My Nineteenth Chess Tournament, Game 1 (Outplaying the Marshall Defense)
For almost a whole year, all of the games that I've played with the White pieces started exclusively with 1. e4. The last time I played 1. d4, or any opening move other than 1. e4 for that matter, was on August 10, 2012, in which I played the Queen's Gambit and missed several opportunities to win. I eventually repeated positions in a winning king and pawn ending, and the game was drawn.
After that disappointing game, I stuck to playing 1. e4 for a while. Perhaps I was afraid to play other opening moves, as I don't have much knowledge of Black defenses to other common opening moves like 1. d4, 1. c4, or 1. Nf3. I know a good amount about the Queen's Gambit. In fact, I usually play the Slav Defense when I face the Queen's Gambit with the Black pieces. However, my knowledge of the various Indian defenses isn't so great. For instance, I know very few lines of the Nimzo-Indian, Bogo-Indian, and Queen's Indian.
In this game, I put aside that fear of playing into an unfamiliar opening, and decided to give 1. d4 a try. After a couple of moves, the game transposed into the Marshall Defense in the Queen's Gambit, which was advantageous for me. This was an opening that I found relatively easy to play with White, as Black loses time and all of his central control. After creating several pawn weaknesses in my opponent's camp, I exchanged several pieces so that I could target those weaknesses in the endgame. The win came easily when my opponent blundered a piece near the end of the game.
Here is the game: