# Game Analysis II: Equalization Trouble

• 3 years ago · Quote · #1

Here is a recent game that I played where I won due to endgame.  However, this is probably theoretically drawn.  My question is how am I supposed to play this opening as black to actually try to create imbalances and play for a win since the whole game just seems equal.  Please post ideas/analysis.  This game is annotated below:

Edit: For some reason the analysis diagram is not appearing properly, so i'll just post my annotations  and the game below...

1. d4 d5 2. e3 This is a pretty passive opening choice and black equalizes easily, but it is so unbalanced that it is hard to play for a win as black. 2... Bf5 3. Bd3 Bxd3 4. Qxd3 c65. Nd2 Nf6 6. f4 e6 7. Ngf3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. c3 c510. Ne5 Nc6 11. h3 Rc8 12. Kh1 Nd7 Nd7 to dislodge the knight with f6. Obviously taking on e5 is dangerous since it restricts my pieces and increases his attacking potential. 13. Qe2 f6 14. Nxc6 Rxc6 I thought about bxc6 as another possibility to play a quick cxd4 and then c5. However, I saw that my e6 pawn could be exposed after something like qg4 and I wanted my pawn structure to be more flexible. 15. e4 cxd4 16. cxd4 This is a critical position in my opinion. It's hard to figure out what to do. I felt like I shouldn't take on d4 and activate his pieces with nxe4. I didn't really know how to play this so i went for re8 so that if he took on d5 then my rook would x-ray his queen. 16... Re8 17. e5 Nb6 aiming for c4 square. 18. b3 restriction of c4. perhaps nb6 was not good. b3 lets his bishop get active. Hard to suggest a good plan though. 18... fxe5 19. fxe5 Rf8 trying to contest the open file. 20. Nf3 Qc8 preparing to break through on the 2nd rank with rc2. Pigs on the 7th are strong after all.  21. Bd2 Rc222. Rac1 Qc3 this works due to the overloaded queen. the idea was to go qb2 and munch the a pawn possibly or simply double on the 2nd.  23. Qe3 Qxe3 24. Bxe3 I dont want to deal with rc7 after rxa2 so i opt to trade off all the rooks. 24... Rfc8 25. Rxc2 Rxc2 26. Rc1 Rxc1+ 27. Bxc1h6 I think this is the only move since I have to stop ng5 and the munching of my e6 pawn. This is probably a theoretically equal position. It might favor me slightly since his central pawns are on dark squares.  28. g4 Bb4 I am trying to put pressure on his dark squared central pawns and bb4-bc3 seemed like fastest way.  29. a3 Bc3 30. Kg2 now the knight on b6 has a hard time entering the game due to the restriction on c4 by the b3 pawn so i play to undermine that pawn.  30... a5 31. Kf2a4 32. bxa4 Nxa4 33. Bd2 Kf7 activating my worst placed piece. 34. Ke3 I am not really sure how to improve the position here if he takes on c3 I am probably better since my knight is more active. There is no way to force this, so i decide to try to bring my king over to the queenside.  34... Ke7 35. Bxc3 for some reason white trades and activates my knight. This is probably a decisive mistake for him. Better is just kd3 forcing me to make a decision with my bishop. 35... Nxc3 36. Kd3Ne4 the rest is technique. Knight endgames are often like pawn endings in which more often than not one side will win.  37. h4Nf2+ 38. Kc3 Nxg4 39. Kb4 Ne3 40. Kb5 Kd7 41. Kb6Nc4+ 42. Ka7 Nxa3 43. Kxb7 Nc2 44. h5 Ne3 45. Kb6Ng2 46. Nh4 Nf4 47. Ng6 Nxg6 48. hxg6 h5 He resigned here since the h pawn is unstoppable. 0-1

• 2 years ago · Quote · #3

wow I have all these great annotations and no one wants to help=/

• 2 years ago · Quote · #4

It doesn't paste into game editor properly.

• 2 years ago · Quote · #5
Timothy_P wrote:

It doesn't paste into game editor properly.

yeah thats why i just posted it like this.  I can post a pgn without the annotations below i guess.

Here is the game without annotations:  annotations are listed in the first post.

• 2 years ago · Quote · #6

on 16 i'd consider 16...dxe4 17.nxe4 f5. It looks weakening but I think if he retreats to c3 for example you can get good pressure against the d-pawn with nb6 and possibly play bb4 bxc3 and play against a backwards c3 pawn as well while he doesn't ever really get around to attack your backwards e6 pawn.

• 2 years ago · Quote · #7
blueslick wrote:

on 16 i'd consider 16...dxe4 17.nxe4 f5. It looks weakening but I think if he retreats to c3 for example you can get good pressure against the d-pawn with nb6 and possibly play bb4 bxc3 and play against a backwards c3 pawn as well while he doesn't ever really get around to attack your backwards e6 pawn.

Yes this is possible I suppose.  This pawn formation of e6 and f5 is also playable in a highly theoretical line in the c3 sicilian where white plays rd1 and black wins the light squared bishop by force which is good because without the light squared bishop he can't target the e6-f5 pawn structure which is also the case here since he doesnt have a light squared bishop.  I didn't play like this since I didn't get how to play against the isolated d pawn.

• 2 years ago · Quote · #8

Anyone else have any ideas?

• 2 years ago · Quote · #9

Here's the game with the annotations (added {} brackets to the text):

I think you played the opening and early middlegame well, the c7-c5 break is a typical idea for Black in similar positions (with white pawns on d4-e3-f4 and black on d5-e6), and then using the open c file and playing on the queenside where there is more space. Since the pawn structure is symmetrical (there are no semi-open files), it is up to piece activity and other general positional values to make the difference, and you were better in those aspects. In the ending you had a good vs bad bishop, maybe you should have avoided exchanging them with 33...Bb2 for example. The game really is about equal most of the time, but that is because White didn't play actively enough, and you should be content with having achieved equality so early in the game and turning it into a win. White should have avoided playing 37.h4 because it let you win a pawn and create a passed one (which is usually decisive in the endgame).