I often find my self in situations like this...
Move 13, where there is no real plan for attack or positional improvement apart from doing something I did such as trading light square bishops.
I dont really know how to improve my position nor do an attack where I win a piece such as a fork, pin, etc. Often with middle games in general.
Any general advice on what to do in these situations? They seem to happen really often in Rapid games where we both basically almost get stuck in a position with no real game plan or attack apart from trading a few pieces.
you need to learn what are the ideas after each move in your opening when you under stand the plan and ideas of your opening you can find better plans
Nothing beats experience, and you get the best experience by mimicking what masters have done in similar positions.
The other method is to evaluate the position and develop a plan based mainly upon the pawn structure. The important pawns in the position, on the 13th move, are on d4 and e5. The d-pawn is backward and hampers his bishop. The e-pawn gains space and restricts your bishop. My first instinct is to get the knight to d5 to blockade the backward pawn and organize my rooks for a c5 break. Another plan is to apply pressure to d4 by placing the rooks on the d-file and unleashing the bishop with f6. This causes a severe weakness on e6, so this plan must be, if attempted, done carefully.
In a rapid game, I would actually play for the cheap tactics. After getting the knight to d5, I would place my queen on c6, and try for simple mate threats involving a Nf4->Nxg2. This play is bad in serious play, but in rapid, it's fun.
BTW, as rules-of-thumb suggest, the sixth move was a mistake. 1) You move a piece three times to trade a piece that moves twice, 2) you traded a better developed pieces for a lesser developed pieces, and 3) white could/should have captured with the pawn and strengthened the center (which also makes your bishop "bite on granite").
One thought is (after 12 e5) to play 12... Ne7 (going to d5).
The major imbalance is white's space so maybe you could've re-maneuvered the knight to d5 (like @MrPushwood and @jonesmh already mentioned) as space creates weak squares, and then tear down white center with an eventual c7-c5. I feel the knight on c6 was misplaced as it blocked the c pawn (the one you need to tear down the center,) and blocked that huge h1-a8 diagonal for the bishop. Also, Qe7 may have been a mistake as it got in the way off your Knight and in the line of fire of the enemy bishop.
This is a 3+0 superblitz game. Such fast time controls are usually played for fun by stronger players, who have developed a strong intuition about what to do from countless hours of classical play and analysis. They intuitively find right moves fast, because of thousands of hours of experience. For now I suggest you stay away from bullet and blitz and play rapid and classical, when you have time to think about your move, make your plan according to your logical thought about the position.
27. ... Qc1 is winning the house, you went after a pawn.
Instead of 8...e6, ...Bg4 instead? In the game your LSB looks kinda unhappy.
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