A recent struggle...

LuckyDan74

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my game ChessOptimist...

 

First of all, 12. Bb3 is weak as we expect black to play d5 sooner or later giving this bishop on b3 a weak diagonal, while 12. Bd3 would surely be a more useful diagonal for this bishop, focused towards black's kingside where his pieces should mostly be focused on.

Yes I see what you mean, I wanted c4, then maybe Qd3 allowing Bc2 but this all takes time. Bd3 was a better retreat square I agree.

Secondly, the move 18. Bc1 with the idea of Ba3 is also not good as this bishop is once again best on the c1-h6 diagonal focused on black's castled position.  One important concept of attack is where we focus our pieces, and one of the basics is focus it towards the opponent's castled position or where is king is as a general guide. For example, 18. Qd2  Nc6  19. Bh6  gh6  20. Qh6 followed with a possible Re3-Rg3 with some dangerous attacks going for white.

Yes 18. Bc1 has had some good coverage, while it wasn't disasterous it was the wrong plan/idea for me to focus on that diagonal instead of the one you suggest. It soon ended up back where it was after losing some time.

In move 30, instead of 30. Kf2 better would be to make use of the open e-file for the rook with 30. Bf4  Bd7 ( if 30....Rae8, 31. Bg3  Rg3  32. Re6!  Re6  33. Bf5 Kh6  34. Be6 with the endgame advantage or after 30....Rae8  31. Kh2  Nh5  32. Bc7 targetting the a-pawn as black's rook on e8 cannot defend it without losing his e-pawn. )  

Yes in my notes I refer to 30. Kf2 as a poor move after the game. 30. Bf4 or 30. Bf2 are far superior. White has 30... Nh5 which may be problematic as I would have to move the bishop again.

Instead of 33. Re3 better would be 33. a3  ba3 ( if 33...Rb7  34. ab4  ab4  35. Ra6 with full control of the open a-file with the advantage for white. )  34. Ra3  Rga8  35. Rea1. The move 33. Re3 was the losing move in the end, after black played Rag7, black's great advantage was clear.

Yes you are right as soon as Rag7 I was in trouble, to be honest I felt in trouble way before that, probably after move 30. Kf2 

a3 had to be played at some point to give myself a chance of opening up the a file as you point out - and most of the contributing members here!