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This game became very cramped. Probably some risky moves played. Eventually I got black to trade off their rooks, which were their only moveable pieces. They then got their queen stuck behind my pawns allowing me to force a promotion. The types of positions in the middle of the game always are a bit confusing for me. Maybe someone can comment on things to do, plans, etc.
What, 5... c6? I think I have to disagree with you. Sure, there is that mate threat if Nxe5. The thing is that something like Nc6 or Nd7 also stop 6. Nxe5. Nc6 seems to be a much more useful move in the long run.
Note that in the mainline, white trying this trick results in them losing a knight (and a bishop if they're stupid enough not to play Be2) for just a pawn.
Now that I think about the 5... c6 more, it seems like they just made two passive moves in a row, starting with 4... h6. What did h6 do? It stops Ng5, but so did their Bg4, as well as the fact that the queen controls g5. It stops Bg5 after Nf6, but that is at least two turns away since the bishop is stuck behind the d-pawn.
Both 5...Nc6 and 5...Nd7 allow white 6.h3, when Black has either to surrender the bishop pair for nothing, lose time by retreating, or fall in 6.h3 Bh5? 7.Nxe5 Nxe5 7.Qxh5 Nxc4 8.Qb5+ when white is a juicy pawn up.
And yes, 6.d4 was a mighty good move. Doubling pawns on the f-file shouldn't worry you, Black has no attack.
Ah, I see. It's obvious you meant 8. Qxh5, so your line makes perfect sense.
There have been times that this doubled pawn on the f-file has spelt doom. Probably both from bad play and different positions. Perhaps in the future I should try to get this doubled pawn to get some more experience with it.
Actually, doubling the pawns is even good for you, you have plenty of time to take the g file after that.
Same for 10.g4 : if you ruled out the line 10...Nxg4 11.hxg4 Bxg4 (a classic pattern : now the Nf3 is very seriously pinned) because of 12.d4 followed by Be2, then Black's bishop is so passive that it compensate the weakening of the king. I am not so sure the line 10...Nxg4, though ! It would need double checking...
I analyzed this with Fritz. It shows alternate moves and whatever, but doesn't explain them. 30. Nxb4 is pretty obvious, though. My question is whether or not it's worth it. Isn't this one of those positions where knights are excellent? Is that rook on b4 really worth more than the knight?
Over all, it thinks I did pretty well. An amazing thing is that it says 35... Bd8 gives white about a six pawn advantage. Black's 35... Qa1 instantly shoots up to over 30 pawn advantage. Another interesting thing is that it's analysis didn't even consider 39. Nxe7+ until I did the manual input. Now it seems to like the Nxe7+ line. It makes me think of how IM pfren constantly goes on about computers...
Is this really a draw ?
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