A little backstory on this first game. My opponent and I last met at the USATE in 2008. I played the black side of a QGD Exchange and lost a well-fought contest. That game ended up in chess column in the Newark NJ Star Ledger, and my opponent claimed that he didn't submit it. OK. Not doubting him, ah, too much.
So, here we meet again years later in round 2 of a Quad event. In this one I dropped a Pawn in the opening. What's maddening is that he sprung a trap that I've used myself in countless blitz games. Anyway, it was a Pawn snatch, and in the opening that usually does mean loss of tempo, so there was opportunity to complicate things.
What lessons are in this game? Well, the first has to do with opening theory. 1.c4 e6 2.e4 c5 transposes to a system in the Sicilian that some call the Kramnik Variation. Though a lot of games I play transpose to a Sicilian, I've never seen this line. So, I pulled up and played over several games to see what happens in this kind of Sicilian. Now I'm better prepared on both sides of this opening.
The second lesson from this game has to do with discipline. 7.e5? is an error I would have avoided if I'd simply done a rote 1 ply search of my opponent's replies. I don't do this consistently in over the board play, and it's something I need to work on.
The third thing I might say about this game is that it's a good example of recovering from an error. Sometimes the initiative and complications are more important than the balance of material. Complications invite second chances, and that's what happened here.
This next game is one that I lost, not by some tactical slip-up, but by misunderstanding the position, and consistently getting the wrong ideas about what to do. So, there are no tactical fireworks in this one, just me watching my game go from equal to worse to lost
One way to sum up this game is like this. I got the wrong idea, based a plan on it, and then executed that plan. The result was a bad position that I could not defend.
To be a little more specific, If I had this game to do over again, I'd handle the struggle for the d-file differently, and give more thought about the long term fate of my dark squared Bishop.
Meanwhile, I've played over games with a similar pawn structure to see how others handled it with an open d-file and e4/e5 locked. I'll do better next time.