OTB: New Season, New Blunders
We played our first D team match of the season last night, with me moving up to board 2 for the first time. I was out of book very quickly, as my opponent played a queen pawn opening, somewhat similar to the London System. I made some annotations, shown above, after the game and without the benefit of an engine, so probably missed loads!
This kind of queen's pawn game seems to be less sharp at the beginning. I was contemplating castling opposite sides and pawn storming for a while. I felt white's play was fairly passive for the first few moves and actually I was coming out of the opening better, so can't really blame the result on lack of opening theory. 7. Ne5 I think was a mistake, which I exploited, removing the guard on the e pawn with the bishop and leaving me a pawn up, albeit allowing white the bishop pair. 12 Bxe5 again seemed like a mistake, as it lost white the bishop pair. So by move 16 I had a material lead, but I think I dithered over a plan - perhaps I should have been pushing on the queen's side with my pawn majority - was 16... h6 too passive? With 17.. Ne7 I started the idea of pushing queen side - but did not consider the variations in the centre. So perhaps 18...c5 was over-ambitious and the pivotal point, allowing tactics, a threat of mate and the loss of my material advantage.
I think 25..Qxf4+ may have been another key error - was the pawn enough, given that I had to get back and defend d8 the next move? It would perhaps have been better to get the rook into the game with 25...Rd8 . 31...Rf8 again probably bad as it ultimately allowed white to dominate the 7th rank, would 31... Rc8 have left black better?
Coming up to the time control at 35 moves I was struggling over whether 33... Qxg2 was better than Qg5+ forcing a queen exchange, with resultant doubled pawns and probably losing the f pawn, which is pretty much how it ended up anyway, albeit losing the a pawn and taking the white g pawn. Overall, I felt I didn't disgrace myself - don't think there were any huge blunders, although that does remind me of the recent article by IM Silman http://www.chess.com/article/view/having-fun-with-blunders- not sure whether some of my moves should be defined as blunders or not? If so which?
Just some random scribblings to help improve my analysis - if you're interested to read and comment then I'd appreciate any thoughts.