Rushall v Brewood - Monday 12th December 2011
On move 3, white could have played cxd5, and then if Nxd5 4. e4 and a big pawn center and your Knight on the run. If you take with the Q, he plays Nc3 first and then probably follows up with e4: huge space advantage and your pieces scampering.
From now on, if you play 1. d4 d5 2. c4, your response is e6 or c6 or dxc4 please.
Fortunately, your opponent doesn't seem interested in playing actively. (e3 & a3 are passive, defensive moves, but there is nothing to defend!) Nc3, Bg5 and Nf3 before shutting down the center (and worrying about nothing on the Q-side) would have been more active.
6...Bd6 is probably not the best. If in doubt, play the B to e7 to prepare 0-0 and keep it safe from pawn forks...which your opponent missed by 0-0 before playing e4. (Is he afraid of playing e4???) Look at the position with e4 instead of 0-0. What do you do then?!
9. d5: he pushes the wrong pawn.
Why play 12...Bxf3? Why not back off and either force him to ruin his K-side pawns with g4 or after Bxc6 and bxc6, he wrecks your Q-side pawns, but loses the B-pair on what is now an open board.
A bunch of sensible moves until 27 ... b5. Why do that? You're "fixing" the pawns on the color of his Bishop, making them permanent targets. And the poor c-pawn is stuck backwards on a semi-open file.
Instead of 31. Rd6+ he could have played Rd4 and picked off the pawn. It's undefendable.
Instead of 33. Ke2, e4 would have kept your King at bay maybe, but the pawn play on the K-side is pretty flexible still. Taking off the Rooks was a mistake. You should only do that if you see a clear outcome. K+P endgames are usually just a matter of counting.
34...f5 was good for stopping all K-side Pawn mayhem. His backward e-pawn is now stuck that way. The follow-up h4 is good too for keeping all his stuff backwards.
The pawn-hunt ending in Qs was a nail-biter, but the draw was probably legitimate.
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