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taoistlunatic 88 ( +1 | -1 )
I think white is winning. board #271161

My opponent offered a draw in this game and I refused for now. I was winning this game very strongly until I blundered away material, even after losing a piece, I was still compensated by having extra pawns.

Inthe curent endgame I have five pawns and rook vs. twp pawns, rook and knight.

I know that knight is worth roughly three pawns, but since the pawns are on both sides of the board, and I have two connected passed pawns, I feel that whit will win this endgame with proper play...

Of course you cannot give me advice as this is unsportsmanlike since it is an ongoing game, I just wanted to know what you endgame analysts think, is white winning, or black, or is it a draw?
atrifix 29 ( +1 | -1 )
You will become a much better player when you stop focusing on whether white is winning, has a clear advantage, compensation, etc; whether the position is += or +/- (or whether it was = all along) and simply focus on making good moves.

At any rate I will not comment as the game is still in progress.
bafverfeldt1981 7 ( +1 | -1 )
taoist I agree with Atrifix- after the game I can comment all you want- but not now.
taoistlunatic 78 ( +1 | -1 )
I respect your opinion Atrifix You seem to be a very wise player...and I admire your deep understanding of the game that you have shown in these forums.
You say I should focus on making good moves and forget about which side has the better position,

but how am I to make 'good' moves without evaluating the position? There must be some evaluation of the postion in order to make good moves. All calcuation is based on this evaluation, without evaluation all calculation would be meaningless, because you would have no basis to judge the different lines of play and so they would all seem exactly the same, none being 'good', or 'bad'.

I am not being sarcastic, I really want to know how I am supposed to know which moves are 'good'.

Thanks in advance- Carl
atrifix 215 ( +1 | -1 )
Evaluation Of course some evaluation is necessary in order to distinguish 'good' lines from 'bad' ones. However, the main problem I notice among amateurs--and even among very strong players--is that they evaluate positions with the mentality "I am winning" or "this position is drawn", etc. In recent times some people will actually assign numeric values (like a computer) to positional elements "I am 0.85 pawns ahead"..which is simply absurd.

For example (taken from The Seven Deadly Chess Sins by IM Rowson, one of the best books I've read in quite awhile):
de Firmian-Hillarp Persson, 1996
WKg2, Nc3, Bc1, Ra1, Pa7, b2, d3, g3; BKf7, Ne5, Bd4, Rg1, Pf5, h6. White to move.

The time control has just been reached. White possibly missed a win just before the time control and also outranks his opponent by about 200 rating points. After 43. Kh3 Rh1+ 44. Kg2 Rg1+ the game would now be drawn. However, as Tisdall pointed out: "Now, Nick used some deductive reasoning. He should win this game, and so perpetual check must be avoided...": 43. Kh2?? Nf3+ 44. Kh3 Rh1+ 45. Kg2 Rh2+ 0-1 as Black mates next move. De Firmian couldn't possibly have overlooked this if he had been fighting for a draw earlier. Even in a blitz or lightning game, the same player shown this position in a different context would have seen in about a second that 43. Kh2 allows checkmate. However, de Firmian was so concerned about winning--'white's position must be won'--that he lost any sense of objectivity.

The point is that you should not concern yourself with whether you must win or draw, or try to evaluate each position as either +-, +/-, +=, =, =+, etc. (or even worse, as 0.6324 pawns ahead) But simply look for ways to improve your position, prevent your opponent from improving his, and other ideas. One must maintain his objectivity and practicality in any situation.

This is all IMHO. Some people have good results with evaluating positions as 0.3284 pawns ahead, but personally I cannot possibly see any practical application.

atrifix 89 ( +1 | -1 )
P.S. One more example, and a more personal one: board #339486

Now, acne is a fairly strong player. At least he has more than a basic understanding of the positional and tactical elements of chess. So it's peculiar that he should lose a game in this manner, and as White. My guess is that my move 4... Ne7 threw him a bit, when the normal move is 4... c5, and he immediately looked for a refutation. In fact White has nothing better than 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 transposing back to the main line. However, 5. g4?! is extremely premature--perhaps the idea is to keep the knight out of f5. After the further mistakes 6. Nf3? (6. a3 was natural and good), 7. Nxd4?! (7. Qxd4), and 8. f4? White was lost. The problem is again that White expected too much out of his position--he regarded 4... Ne7 as 'bad'--and completely lost his objectivity.
taoistlunatic 54 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks Atrifix THat is very good advice, which I will put to use....

I too have seen players, who insist that their position is winning and make over-aggressive moves which actually are bad. I have also seen this mistake (myself included) when a player thinks he is superior to his opponent and when if he is not easily winning, lashes out for an advantage prematurely and ends up losing....this one I am particularly guilty of, I seem to lose to lower rated players even more so than to higher rated players.
taoistlunatic 3 ( +1 | -1 )
by the way... The game ended in a draw....
peppe_l 138 ( +1 | -1 )
Patzers view Ok Im not a strong player but heres my 2 cents anyway...

IMO evaluation has meaning only if one knows WHY one has an advantage. In almost symmetric positions, say B+5P vs B+5P for example, if you have more better bishop and more active king, you have advantage. And since you know why you have advantage, its easier to find the correct strategy and best moves. In that point it isnt necessary to know is the position won or drawn - all you can do is play to win as well as you can. Of course if you are about to exchange rooks, leading to abovementioed position, then its a different thing, because you must choose the option that maximizes your winning chances. Things get more difficult in unbalanced positions of course, for example if you have weakened your pawn formation for an attack, you can deduct that unless you can push your attack trough, mating, winning material or gaining positional advantages (or disadvantages for your opponent!), your opponent is better. So, the question is can you? IMO these are psychologically difficult situations, because sometimes one has to admit the failure of chosen plan. So, if its clear the attack wont be succesful, one has to choose - stopping the attack means disadvantage, but is the weakened position hopeless then? If it is, perhaps best practical decision is to continue the attack in the hope of opponent playing carelessly? If it isnt completely lost, why help the opponent further by weakening your position even more?

acne 2 ( +1 | -1 )
atrifix sorry for the bad game.