Tata Chess Round 2 - favourite opening
Choose an opening
How do you decide what your favourite opening is? When I was a kid, I started out with 1.e4 because I saw other people play this move. It also seemed the best move since both my bishop and queen are activated. Only a year ago I actively started to look at the possibilities in the opening, and after practicing with both d4 and c4, I chose for the latter. I like the idea of pressing on the center with by bishops assisting on the flanks.
Still I have a lot to learn from the opening. During a game I often notice that using at least 30 minutes for the first 10 moves to get a deeper understanding of the position is a great way to improve my knowledge. Obviously, home preparation is even better. In October I was beaten by an 11-year old Hungarian kid, who played like a robot. His keen knowledge of the opening was amazing, and after 35 moves I was clubbed to death. Impressive, and it sometimes still haunts my sleep;)
Back to Wijk aan Zee. Round 2, and this second game I was playing with the white pieces. I like both the English opening as well as the Reti, although I occasionally play any 1. e4 position. Today was another Reti. Sooner than I thought I had a chance to advance on the kingside. After a slip of my opponent (move 26) it was quite easy to find good moves and win. He resigned at move 40 in a hopeless position.
Chess learning points
My key takeaways from this game are:1. 24.dxc5 is the logical response. I just did not took enough time (correction, I did not analyse this move thoroughly) to respond accordingly; 2. Having my eight (!) pawn reaching the fourth rank by move 29 struck me as quite funny. I couldn't remember ever 'achieving' this before, and probably will not see such a position any time soon.
3. 36.g5 seems obvious, yet I was too busy to involve every piece into the attack and wanted to threat Rfh1.