with pawns for both sides? What kind of position is advantageous to relieve the pressure exchanging?

best regards,


Chess is my longest relationship

Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:58 am

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:50 pm
Posts: 44
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
One thing which should be interesting for most amateurs would be an overview of openings in which a bishop is exchanged for a knight. E.g. the exchange variation in the french or the nimzo indian. The strategical aspects of this openings and some examples of wrong exchanges of the bishops on a knight could be very instructive.

Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:10 am

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:38 pm
Posts: 73
Location: USA
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
What things should one look for when deciding on pawn breaks? I suppose the best context is when playing against a hippo setup for example where it seems impossible to open up the game to punish opponents for merely shuffling their pieces along the back rank. Also i would like to tie in the question of how to build up against mental domination of players that you historically have not done well against.

Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:27 pm

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:57 pm
Posts: 1
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Very speculative question:

In a perfect game of chess do both players castle?

Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:00 pm

Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:01 pm
Posts: 12
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
I rarely see the IQP used as an advantage. Some games showing this would be interesting.

Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:17 pm

Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:11 pm
Posts: 1
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
I have a question. Well, two actually... The first one is about analyzing. How does one analyze and determine which is a better move? Because as an amateur i get discouraged from analyzing my own games because i cannot determine (dare not determine) if a move that i come up with, is better then the one i actually played. Even after 7 years of play. Example;

[Event ""]
[Date "2008.11.03"]
[Round "?"]
[White "E"]
[Black "D, Walter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A01"]
[BlackElo "1262"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2008.11.02"]

1. b3 d5 2. e3 e5 3. Bb2 Nc6 4. Bb5 Bd7 5. Bxc6 Bxc6 6. Bxe5 Qe7 7. Nf3 f6 8.
Bb2 O-O-O 9. O-O Nh6 10. Nc3 Rg8 11. Nd4 Qd7 12. Qf3 Nf7 13. Nxc6 Qxc6 14. Qf5+
Qd7 15. Qxh7 Rh8 16. Qd3 Ne5 17. Qb5 Nf3+ 18. gxf3 Qh3 19. Rfe1 Qxh2+ 20. Kf1
Qh3+ 21. Ke2 Qe6 22. Na4 d4 23. Nc5 Bxc5 24. Qxc5 Qa6+ 25. Qc4 b5 26. Qc5 dxe3
27. dxe3 b4+ 28. Qc4 Qb7 29. Rad1 Rde8 30. Qd5 Qa6+ 31. Rd3 Kb8 32. Qc5 Qb7 33.
Red1 Qa6 34. Qxb4+ 1-0

At Black's seventh move i am confronted with a decision of where to play my Bishop and two candidate moves come to mind. Either 8. Bb2 (which i played) or 8. Bg3. I think i played 8. Bb2 because eventually i saw the least harm in that. I figured that after 8. Bg3 stuff like 8... g5 9. Nc3 h5 could happen you know? Ofcourse i can see a way out of an eventual 10... h4 push like by beating Black to the punch and push 10. h4 myself and then maybe 10... g4 Nd4 which doesn't look really bad to me, but the point is i'm not sure if it is good either and i turn to analyze with an engine instead. You understand what i am trying to say? I mean, a master just says this move is better period, or that move is better period. Me, the amateur, can think of other moves (like in the given position) but i cannot determine or dare not determine if one is better then the other. And i don't see the point of analyzing your own games if you can't. Because next time i'd probably play the same move i played in this game. Not that i think there was anything wrong with it. And that also goes for post mortems btw. Which i almost never do because i sit there and think who am i to tell my opponent what he could've done better because i can't say for sure.

My second question; how should one go about studying a master game? What is studying a master game exactly? I mean, i go over master games guess-move wise. Is that also studying the game?

Last edited by ookwelbekendalsemc on Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:43 pm

Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:41 pm
Posts: 111
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Greetings from the Capital of the South!
I have just one and hopefully a simple question. At what point does a intermediate player shift gears from mainly studying and improving his tactics to a more positional/stragetical training regime? And does that also include significant more time on opening training as well?

Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:26 pm

Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:03 am
Posts: 182
Location: The Netherlands
Rating: 2240
Rating Class: National Master
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
I have the tendency to screw up the last 1 or 2 rounds in a tournament. I play pretty well over the tournament, have got opportunities for a prize, and then I play really bad in the last round. Is there a way to change this?

Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:47 am

Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:15 pm
Posts: 15
Rating Class: Expert (2000-2200)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
When analyzing an otb game is it more beneficial to use a computer or just look at it yourself.

Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:42 am
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