I started my game with Destroyer_1 feeling more optimistic. I am now playing online more regularly for practice. At this stage I don't really like to play timed games as I don't think I benefit from it that much. I learn more from slow games where I can think through my moves and draw links.
I have read the useful guide to beginner strategy provided by Coach Leopold in the forums and am focusing on developing my pieces and controlling the board before charging in. Quite early in the game my oponent seems eager to push forward and is happy to exchange pieces.
As can be seen we ended up loosing our Knights and a Bishop each without any gain. I then won the game on time, which was a shame. I hadn't until this point realised there was a setting that automatically claimed a victory and so my rating increased as a result of the win. I would rather not have taken the win as my rating is now larger than it ought to be at this stage.
I was about to learn some openings, but have read in the forum that it's not necessary for the beginner. This is a big relief because when you know no openings the task of starting to learn them seems very daunting.