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3. # How to convert a clearly winning position?

Hi everyone,
In this game I had a clearly winning position and managed to throw it away (Mostly because of time pressure. I'm not a very good blitz player. I play it because it's what I have time for.)
Again, this is a blitz game, so don't pour your heart into analyzing it. I'm just wondering how I can create a solid, winning plan in a position like this where my opponent is putting up a good fight. This would reduce my confusion and allow me to promptly make good moves.
Thanks!
lichess.org/7aYncbxM/black#0

I can't provide you with an answer that holds true for every game. But in this specific game you had to stop the only threat of white (f5) by playing g6 at any time upon move 21 (or alternatively by keeping pressure on the e5 pawn, i.e. by moving the queen to c7). Then exchange pieces and convert your extra rook.

That's my impression w/o any deeper analysis.

Cheers

Looking at the endgame, I think the big difference is piece activity. Yes, you're ahead in material, but your bishop is covering two squares; your rooks aren't doing much against your opponent's pawn advance, and your queen is trapped in the back. Your opponent's bishop is very strong, and their queen is moving around the board very effectively.

Looking at the last couple of moves, I think 22 ...Ba8 is probably a mistake. Putting him on c6 with the plan to get him to b5 and force a trade of bishops looks promising. Going for ...Qb5, Qxa7, Qb7+ would force a trade of queens, which is probably to your advantage. It's still not a clear win for black due to your opponent's strong pawns, but with a rook ahead you can probably grind them down from that position. Playing f6 here would have also forced a trade of those dangerous pawns and opened up the e file for your battery, which looks promising as well.

I think until move 27 you probably still had a chance to save yourself without saccing more than a pawn in material.

As a general rule, you should try to force exchanges when you're ahead in pieces and/or if your opponent has more space than you. In this case, trades were definitely in your favor.

Positions can vary in minute details which could be important for „converting“. So there’s hardly any general advice, it‘s rather concrete.

You should regard chess as a skill and practice „converting“ all night long. Some dead guidelines are only a tiny part of it.

Hi,
my recipe as a low rated player is as soon as I've got the decisive advantage, I do everything to exchange pieces, simply to save myself from my own blunders. K+R vs. K is an easy win, whereas K+Q+R+B+4P vs. K+Q+B+4P is a much more complex situation.
Nonetheless, looking at your previous game, I can't really see where you could have gone for an exchange agressively, given that your opponent's pieces were very active.

Possibly:
21. ... Rec8
22. Qd7 Qd8
23. Qxd8+ Rxd8
(22. Qa5 Ra8 23. a4 Qd8)

I explicitly didn't take engine moves but rather obvious moves with the idea to somehow get rid of those queens and those bishops which add lots of complexity to the situation.

7.. Nxe4, don't be so timid, go for the gold.

One other thing to note. You're really low on time at the end of this. 10 seconds to 3 minutes. It's incremented, so you wouldn't lose if you play fast, but it's quite easy for your opponent to flag you at this point as long as the position remains pretty complicated. You desperately need to simplify the board as much as you can in this situation. If you can get it down to rook/pawn vs pawn or something, you can probably convert this pretty easily even with fairly low time.

You were doing well. Only one blunder at the end. We all blunder, especially in blitz.

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