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I play the Ruy Lopez as my main opening and in this game I was positionally beaten. I'd like somebody to help me understand what went wrong.
I am white. It was a live game, time control was 15|10.
thanks in advance for your comments.
I think you played the opening really well. Well into the middle game you were at least level. However, each position has its strengths and weaknesses and in the end your opponent just did a slightly better job of exploiting your weaknesses and proecting his.
You know yourself that a few of your moves were not the best including 22. Nf1, 23. f3, and 30. Rd2 - this last one gave black the extra tempo to get a passed protected pawn.
Thanks for posting your game. I also post my analyses on chesstutorblog.wordpress.com but so far I have only posted wins not defeats (partly because when I lose I worry that my understanding of the positions may have been suspect).
My analysis - which is quite similar to yours - is below. I hope you find it useful.
14 g4 Bg6 15 Ng3 is a better way to play the position for white
Maybe this will help I didn't look over these games but they're all there is from my CB BIG DB 2012 (5.5 million games) after 15...Rf8-e8. Your opponent played a TN(?) with 16...fg6. The first game below is yours, the 2nd is the DB games.
I put my comments in parantheses nothing earth-shaking but maybe they will help (or at least give everyone a good laff at my expense)
PS: I just saw NM Rebs and corums comments and would recommend you check out their advice as well esp Rebs suggested 14.g4
Either 16.Qf3 or directly 16.Ngf5 is the right way to proceed. Taking on g6 pretty much spoils quite a few attacking patterns for white.
16...fg6 just cannot be good. Standard play like 17.Be3 with d3-d4 in mind whould give white the better chances.
IM pfren, NM Reb, and Paulgottlieb pointed out that Nxg6 is inaccurate, but I don't think it's that bad. As for Paul's comment about g6 limiting the knight, this is true. However, in these sorts of positions, the fact that you knight is temporarily "bad" isn't too important. To be honest, I thought d4 was too early. I'd personally just move my knight back to f1, trade the bishop for the knight on f6 with Bxf6, and maneuver the knight to d5. Plus, you should never really worry about cxd3 as it just improves your pieces.
Wow, really instructive comments!
Thank you very much guys, this thread was illuminating and one that I'll surely review in the future.
In addition to learning correct play in that critical moment at move 16, I understood some positional mistakes that I made elsewhere, among which:
- I was too scared of playing d5, because usually locking the centre is not in white's best interest, but in my game at some point it was called for.
- also agreed to the fact that I didn't show consistency in my plans: I opened the a file, I should have doubled rooks there and try to invade.
- thanks even to Bossologist, getting rid of the f6 knight and dropping my knight on d5 sounds like a good plan. You're right I shouldn't worry about cxd3, actually I could even consider taking on c4 myself at a time when it won't improve his knight. Funny that the theme of conquering d5 with a knight and playing against a bad bishop is common in the sicilian, that I play, but I really didn't see it this time. I won't fail to recognize it next time :)