About Natalia
Our Team
Chess Links
Play Chess
Pogonina's Chess Shop
Contact Us


 Follow Natalia on Twitter:

Please help Natalia promote chess by making a donation:


Link to

Play chess at ChessOk Biggest Online Chess Games Database

Check for Japanese bitcoin casinos.

Here you can find Swedish sites without license, Spelkonto utan licens.

Find new casinos at the brand new Online Casinos XYZ site with reviews and ratings of the best gambling sites for UK players.

Play the popular King Kong Cash slot machine at Slot Strike, the new slot site for UK players.

Grab the chance to win big with a high RTP on the goonies slot progressive jackpot. - made an easier way to find Skrill casinos lists the best online casinos for Finnish gamblers. For more information visit:  

Sweden is now a regulated market, which means that as a player you can only play at casinos with a license. See all regulated
casinos in Sweden by Mr casinova.

To find the best casino in Norway take look at
norske casino at CasinoPiloten.

Find the best Norwegian casinobonus at

Get exclusive access to a
huge range of free spins & no deposit casino offers with Spin Bonus.

Try the exhilarating new 20p Roulette game.
Play it online at thecasinodb and find casinos to play for real money.

Get the best casino bonus information with Casino Gorilla.

Chess games at Gametop For you that want to find online casino strategies, guides and a good casino bonus!


What's your FIDE rating?

What should Natalia do to make more interesting for you?

Who is your favorite active top player?

Poker or chess: what do you like more?

What's the largest monetary chess prize you ever won?

How much time per day do you spend on chess-related activities?

Do you have a special chess mascot (pen, badge, toy, etc.)?

Which time control do you prefer for over-the-board tournaments?

The strongest women's chess team in the world is

What is the strongest national chess team in the world?

Will Magnus Carlsen's rating reach FIDE 2900?

Do you think you can become a GM?

Converting Winning Positions

User Rating: / 1
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 27 July 2010

by Natalia Pogonina for her Tuesday column

Every chess player fails to convert a winning position once in a while. Sometimes it happens even in situations when any move seems to secure the whole point. What is the reason for this?

Chess is a sport, so the following three aspects are important:
1.    Until the game is over, the score sheet isnt signed, anything can happen.
2.    The best player doesnt always win.
3.    Losing ones concentration often leads to trouble.

Now lets talk about chess in particular. So, lets say you had a serious advantage (enough for a win), but you somehow failed to take home the whole point. This may happen due to:
1.    Premature relaxation.
Chess players often consider the game finished after obtaining a decisive advantage, mentally putting a 1 in the scoring table and starting to play carelessly.
Advice: always stay alert and watch out for potential counter-play until the game is really over.
2.    Time factor.
Myriads of promising positions have been thrown away in time trouble. There is also another problem: anxiety to win asap, i.e. playing too quickly after getting a winning position.
Advice: in the first case you should keep an eye on the clock and avoid getting into time trouble. In the second situation you had better calm down and play as if nothing special happened. Dont be in a hurry.
3.    Tiredness.
After a few hours of play, especially if the game required a lot of efforts on your side; you didnt sleep well; spent a few hours preparing; hardly had any dinner, etc., chances are high you just wont be able to keep up the level.
Advice: practice sports, work on your endurance, sleep well, dont over-exhaust yourself by preparing too long, mind your nutrition, take walks during the tournament, lead an active and healthy life.
4.    Defensive resources.
Chess has enormous defensive resources. Sometimes if one desperately fights for survival, he/she may find some saving chances, surprise the opponent and avoid losing.
Advice: stay calm (even if your opponent comes up with an unexpected trick) and dont get into time trouble.

Factors 1-3 depend on the player him/herself, #4 has more to do with the opponent. Even if you do your best to follow the recommendations, you will still end up messing your game up from time to time. There are just too many issues to control. Nonetheless, the percentage of converted winning positions should increase.

Now let's get back to the Mulhouse 2010-GM event and take a look at my round 4 game there:

After having obtained a decisive advantage I still couldnt win the game and even lost it. There were two main mistakes: 1. Relaxing too early and neglecting my opponents counter-play 2. Getting into time-trouble. Then I became upset about not converting a technically won position and started playing really badly instead of pulling myself together and making a draw.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (2)
1. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 12:34 27 2010 .
Thank you for sharing this experience with us.
2. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 16:55 25 2011 .
im now 22. and learned to play chess only last december. i attended a fide tournament last month and got a rating performance 1632 . just bought and read dvoertsky's endgame manual and learnt a lot from that.learned to force mate with knight and bishop. and now learning a lot from aagard's basic positional ideas. is there any chances for me to reach 2000+ elo ratings if i take the game seriosly?? advice me for my chess future.

Write Comment
BBCode:Web AddressEmail AddressBold TextItalic TextUnderlined TextQuoteCodeOpen ListList ItemClose List

Code:* Code

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 July 2010 )
< Prev   Next >