The following game was played in round 4 of the Slow Swiss #2 tournament. My opponent was rated a little over 150 points higher than me, and I was expecting a tough game. We had previously met at the board twice before in quad #17 and both games pushed me to the limit of my ability. The same was true for this game as well, and it turned out to be a very instructive loss for me.
The main lesson I took away from this game is the importance of central control of the board and the opportunities that arise from it. Being that I know almost nothing about playing against the English opening, I relied solely on some basic opening principles from the start. I tried to activate my pieces, get my king to safety, and control the center. I think I did pretty well for the first few moves, but eventually overestimated the stability of my pawn center and allowed my pieces to become remarkably uncoordinated. Baldvin did a great job taking advantage of my uncoordinated pieces and attacking the center via d5, and then systematically clamping down on my position to convert his advantage into a win.
I’m sure there is a lot I’m still missing here, and any comments or advice would be much appreciated. Here is our game: