Analysing My Own Games: Condemned to Passivity

Analysing My Own Games: Condemned to Passivity

Mar 6, 2016, 5:37 AM |

Close to the worse feeling in Chess is having no counterplay. On the Black side of a Queen's Gambit Declined, I exactly landed in such a position after 20 moves.


It's important to trace back where things went wrong, and for me the critical position out of the opening arose after 15. e4


In suffering for a long time, I felt it's important not to weaken myself for the sake of activity. I was very lucky to escape with a draw, as my opponent didn't find the optimal plan. I learnt much from seeking improvements in his play, by firstly activating and readying his pieces rather than closing potential avenues.

How to Handle the Centre? 

Black to Move

This is a difficult position for Black to play. 15. ... e5 has been tried, as has 15. ... Rf8.


White has at his disposal h3 to displace the Knight, as well as Re1 with central activity.


I chose a novelty in 15. ... Nge5 but quickly fall into a passive situation after White preserves his Bishop and plays f4-e5 condemning me to a Bad Bishop.


I'm still uncertain what's Black's best course.

When Your Opponent has No Counterplay

White has such a commanding position. Black's Bishop is passive. White has complete space advantage and Black has no counterplay.


White ended up playing 28. a5 which closes one side of the board where he is the only one that can make action. This leaves only the Kingside as the domain that Black has to worry about.


A higher priority of White was to activate the f-Rook and his Bishop. His Bishop would be ideally placed at d3 sizing up g6 and h7.


The f-Rook should be deployed to the h-file via say f2-h2 with the threat of h5 lingering. White still would have insurace of opening up the Queenside should Black's pieces be deflected to the Kingside for defence.

Don't Rush to Close

Again I felt my opponent rushed with 30. g5. Ultimately he should aim to open lines with 30. h5


The issue with g5 is that it loses control of f5, allowing Black's Queen to gain activity that she should never have had.

My Game Annotations and Analysis