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Well, it was even until e4 and Bd3.
Bxd3 allowed him to deflect your queen from the second rank and fork your king and b pawn.
You needed to keep the pieces on the board after that or you can't stop the passed pawn that you helped him create.
I think mainly when you traded bishops and your position wasn't ready for it, his position was. The free pawn + initiative for black looked somber, then 31.a4 sealed the loss (when you should've been looking after your knight, also; in the given position a4 has no objections, but this was easily changed with 31... Nh5! .
I think the root of the problem was losing c file but I couldn't find a good way to prevent it. The next thing is your queen stays passive. Correct me if I'm wrong but after 23. ... Nd7 24. Qd3 is better. The reason is it would both support e4 square and if black moves any piece to c file you would be able to pin it and take the c file. After he meets the mate threat by lets say 24... f5 25. Bd4 and you should be good enough
27. Bd3 just blunders a pawn. It's probably over after that. 30.f3 kills your black squares walking into an unpleasant pin. So the first mistake probably loses the game although work is needed. The 2nd makes the win easy. 31.a4 is even more help. So 3 blunders in a row is usually good enough to send any position down the tubes.
Prior to 37.Bd3, I guess the position looks pretty equal. "losing" the c-file is meaningless, you can just take the d-file if you like. And black has to be careful you don't trap his bishop although this is easily thwarted by a move like Qd7.
Your opening looks pretty aimless. Coming out of the opening, at move 12, you seem to have no plan and spend two moves relocating your knight to a square from which it spectated for the rest of the game.
Black's b5 looks to have given you an opportunity. He landed himself with a backward pawn on the half open c file and a hole at c5. I would have spent some time seeing whether I could get a piece established at c5 and that means I would have wanted to prepare b5. But you retreated your bishop to b3 so that idea was simply not available to you. Which led to black having a plan - to play on the queenside, work towards c5 and attempt to exploit the open c file - while you were playing aimlessly.
You need to develop a plan or some plans coming out of the opening. It helps to have some idea of what the plan or plans might be while conducting your opening.
Incidentally I also don't know where you get Me (1850) and USCF 1966 from. If they represent wishful thinking I'd drop that in favour of realism. As far as I have been able to see, peering from afar off, good chess is very concrete.
#33 qh4 creates a passed pawn that q.s right away ...nxn,qxn,qxq,kxq,pxp
You bludered your pawn. It is that important in endgames.
I agree with johnyoudell. I think the problems started showing up very early. By move 20, black has control of more than half the board, and by move 30 he has three quarters of it and you are cramped. In the meantime you are shuffling your major pieces around on the first three ranks while your opponent is developing a significant queenside attack.
By playing white you already have the advantage of the first move, and you should try to plan an attack that he has to respond to, rather than the other way around.
You can't rely on the online rating of your opponent to gauge his skill level. Some players attain quite high ratings simply by playing the same, lesser-skilled, players over and over. Some may only have come on the site recently, so their rating is low. I recently got thrashed by a 1550 player whose rating is probably over 2000, and it turned out that he has played on other sites but only recently came to chess.com.
Keep playing. Your opening seemed sound to me.
Well I must modify my views in the light of what paulgottlieb says. Seemingly white's plan should be based on achieving the advance e4 and I suspect that means my idea of trying to get a piece onto c5 fails or is otherwise bad.
The queen's knight supports e4 from c3 so I still don't really see why two moves should be spent moving it to g3 but I guess it still supports e4 from there.
But I prefer black's position to white's throughout and I do think that is a consequence of not having clear ideas in the opening and not being able to come out of the opening doing something more than just responding to what black is doing. If I ask myself what white would do at move 26 (avoiding the blunder) no clear answer emerges. Black's bishop seems to me slightly better, white's knight seems to me slightly better, white's queen seems to me slightly better. Putting it at the lowest black, I think, has a small initiative still.
Win the exchange or the pawn
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