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My annotations will be limited, especially in the endgame, because I want to see what others think I should have done.
What should I have done differently? It was definitely my endgame and I lost it.
on your endgame: 38. c5 loses a pawn for no reason, i would play axb6 then after Nxb6 you have 2 connected passed pawns backed up by a bishop and your king which is an easy win. this might not be best play but it seems a simple enough idea:
also after the knight sacrifice you have a clearly won position still
after 51. ... Kh3 you played Kf6. Why not Kh6? Black is never really threatening your bishop as it takes too long to take it and catch the pawn. Your crucial mistake was allowing his king to get in front of yours at the very end.
Most of the game you played very well.
In the opening 3. Nc3 is more common, 6. Qxe6, damaging his pawn structure might have been better, and 8. b3 isn't my favorite since it weakens your c3 knight and your bishop already has a good diagonal.
In the middle game I think you played quite well!
Anyway, let's skip to the end :)
In most of the endgame you're totally winning and you played very well.
All the way till move 57 you were winning. 57. Kg5 was a blunder since it let the black king get to h8 (if you had a dark-squared bishop this would still be winning for you)
Instead of 57. Kg5 I think something like Bc4+ or Kh7 was winning. After these moves something like h6, Kg8, and h7 promote the pawn.
BTW: What was the time for the game?
I like what the poster above me said. But I note that 56. h6 looks very strong:
After 41.Kb5 notice that Black could not afford to move either his K or his N which is why Black was compelled to play 41...f4.
Black could not move his K away else he'd lose his N.
Black could not move his N away else White's a-pawn queens with 42.a6, 43. a7 and 44.a8=Q.
So, that being the case, all that White needed to do was compel Black to move his K or his N which in Chess Tactics called ZUGZWANG.
Here's an example of how White wins by compeling Black to move either K or N and win:
As others have said your biggest mistake at the end was allowing the black king to get to the queening square.
Indeed an earlier Be4 wins as in 50.Be4
The time control was a half hour.
Your advice is great guys. Thanks a lot.
I think the key-move was the 36th move. I would have attacked the pawn(s) with the bishop 36.Bd3.
Or at least, not place the bishop on f2, that bishop is going to struggle to even be able to attack the pawns on f5 and h7. (disclaimer, I didn't use chess engines)
Another thing, around the move 45, when your opponent king was going after the f2 pawn, you could simply have moved the bishop somewhere, then moved the pawn under the protection of the bishop.
remember, every pawn makes the difference! :D
edit: it looks like Oran_perrett already explained this
Some very good advice above & I don't want to repeat any of it but I wondered what was the last point at which you could have salvaged that game & got a win? I think it was probably move 49 - I found that bishop was a distraction, so I removed it! ....
So even from move 49 the game was under your control & the most important thing is to stop your opponent's king getting in front of your pawn.
Rook-file pawn promotion is the trickiest of all because if the other king gets into the corner then it can't be dislodged if the only other piece you have is a bishop of the wrong-coloured square (as you found out).
All other things being equal & if you have the choice, sacrifice your pawn on the rook file first & try to promote a pawn on an intermediate file - it's usually easier.
One thing that stands out about your game is that you played really quite well throughout but completely lost your way in those final few moves, so that's obviously a major weakness for you. It's a good idea to practice those king & pawn vs king endings for yourself. Other players may recommend this or that book on chess endgames but I find it much better to sit with a chess set (or Game Editor on this site) & just work through the moves for myself.
This might be useful for you...
Don't worry if you can't solve many/any of them because they are quite tough but I've learned a lot about this game from tackling puzzles like those.
after blacks 55....Kf6 white can still win.
Every fool can win in blitz chess !
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