XI Obert Vila de Gracia, Last Game: The Poisoned Pawn That Should've Been Eaten (Caro-Kann, Karpov)
In the final round of the XI Obert Vila de Gracia I drew Black (3rd game in a row) against Clemens Pagel Bieg, Catalan ELO: 1921, Fide 1773 (Peak Fide: 2053 in 2004).
As always, I did some research beforehand and saw that he plays the Two Knights variation against Caro-Kann. I therefore decied to play the Scandinavian instead. However, as you will see, we still ended up in the Caro. I equalized pretty fast, but then started a premature attack, failed to take the "poisoned" pawn on b2, eventually fell prey to a combination and lost a pawn, and was losing. Nevertheless, it turns out I had the chance to equalize for a few more times by taking the damn pawn, but alas, I didn't and eventually lost.
- It's always better to play principled moves and complete development rather than go for a half-baked attack
- Sometimes a poisoned pawn needs to be eaten