My 4 games played today
This is the blog by a middle-aged player seeking to improve in chess while having maximum fun with the experience. He totally stopped online games (except correspondence chess) and prefers to play in person.
The games and moves by himself would be very noob (hence my nick of newbie_learner). Please feel free to share any comments/feedback as part of my learning and improvement. Thanks in advance.
Game 1 (90 minutes + 3 second increment per move)
5.c3 and 7.Nbd2 are not so good moves. Black can just play 7...cxd4 at some point. White's c1 Bishop will have little scope/prospects.
10.Nc4! If 10...dxc4 11.Qxd6 Ne4 12.Qd1 or Qf4 is good for White -- White has Bishop pair and eventually will recover the pawn with Qxc4. Not that intuitive or easy to see. Not for newbie_learner =)
15...b6! instead of 15...b5 would've achieved the optimum resulting position for Black.
By move 18, computer assesses White to have more than 1 pawn's advantage. 18.Nd4 is indeed 1 of the top candidate moves. Surprisingly, White can also play 18.Qxd5 Be6 19.Qe4 Bxa2 20.Nd4! exploiting the pin for a8 Rook and the overworked Queen -- e4 Queen hits on e7 Bishop.
White maintained the advantage for the remaining of the game. By move 31, it doesn't matter whether Black played 31...Qxc3 or Rd4 (top 2 choices, but White is already +1.7)
34...f5 is indeed a blunder. Computer agrees with my candidate moves: 34...Bc8 or Kf8.
Game 2 (90 minutes + 3 second increment per move)
Indeed, 10...f6! is the #1 move. Simple and powerful.
If Black realised that the sacrifice was going wrong at move 11, Black could improve with 11...Bf6 or Bd6 pinning back the Knight.
Indeed, 15.Bg5! wins on the spot.
Game 3: V.S. A renowned local Pianist! Because I didn't have his permission to share the game, I shall just use his initials L.Y. for now. Because he's a much stronger player, he allowed me to take White in both games. No clock is used.
After 8...g6, White can consider 9.Bb5+ with possibility of 10.Bc6 (if 9...Nbd7, 10.Bc6 Rc8, idea being the d7 Knight is stuck and White can start to attack on d6 pawn. If 9...Nfd7 10.Qe4+ is quite hard to answer for Black.
13.Qg3 threw away quite a bit of positional advantage. 13.Re1, Ba6, Bf4 are some candidate moves.
14.Qxd6 is an inaccuracy as well. Like what L.Y. pointed out after the game, 17.Bxe4! should be played. There is no Queen trap because after 17...Be5 18.Bg5! with a huge advantage for White.
Game 4: v.s. L.Y. again. I was sharing my desire to sharpen my tactics through playing 1.e4 again. L.Y. made me feel good by saying that he will play his best repertoire against me. Respect =)
18.Nd2 may be stronger than 18.Rfd1, as the Knight has c4 square, and the g2 Bishop is exerting pressure on the b7 Bishop.
22.d4 is a good looking inaccuracy ('optical illusion'). Black could've punished it with 22...Nc4! Instead of 22.d4, 22.c4 gives the c3 square for White's pieces (either Knight or Bishop from e3-d2-c3). Also, the backward d3 pawn will keep a watch of e4 square.
After the last move of 36.R6e5, computer assesses the position to be equal. But if I were to play out over the board, I would've probably lost. May my tactical sense improve ove rtime!