I ask how I can learn to convert these advantages into wins - I'm terrible at it. I am usually even or ahead in the opening through the middle-middlegame. When its down to 3 or 4 pieces a side and pawns I don't know what to do. I realize I need more tactics knowledge so going to the practice now. What else am I missing?
Well if you're ever ahead significant material, this means any equal trade in material will benefit you. By equal trade, it's important to note not only the piece value in general, but also the value of the piece in the position.
I've gone through your recent games and I'm not sure where you think you have a significant advantage in any of them, material or otherwise. You're often lost out of the opening, from what I can tell. At your level, it's very hard for you to be able to assess a position, because you clearly don't know what you're looking for. For example:
These opening moves are frankly ridiculous.
Here you play 5. Be6?? which is a horrible blunder.
I think from what I've seen, you need to maybe look at an introduction to strategical concepts, and also focus on playing longer time control games where you have time to double check every move, to make sure it doesn't blunder materially.
Study every part of the game according to your rating.
Just don't blunder material in the opening. At your level you don't need to study openings
You can come to my discord server. I want to start a voice analysis group through here. Sometimes the best way to get better is to examine why you are going wrong directly. And I don't mind holding someone's hand sometimes.
If your name is different in discord than in here let me know both so I can friend and make notes who is who.
Everyone is welcome and I hope to build up the community as much as possible.
On the original points? Your first poster reply was correct. A lot of the times you play dubious opening moves. I am going by those two games though so I don't know what you do normally of course. If those games are a key aspect to your play, I would examine them closely and figure out WHY they are poor.
Example: In game 1. You play 1. e4 f5?? Why? Most gambits by black are considered unsound. And even worse you gambit your weakest pawn. So why? And people have stated "at your rating.." The idea that at your rating you should never focus on openings is theoretically untrue. Why? Because openings are not just NCO, ECO or any CO. Chess opening theory is quite literally principled chess.
IE: Getting your pieces out as fast as possible. Developing least active pieces first. Control the center. Maintaining a good pawn structure. Understanding the basic ideas behind "Force, Space, Time, and pawn structure."
In game 2. There was a comment of why Be6. I understand why Be6. Usually it's incorrect thinking. Like missing the fact that it loses a pawn straight up, or thinking losing the pawn is better than winning the exchange. I think it should be mentioned your development up to that point as well. And also anything after that.
On move 3 you played Be7. And then 4 you played d6. Both of these moves are theoretically inferior. Proving you are just developing to develop. You need to have an idea where your pieces go. If you're going to move the bishop on f8, it would be better to place it on c5. And then play d6. When you played d6 and he played Ng5. Instead of Be6, just castle. If he takes on f7 with either piece you are "WINNING THE EXCHANGE".
Sometimes having someone to explain this could be a golden opportunity. So I think having a discord channel is good. There is probably a lot out there, but here is one extra.
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