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This is my first attempt to post a game. I hope I got the mechanics right. I'm trying to learn the Caro Kann. I was sort of thrown off by my opponent's 2.f4, but just sort of went with the opening for about 12 moves. I think the position was pretty equal until my blunder at move 15. But I really didn't have a plan or any good ideas for what to do with it. Thanks for any feedback or advice on strategy.
I don't know anything about the Caro-Kann (still less chess strategy as a whole), but there are a couple of moves I notice could have been better:
3... dxe4 seemed a bit premature. Nf6 might have been better, adding another attacker to e5 whereas dxe5 allowed white to capture the pawn without consequence.
5... Nxe4 I agree with you there, not that Nxd2 would have been better, but Bg4 was worth consideration (I think), attacking the queen.
12... e5 I don't know why you didn't play Nc5 instead. Again, you could be attacking the queen. If he had replied with 13. fxe6, you could play 13... Nxe5, scoring yourself a queen for a knight and a pawn (assuming he didn't decide to just take your knight, but that would have lost him even more material anyway),
14... O-O? I agree with your castling long idea, but you would have had to move your queen first. 14... Qc7 would have been the way to go I reckon.
15... Ng4?? You pretty much summed it up here. Though I don't think 15... e4 16. dxe4 Ng4 would have been any better since it still gives your opponent a free pawn and why did you want your knight on g4 anyway? 15... b5 makes more sense.
17... a4 Huh?
25... Rd2+?? You could have played Qxh6 instead
That's all I can think of for now.
Here are my own comments.
My suggestion: try playing at longer time controls, you won't make much of an improvement by playing ten minute rapids.
I agree with the comment; play longer time controls. Try to forget about the name of the opening and develop your own decision tree to pick the best move each time.
Thanks so much for your comments and suggestions, IM pfren (and others).
I'm in agreement with pfren that 6...g6 and fianchettoing on the kingside looks quite comfortable for black. If you want wild tactics in an attempt to refute 3.Bd3, then 3...e5!, but that's quite a lot more difficult to play correctly.
I usually see 2.f4 and then 3.e5, to which I prefer to play 3...Bf5 followed by h5 and Nh6 if white allows it. Pretty much locks down the kingside and black can play as he wishes on the queenside.
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