Concrete Reasoning Rules The Day
It's with a heavy heart I'm obliged to annotate this tainted game where I was Black in an English opening and drew. Shortly after the game, my opponent's account was banned, and I can only speculate why, given his near fautless play in our first game.
Three interesting aspects of this game were:
1. The type of centre Black wants to strive for.
2. White's destruction of the Black centre and liberation of his Bishop pair.
3. Concrete analysis and reasoning over moves based on general principle.
What type of Centre should Black strive for?
During the game, I reasoned that Black should aim to play ... d5, and to that aim I prepared with ... c6.
In hindsight, I think this is not the right centre to strive for, as ultimately White can open and break this centre, as well as my Bishop becomes bad.
I think a better plan may be to have gone for ... c5 as per the type of centre in a Nimzo Indian. I can follow with ... b6 and at least keep my Bishop active.
Liberation of the Dark Square Bishop
Black simply does not have d5 blockaded and under control. My opponent played the excellent 24. d5 and his Bishop pair comes alive with great activity.
Concrete Decision Making
A critical moment in the game where White has just played 26. Qxd5 with not only a threat on the undefended a-Rook but also preparing to coordinate with his Bishop at g7.
I admit I made a very bad chess sin. I based my decision on "general principles" rather than concrete reasoning. This simply isn't good enough to improve to the "next stage".
Previously, I had moved my Bishop from c8-b7-c8. My instincts was to "develop" my Bishop by playing 26. ... Bb7 to block the attack.
I failed to see 27. Qg5 as I only considered 27. Qd4
Better was 26. ... Ra6 which activates the Rook along the 6th rank.
Quite simply, one needs a level head to list all candidate moves and plans.
My Game Annotations and Analysis