What’s the best way to win a chess game when you lose your queen?

Against a better player of a good standard, you will usually lose.

But if you are going to fight and give a good account of yourself, then I would like to remind you that if you are a queen down, with no compensation, achieving a draw is a near win. This is worthwhile thinking as a starting point, because while still unlikely, is more probable- and you may just find that chance should you opponent make a mistake.

  • Unless you lost your queen en prise, it is likely your opponent gave up something to achieve such a situation. Take ALL you can get- it can be material, structural and positional plusses (also consider opponent’s minuses).
  • You may find that after the opponent’s strike, they are uncoordinated. A usual scenario is the queen is out of action and needs several moves to extricate themselves. Many an attack on the enemy King is launched under such conditions and if you get your perpetual- smile broadly! (Unless you get an ironclad mating position- then make your opponent pay. Smiling is optional)
  • Always be on the lookout for a tactical stroke for material. Obviously everyone thinks of getting back at the opponent’s queen but an active pair of rooks or even an unopposed bishop pair can reek havoc. If you have played long enough, you may come across positions with marauding knights infiltrating through weaknesses. Look for these opppotunities.

If these things are not readily available then some simple rules to prolong your fight:-

  • don’t exchange anything unless it is highly favourable or gets rid of weakness. For instance- the opponent’s most active piece or the piece that will support the queen in attacks- exchange it and it gets a whole lot more complicated
  • Aim for a closed position and shore up at possible entry points. The renowned trainer Dvoretsky taught the concept of fortresses where the opponent may have material advantage but cannot pierce your structure to cause harm. This regularly features giving the opponents bad bishops and relelvant pawn chains.

This latter bit might not lead to a win, the opponent may very well make a mistake in their frustration.. then you have achieved in your aim!

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