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OK, my 1490 vs his 2240, I didn't expect a result. But mostly I have some idea after a game where the rot set in.
I thought I played OK, and just got crushed...
I am going to assume that you have some working knowledge of the Closed Sicilian. If you don 't please let me know.
Your first suboptimal move was 3.f4. The optimal move is 3.Nf3.
My first question to you is, 8...c4, is it a pawn sac by Black or not? If it is a pawn sac is it sound?
Please post variations that show you understand what Black is threatening after the move 8...c4.
Well, first of, I'm not really trying for the closed Sicilian, But for the Grand Prix, where 3 f4 is the normal move? I switched to that about a month ago after a bunch of Vote Chess games in the Grand Prix group. Are you saying the Grand Prix is suboptimal?
About 8 ... c4. I cant post variations to show I understand, because frankly, I didnt understand what a player 700 rating points higher than me had in mind.
Do you think I should have taken the pawn?
In the meantime, I ran the game through an engine. Stockfish really doesnt like 8 ...c4, it evals @ +1.6, and suggests I should have captured the pawn on move 12, instead of Bd2.
I'm afraid I was probably just over my head in this game, too deep for me....
I think the OP noticed and reacted to all the threats, pins, etc. in the last part of the game as well as I would have, for what that's worth. So I was thinking maybe in the opening, where I'm clueless - so can't comment on Yaroslavi's post.
I might question 9. Nxf6+ which gave Black the half-open g file and no immediate way for White to take control of it. A lot of the subsequent troubles came from Black making use of that file.
Feeding this game into the chess engine I have...
Any reason why you did 11. Bxc6 instead of 11. Bxc4? The engine is playing 11. Bxc4.
The engine I have seems to not prefer neither of 12. Bd2 and 12...Bc5
The game then drifts into a worse position for white by the 19th move but it looks like 19. Qf2 pushes your game into a lost position.
The engine thinks a pawn is a pawn is a pawn.... I'll let rooperi answer for himself, but my guess he was trading off pieces to get to a more simple position.
The position did not transpose to the Grand Prix Attack until Black played 4...d5.
Regarding, 8..c4, LongIslandMark and MervynS summarized everything pretty well.
Yeah, but at our level, we should probably just take the pawn if we don't see anything immediate. From a practical standpoint, 9. Nxf6 gave black the chance to play 9...gxf6 which is what allowed black to complicate the game with the open g-file. I'm not saying 9...gxf6 is the most correct move however.
What was the point of 9. Nxf6?
I certainly wouldn't consider not taking the pawn. I don't even think black has the illusion of threats, he isn't developed.
At a glance, you started drifting into a passive position on move 12. I am having a hard time finding a good defense once Black doubles on the g file. After 21. Rxg2 you are clearly lost.
The bishop pair for the c pawn looks speculative in most of the positions. 11. Bxc4 does not even give Black that.
Also I assume YaroslavI is talking about nabbing the bishop due to the weak diagnole with ...Qb6+.
I (kinda obviously) lost the other game to him too,even worse than this, but at least I know I screwed up there.
I suppose I just have to learn my limitations
Next time, he gets 1 b4, that'll teach him!
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