Throwing it away

May 31, 2014, 4:18 AM |

Another post prompted by frustration at having thrown away a win through poor technique. I built up a positional advantage, which I thought I could convert, and was even helped by a blunder by my opponent. But then I guess I got complacent - I blundered right back, and missed several ways of retaining the remains of the advantage I still had. We got to a rook and pawns ending, and again I managed to gain an advantage thanks to a strong passed pawn, and eventually found myself with a rook against double passed pawns, which should have been a matter of 'technique'. Turns out my technique leaves a lot to be desired. This weeked's reading: rook endings! Here's the game: 

A very uneventful opening sequence in which a lot of material is traded very early.

 The only real imbalance to speak of after this sequence is that black's bishop is blocked by his own pawn on d5, a state of affairs I intend to try to take advantage of. I decided that there was no danger to centralising my king very early, which might come in handy later in the endgame. My intention was to build up on the kingside, and occupy e5 with my knight.

As it was, instead of this series of exchanges, black blunders and simply drops his knight. Now, I thought, it is simply a matter of being patient and pushing home for the win. But true to style, I managed to blunder right back, and gifted black a path back into the game.

 A rook and pawns ending. I knew I needed to be careful, and that on account of neither of us being grandmasters, we would see some less than perfect play, meaning there would be chances for both sides to win. I had the benefit of a nice central passed pawn, however, and I was going to concentrate my efforts there.

So, rook vs. connected passed pawns, how hard could it be? From the title of the post, you might be able to guess.