It's better to calculate the outcome before you try a sacrifice. My general approach is that I don't go for the sacrifice unless I can actually visualize all the way through or I can at least visualize that I have a real, concrete, strong attack going. (If it's a weaker player and it's not a very...
Best answer: It's better to calculate the outcome before you try a sacrifice. My general approach is that I don't go for the sacrifice unless I can actually visualize all the way through or I can at least visualize that I have a real, concrete, strong attack going. (If it's a weaker player and it's not a very important game, I may just "try"" something that looks promising, but unless it's within your ability to calculate concretely, I would generally avoid it.)
Free pawns and pieces are worth taking if they are really free (Do take time to look for traps) and if 2) You don't have anything better to do.
This probably takes more experience, but sometimes, your plan is just working so well and you're just doing everything you want to do and free pawns are just a waste of time.
Of course, again... everything is relative to the position. If you are WAY ahead in material, for instance, sacrifices may be justified for simplification's sake. (example: You're a queen and a rook against a rook - It would generally be perfectly acceptable to give the queen for the last rook and put an end to all resistance - as long, of course, as you're not doing something stupid while doing that... like letting a pawn queen. It's all relative to the position).
Now, I suspect at your level and from what you've told us so far, visualization is a problem for you.
I suggest you simply get a book of games with commentary. I'm sure you can find one at a bookstore for $20 at most.
You don't have to be super picky. Most of these books are written by masters at least. There may be a higher analysis out there, but they certainly have something to teach you.
Pick one where you like the players, or the time period. I'm a big fan of the romantics myself.
Go through the games... with a chessboard. When you reach a variation, or an explanation, take time to look at the board, and try to evaluate the position. Who would you rather be? Black or White? Why?
THEN look at the authors comments. Does he agree with you? Are you convinced by his evaluation? What would you do?
Ask yourself questions!
Now you will find there are variations. Try to get a book at first where those aren't too long... Try to do them in your head. Do them on the board if you just can't visualize it. Then place the board again and try to visualize it. Try to understand the commentary without actually touching the pieces.
I got to warn you; this method is heavy weightlifting.
This is why you should probably get a book with short variations at first.
Yes, it is possible to look at a board and understand what is going on in a commentary for 10-12 moves. Some people actually play blind all the way.
Don't try to do that now. But do try to visualize shorter variations.
This is hard grinding work, but it will also get your endurance up for competition, if you ever decide you're serious enough to want to join a club.
In any case, this kind of work will get you improving a lot faster than watching a ton of videos.
If chess is really meant for you, you'll end up wanting to do that kind of work and learn what the game is REALLY all about.
(I'm an "A"" Class player, by the way... I'm aiming at expert in the next few years)
I'm far from the best out there, but I think my pointers can still be very useful to you.