Positional squeeze in a Moscow Sicilian
So this is what I do after playing blitz all night- come home at 1AM, turn the computer on and play slow games with people in Europe, who are already awake. Maybe I should drink more while playing blitz so I would be going straight to bed. Anyway, I think the game below is interesting and instructive-it's a closed position with a lot of pawns blocking each other on the board. The computer evaluation isn't as important in this type of middlegame as in the games with an open centre- I can move my rook back and forth from e1 to f1, just waiting for my opponent to shift dynamics that I can adjust to. What's important is how both sides group their forces behind their closed pawn chains- Black shouldn't allow the exchange of queens, his queen might have had some chance of penetrating my queenside, when it's gone, all his pieces are in the back, not working with each other, I can push my pawns of the queenside and gain space for free, without much risk of opening myself up in the back to his counterattack, because there can't be any of it there. And then 31...axb5 is a huge blunder, because the way his pieces are set up, all in each other's way, there's no way for him to stop me from owning the a-file. Soon he finds himself in trouble, with very few decent moves to hold it, and many more moves that lose, and he plays the bad one 40..Nc8. In the end, my good bishop proves superior to the bad one he has. OK, I'll try to go to bed.