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I appreciate the post! You speak a lot of truth!! I def always feel like I need to blow my opponent off the board with crazy tactics, which is definitely not going to work against anyone 1900+.
I will definitely be looking at the Qc2 line a little deeper. I just found it this morning when I got rybka up and running on my new comp.
With that being said, I may take a look at more aggressive options in the advance.
"...(preferably one that does not give away pieces)..."
ROFL'd when I saw this one :P.
It looks like you've been booking up alot.
However, as soon as the book ended, you came up with a plan that looked pretty decent and typical - g4, and sacrificing a pawn to open lines to the Black king.
I don't think you constructively looked for ways for Black to stop your plan. Perhaps try harder to think how your ideas could be met by your opponent.
Your 17.Ne2 was an interesting try, and you show 17.Rhe1 as the main alternative. At higher levels (FIDE 2300+) Black is winning or drawing the majority of games after 17.Rhe1 which is very uncommon in mainlines. This strongly suggests Black is absolutely fine in the resulting positions. White's only remaining trump in this position might be 17.Qc2 (and not 17.Rhe1). My advise would be to look into this move and go even deeper.
17...Ng4! is a very nice move by Humphreys, who was aiming to stifle all your fun, from move 1...c6 through the rest of the game. It's a very smart choice against an overly aggressive opponent.
The Caro-Kann requires prophylatic thinking by both players - in the variation you have chosen, you can't simply bowl Black over. If you want a more aggressive minded line, look for the advance variation - the line you used may require a more preventative mind-set.
The Caro-Kann advance also has alot of uncharted territory where you don't have to go as deep in book against opponents. Remember that you made it 16 moves deep, but Humphreys was probably prepared to go much deeper than that. (at least several moves) and then he would have ideas. You were outbooked in this case, as you got to be the first one to deviate from known moves.
That being said, 17.Ne2 was an interesting idea. Too bad 17...Ng4! was available.
After your plan (g4) fails, you basically implode. This is another weakness. If one plan doesn't work - make a new plan (preferably one that does not give away pieces). You couldn't sacrifice a pawn, so you choose to sacrifice a piece instead?
Keep a level head.
Look for your opponents replies, he's not a punching bag.
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