Analysing My Own Games: When You Can't Find a Plan
They say a bad plan is better than no plan. But what do you do if you can't even find a bad plan!
Such was the dilemma I faced on the White side of a King's Defence where I won a pawn on move 13, but still can not find a logical plan to improve my position.
Full credit to my opponent who outplayed me and understood the position better. I'm impressed by his control of key squares, and prophylactic measures to prevent pawn breaks at b4 or any invasion along the d-file. Impressive was his patience in regrouping to get his Knight to d4, where double isolated pawns were a strength.
I missed a key chance to defence with the concrete idea of exchanging Queens to prevent invasion on dark squares. This is an important lesson of not falling into the trap of thinking in terms of generalities (ie. improving your worst placed piece, which I did). Such thinking patterns are lazy.
Any suggestions are welcome! I'll have to seek external help in having this game reviewed.
What is White's best plan?
White has won a pawn, but at the cost of exchanging his dark squared Bishop.
How does White best proceed? He can't really play f4 lest it open the long diagonal for Black's raging Bishop.
I turned to the idea b4, but this was difficult to implement.
In post moretom, I'm considering Nb5 to clear the blockade, and should Black exchange is light squared Bishop, then c4 becomes available for the another Knight.
Black killed this idea later with ... c6, and despite isolated doubled pawns, these became too difficult to take advantage of.
How to Improve my Position?
This is a paradoxical position for me to understand. White is up a pawn, Black has double isolated pawns but I can't see how White can improve.
If anything, the double isolated pawns are strong for Black. They cover b5 and d5, and give Black a stronghold of the d4 square.
I didn't appreciate how powerful the d4 square is for Black, for his Knight to regroup. Black has such a grip on dark squares.
The Dream on d4
Only when it was too late does it dawn on me Black's entire regrouping was centred around his Knight to d4. It's White that is fighting for the draw.
The Last Chance to Fight on Dark Squares
Black has just played 45. ... f5 threatening ... f4. I had my priorities all wrong, thinking I had to bring my out of play Knight on a4 over to the Kingside.
It was paramount I challenge the threats on the dark squares, and play 46. Qg5 to shore up the dark squares. Black stands better, but it's White's best chance.
My Game Annotations and Analysis