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  3. Where do I go from here? Any advice?

Hi everyone, just wondering if anyone else has experienced this. I should say at the outset that I am not a good chess player, but I enjoy the game and have had many happy hours on this amazing site.

A few days ago, I played this game:

Now, I was not happy with the mistakes I made (9. Qg5 dropping a pawn, allowing 17... Ndf3+ dropping another one, then finally hanging my knight on h3). As far as the knight hang is concerned, all I saw was that f2 was attacked, and somehow just had a complete blindspot as regards the knight and black's bishop on c8.

However, I wasn't feeling well when I played this game, and put it down to being under the weather generally.

Just now though, I played this one:

Numerous mistakes that put me down a rook for a pawn, before the final straw 23. ...Nd7 ?????????
Following 23. Qb1, I just saw that b8 was attacked, and completely missed the fact that my queen on a2 was hanging as well.

It's a long time since I've made a blunder of this magnitude in a long time control classical game; what's even more worrying is that I was spending a good amount of time on my moves; it's not like I was playing a 60+30 game but just blitzing moves out.

How did I miss the hanging queen??? I just can't get my head around what's happening with me; two terrible games, and really unhappy with myself. Feel like just giving up chess; why am I even bothering?

Has anyone else experienced this, where you just suddenly start making catastrophic blunders in games for no apparent reason, and just missing completely obvious things? What did you do about it? Any advice?

Many thanks for any help you can offer.

1) You play too fast.
The 1st game was a 90+5 time control and at the end you have 37 useless minutes left on your clock. So you played as if it were a 30+30 time control.
The 2nd game was a 60+30 time control and at the end you have 21 useless minutes left on your clock. So you played as if it were a 50+20 time control.

2) To avoid blunders in long time controls, I recommend switching on move confirmation in your profile. Think about your move, then play it. Then check that it is no blunder. Only then confirm your move.

Although you did move too fast, I wouldn't blame your mistakes on moving too fast.
There is an exercise that I teach my students: trace on the board every move. This helps with one move attacks and hanging pieces. You do need to have more positional control. (Game 1; move 6 severely weakens c3. Game 2; move 13 allows white too much activity (rook on the seventh).)
Thinking Techniques (written by Dr. Ferguson ~ 1982)
1. What new threat(s) has my opponent's last move created? How can I answer it(them)?
2. Is my King safe? Is my opponent threatening to checkmate in the next few moves? Can I checkmate my opponent?
3. What threats can I set up? How?
4. Have I seen this position or a similar one before?
5. If so: who stands better, and what is the best plan for continuing?
6. If not: what are the outstanding features and elements of this position, and what plan(s) and method(s) of achieving it are available?
7. What is my plan? What specific position would I like to obtain? How can I achieve my goal? How can I improve my position?
8. Which move is best? Can I capture material without penalty? Can I employ an tactical device?
9. Is it safe to move my piece to the square I'm thinking about?
10. Did I remember to start my opponent's clock and write down my move?

@tpr It is perfectly normal to have time on your clock on move 20-25.

@Dave155 Everyone blunders. It is normal.

Something you really have to do up until some point is before you make a move imagine that move has been played and see if you're hanging anything. And do this each and every move. It can be challenging to train yourself to do this since we naturally think we're not blundering. But you to recognize that your perception is often flawed.

The cool thing is that after you do this alot it starts to become automatic and eventually you start being able to do it without consciously thinking about it. That said, Alekhine hung his queen, Kramnik missed mate in 1, and so on. So sometimes, somehow that automation suffers a bit of a hiccup. You shouldn't ignore it, but you shouldn't obsess over it.

Thank you to everyone who's replied; I appreciate you taking the time.

@OhNoMyPants Yep, definitely; I need to be more rigorous with my blunder checking, and I was extremely careless in these games. I have absolutely no idea how I managed to miss the queen hang in the second game; I guess I just had a serious breakdown in communication between my eyes and my brain...

@savagechess2k Yeah, I know! :) I posted this more out of frustration than anything else, and I need to learn from this and move on.

@jonesmh Lots to think about here; I need to improve in all areas of my game, and this list is really helpful, thank you.

@tpr Move confirmation is a good idea, thanks. Question about the moving too fast thing though; I see what you're saying, and taking the second game, obviously I did indeed still have 21 unused minutes at the end. However, wasn't this only because the game ended prematurely because of my blunder?
If we assume an average game length of 40 moves, then in a 60+30 time control, I would have 60 mins + (40 x 30 secs) = 80 minutes for the game. In the second game here , I'd used 39 mins + (23 x 30 secs) = 50.5 minutes to get to the point where I blundered the queen.
So I'd used about 63% of the "expected average" game time for about 58% of the "expected average" number of moves, which seems reasonable.
Am I looking at this the wrong way? I realise that had I played more slowly, I may not have blundered, but then I'd be finding myself in time trouble later on. In fact, I often do get into time trouble even in classical games (more or less living off the increment by the end), so I'd be curious if you've got any further advice on this. Many thanks anyway.

@Dave155 No, you are completely right about the time thing. Having time on clock is not bad.

#6 All time left on your clock at the end of the game is an unused resource. An average game is decided around move 30. You can Always speed up towards the end of the game if needed. Look at the top players: they usually spend all their time and live from their increment after move 30. When a game ends prematurely because of a blunder it is usually because of some hasty move. If you play too fast you are more likely to blunder and the game is more likely to end prematurely, leaving you with unused useless time on your clock. It is better to lose on time than to lose with time left on your clock. Both are losses, but in the first case at least you tried everything you could and gave your best.

@Dave155 go anywhere you want, but don't go to! People there won't help you. A general advice. Btw play more slow, to avoid those mistakes.

Thanks again guys :)

@Googleplayer45678 I used to play on; agree the forums were terrible.

@tpr OK that makes more sense now; I'll try and take this on board. Thanks for clarifying.

@savagechess2k Cool; seem to be differences of opinion on this, so I'll try and bear everything in mind.

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