Atomic Game

I'll just highlight some main points.

The idea of 4. Qg4? and 6. Qh5+? doesn't work. If moving the queen out doesn't work and she gets stuck in an awkward spot, you're in trouble, just like in normal chess. That's why the computer suggests things like 5. Qxg7 and 7. Qxh7 - she can't deliver mate, so just take as much material as you can. Or better yet, don't play 4. Qg4? at all.

That alone was enough to give you a huge middlegame disadvantage, since losing the queen was inevitable, with something like 9...d5 and 10...Bxa3 as in the game.

Black made the same mistake later - 14...Qh4 doesn't give mate, and so 17...Qxb2! would have been best to simplify to an easily winning endgame.

22. Kf1? makes the h1 rook hard to develop. Castling with 22. 0-0 is better to develop the rook.

Both sides were lacking middlegame plans, just shuffling the invaded pieces around hoping to get something. Instead of that, try thinking about pushing pawns to gain space, and bringing the other pieces in to attack. A single piece alone next to the opponent's king is unlikely to do much, but multiple pieces are dangerous.

27...Rh7? let you back in the game. After 28. Nxh6, the natural plan is to push the h-pawn as fast as it will go - either it becomes passed, or if black takes it then your rook has an open file.

30...0-0-0? castles into a very dangerous location, as you can (and should have) looked to play Rc1 and open the queenside files by taking on c5 or c4. Instead you let your opponent get a passed pawn with 34...c3 (both sides missed playing this or stopping this for a few moves before.)

Once black gets the passed c-pawn it's hard for white to win - the rooks are very passive. On the other hand, after 41. a5 black's rook can swing to the b-file. The idea is that if white promotes without check, black has time to accurately check white to death (see the analysis line for that - learning to calculate these rook invasions is a basic skill.)

On your part you missed another chance with 46. Rb2! (take them when they're given).

After 52...d2?, black missed the last chance to check with the rook for a surprisingly strong attack.

You should have taken the perpetual with 57. Ra7+ instead - having rook and knight and a pawn about to promote is generally sufficient to mate without pause.


So learning points:
1. Don't move the queen early unless she gets something useful done - an exposed queen is a huge disadvantage.
2. Castling is a rook move too - it develops the rook.
3. A single piece invaded into enemy territory is usually not enough - try to get more.
4. Have a plan in the middlegame. Any plan will do, just have one. You'll learn to make better ones later.
5. Rook invasions are the bread and butter of securing perpetual or delivering mate. Calculate them well (or at least try to get your own rook invaded, and shut out your opponent's rooks.)

What you learn is that 4. Qg4 is a trick that either works (Bxg4) or you messed up your game =)

Seriously - if you want to learn from this game, the position is just wonderful for that!
4. Nb5! is strong, 4. Qh5+ g6 5. Nb5!? is superinteresting with chances for both...
lots of ideas and tactics going on there in both lines which you might want to look at - if you can just try to figure out whats going on there (with the analysis board) you learned a lot and will improve - play with it and try to consider human (maybe your own candidate-) moves too, not only the top suggestions from SF ;-)

Have fun playing Atomic, you will love it more and more!

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