Throwing Away a Material Advantage:
Part of the Chess Strategies Guide (Section 1: Strategies)
Throwing Away a Material Advantage
Avoid launching your Pawns and Pieces into attack after attack, while forgetting to properly develop your army.
Against an experienced opponent, your own lack of development will gift the critical squares to enemy material, while your troops become increasingly restricted, out of position and easy pickings, when your opponent has finished developing and is ready to strike at your inferior position.
The player who manages to complete the development of their army first, will have a lead in development and this can balance out having a Material deficit (when you've lost more troops than enemy captured).
Material Advantage -- having more troops on the board than your opponent -- will turn dominant when neither player holds a lead in development.
"Odds" Game Examples
In the two examples below, White Wins through superior development, in addition to taking full advantage of Black's poor development and thoughtless attacks, which leave the Black King on the end of a deserved kicking. In other words, despite having a material advantage, Black shows how one can throw away a game that, with better odds, he ought to win.
Odds Game, Example #1
(p22) Diagram 3: Queen Odds.
Potter-Amateur, London, 1870
Diagram 3, left, shows the first of two examples of an "Odds" Game.
In this example (p22), White plays without his Queen.
This would be known as "Queen Odds".
Odds Game, Example #2
(p24) Diagram 4: Queen-Knight Odds.
Ward-Browne, Nottingham, 1874
Diagram 4, left, shows the second of two examples of an "Odds" Game.
In this example (p24), White plays without his Queenside Knight.
This would be known as "Queen-Knight Odds".
Common Mistakes That Can Lose A Game From a Winning Advantage (i.e. a Material Advantage)
The two examples of "Odds" games, shown above, revealed some common mistakes that can be sufficient to lose a game, even from what should be a winning advantage:
Moving On: Trading Pieces for a Winning Endgame (Page 4).
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