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In this game my opponent was extremely difficult to beat despite being ranked a lot lower than me. He created many threats and slowly started clawing back the material he'd sacrifced to get an initiative. Luckily, I was finally able to find a pretty mating pattern and pull through.
28. ... Ne4 ?
Better: 28. ... Nh5 ! (a knight on the rim is not always grim) threatening both 29. ... Nxg3 and 29. ... Nxf4 followed by 30. .... Bxe5 winning material. After that white can resign.
If you miss such basic tactics then you don't need to wonder about opponents which are "extremely difficult to beat".
As well as threatening the queen, Ne4 cuts the rook on e1 off from defending the e5 knight (which is attacked by three pieces and defended by just two once the rook is cut off). So that is guaranteed to win material just as much as Nh5.In the end I got a whole rook out of it, but would always have at least got the knight.
I do however concede that Nh5 might be better due to the fact that white ends up with less of a threat.
I see Nh5 as better in that position too. It accomplishes the same initial task at hand (winning the piece), attacks the queen at the end of it all (giving black a tempo), keeps the c and d pawns happy cause they have a buddy, and eliminates whites mating chances then and there.
However, a win is a win no matter how its done, so kudos to you!
You're both right and I happily acknowledge that Nh5 was the better move. However, it so happened that at the time it was Ne4 that caught my eye. As ever, the main lesson for me is to take more time over my moves.
Good constructive criticism; thanks.
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