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Where did I go wrong ( 1200elo)

ohhh yeah def, so asking myself those 2 questions is going to increase my odds of winning, will try to memorize that

@Senpai-Noticed #1
Impressive play in the opening for your low rating level. Congrats !
18. Qxc6 wins easily as it allows you to stay 2 pieces up without troubles. After that you started to make some mistakes.
You seem a little bit queen moves focused but maybe just in this very game. It makes sense to try to develop all your pieces and let them work together in harmony, and also learn to evaluate when it is time to either swap queens.

Some hints for chess progress :
Focus on playing slow time control games, correspondence, rapid, classical (Only play blitz for fun. Avoid bullet chess).
Analyse all of your games, preferably with chess friends or at a chessclub.
Solve tactic puzzles daily for at least 4 months in a row. (Don't skip days, even when tired)
Study annotated chess games, annotated by chess masters.

Good luck, have fun !

@achja Thanks a lot ! I do kind of rely a lot on my queen, I worked on it because I was told that before. I'd do some noob agressive queen early moves, while it worked a lot in the early game, I always found myself to lose my queen and ultimatly lose the game since 'she was my everything'.
So I did slow down a lot on the queen moves and tried to play other pieces to harmonies better, but I'm glad you brought that up, because that's an issue I totally forgot about and should pay more attention to... And I actually should have traded queens, I didn't even think of it, because I couldn't think of losing my own queen lol. Well, I'm glad I get so much help in this thread, kind of giving me a good direction in which to go to get better

If up + on material ALWAYS swap queens. If down - material never swap. (Later on in chess you'll come to realise there are exceptions to this rule). But for now just do that. 18. QxQ you win.

Then there is blunder later pawn takes rook, but this is a blunder so don't worry too much. You'll see these tactics more and more with practise.

You didn't 'go wrong' or fundamentally play badly. You completely outplayed the guy in the opening. And you'll win this every time if Q x Q and no blunder.

Peace

If the queens are on the board - you need to castle (not necessarily immediately, if your opponent can't prevent you from castling later - but if you can castle, and there's no immediate disadvantage to castling, it's probably more useful than most other moves). Even without queens, castling is a useful move if there's still too much material on the board for the king to be able to contribute. When you have an extra piece, it's fine to sacrifice a pawn to castle, if that's what it takes.

20. Qd3. It was best to protect the pawn with another pawn. The queen isn't great for protecting something that can be protected by a less valuable piece.
22. c4 was a useless move (in the short term). Just castle (or win the queen with Ng6+, but who cares about winning queens).
23. d5 was worse than useless (assuming you don't play f4 next) - you're unprotecting your pinned knight.
24. Qxa7 loses a knight because you're uncastled (24...Rfe8 25. f4 Qxc4 would be worse than losing the knight - because your uncastled king is starting to be in real danger).
26. Qd4 loses queen and knight for two rooks because - you guessed it - your king is uncastled.

Instead of 7. Qe2+ I'd have played d4, Be2, O-O, then started thinking about what to do. Maybe Bf3 and Ne3 to hit d5. Maybe Ne5 (to trade with his knight), Bg4 (to trade bishops), rooks on the e-file, trade everything and easily win the knight+pawns vs just pawns endgame. Maybe an attack on his king. He can't do much to defend against anything you do because he's down a piece.

Both players missed a lot of tactics (some of which Stockfish didn't point out because you were completely winning whether you won another piece or not) - but there was no need to have any tactics at all. Be up a piece, get your king to safety, don't go for complications, trade everything one piece at a time, win.

Use your time! You had plenty of time left at the end the game. Especially in games with increment you should use a lot of your time during the middle game.
Strategic wise, try to follow a game plan in your head. My basic thinking after being one or more pieces up would be:
- Is my king safe, if not secure it
- Trade pieces if possible
- Do not let pieces undefended (unless for specific reason)
If you do this, your opponent will most likely lose the game, if he still resists you can start attacking with a secured position, so your chances of messing up will be slim.

@RapidVariants
Thanks a lot ! I hadn't even thought about unprotecting the knight, was just thinking about pushing, so needless to say that I never thought to castle, just thought about pushing more and more, and yeah would i have at any point I wouldn't have lost probably, it wouldn't have been pinned...
@QEDemonstrandum
Thanks a lot, I'll try to keep that in mind, at the very least the king's safety !

I'm trying to do more puzzles everyday and watch content, I've got a lot to go on with ! Thanks for the help !
I happen to have a lot of free time at work so I use that time to get better at chess, it's quite fun !

Also not sure what fide is, but if someone asks me my elo on there I'll know it's 1100 I guess :p

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