An instructive game?

An instructive game?

May 28, 2014, 5:23 AM |

After losing five Online games in a row I won my first game in eight months. How did I do it? Easy, I made one fewer blunder than my opponent, 1 vs 2 blunders to be precise. The plot starts at move 17. Playing Black, my position is somewhat inferior. Hoping to upset the balance, I launch a small combination, with 17... Bxe3+ in the diagrammed position. Unfortunately, this is a blunder. Fortunately, my opponent did not see how to capitalise on my mistake.

See whether you make the correct move as White. Play continued 18 Bxe3 d4 19 Bxd4 Qxd4.

What did we both miss? It was the correct move 19 Bb5, which pins the pawn against the queen, winning a piece for White.

The game proceeded towards the diagram below. My King is feeling the pinch. However, White now played 35 Qe5. Can you see why this is a blunder?

Then 35... Rb5 36 h6 g6 and now my opponent found a move I had not seen, though he still lost his Bishop: 37 Bd5 Rxd5 38 Qc7 threatening mate. Then 38... Ne1 39 Qc1 Rd3 40 Re5. See below.

I now considered my options. I am a piece up, but my king is vulnerable due to the mating threat at g7 by the Queen, as well as a back rank mate by queen or rook. I considered attacking the b2 pawn, advancing the a-pawn, getting a rook onto the a-file, aiming two rooks and queen onto the f1 quare, or just swapping material. It looks as though I need to make my knight useful, ie attack. I probably also need to move my king immediately to relieve the mating threat. Instead, I decided to grab the f-pawn to make sure his pawns cannot attack my King.

I played 40... R(d)xf3 Then 41 R(h)e1 Nd6 42 Qc7 R(3)f7 and Black surprised me with 43 Qc3, more or less forcing me to do exactly what I wanted - exchange Queens in the position below.

The game wound on till White resigned on his 50th move, shown below. He can play 50 Re6 but it won't help him, as the pawn is locked in place and I can use my knight to pick it off. My two linked passed pawns are the game decider.

The computer analysis of the game is here: