I've played chess for a couple of months. Have mostly solved tactics until now.
This post is part of a plan to start playing some more and to start posting games that I either lost or where I was unsure in a certain spot.
There are some spots in this game where I'm not sure about the most optimal move.
Also, I'd like to hear, if there's a point in the game, where I make a decisive mistake. Also, if it's possible to spot how I could improve my game.
Thanks for your time in advance! :)
8. dxe5 wouldn't work because of Nxe5 in response. If you play 8. Bxc6 first then 9. dxe5 does indeed win a piece (I believe).
10. Your bishop is threatened, but if you capture one of the pieces with your pawn, you will still be threatening another piece. So I'm not sure you need to retreat the bishop, although doing so looks ok - the pawn fork will remain. I think capturing their bishop is slightly better because if they take your bishop then you will win their pawn and if the want to move the knight it only has g8 which isn't a square it wants to go to.
13. You can take it I believe and win a pawn. If they take back you can take with your bishop and the knight can't recapture because it's pinned to the king.
20. I think you need to play Nxd4 or move the bishop to safety otherwise they have the 'removing the guard' tactic.
28. Perhaps moving your king so you're removing discovered checks is better.
You played well for much of that game and I have little doubt that you will progress rapidly.
Things started to go wrong at move 18. Advancing to b4 is not an outright blunder but it has little to do with what had been going on in the game up til then, poses your opponent no problems giving him the time to embark on a plan of his own and disrupts your pawns for no clear gain.
You had comprehensively outplayed your opponent up to then but now s/he showed some skill of their own, managing to introduce some complications into the position, which you did not manage to counter.
Once he played d4 you could have taken the tension out of the position and won a little more material by simply taking his knight with your bishop followed by taking his d pawn after his recapture. He would (probably) have got his bishop out (at last) but your position is sound, you are well ahead in material, under no immediate threat and with an excellent centre.
You had a further chance to diminish your opponent's initiative after Nxd4. Instead of the queen move you tried, if you simply take his queen then after NxQ check,RxN, h(or f)xB you have emerged unscathed, still well ahead in material and with a marginally safer king and a better centre. You are not as far ahead as before because your opponents pieces are getting more active but you are comfortably winning.
I am sympathetic to your advance of the queen. You were looking to attack and that is a good instinct to have. But it pays in positions where your opponent introduces complications to start your analysis by examining what happens after simple captures. How does each side finish up? Are there any nasty threats which emerge along the way. If you find a sound way to continue based on making available captures then you can go on to look for an even better move. If you are well ahead, however, you should give a value to exchanges and simplification. Only go with the better move if it is absolutely clear that it gains you advantage.
Thanks guys for your helpful advice! :)
13. As scottrf said, why not exd5? That would have played out beautifully, I think. With Bg5 you are forcing your bishop (and your knight) into an awkward position. I think you can perhaps make the move after the battle over d5, this way the queen will be forced to defend the knight on e7, and cramp his movements.
I don't agree about the minor pieces Ours. The bishop is well developed on g5 and the knight is better placed on c5 than it was on b3.
In fact the opportunity afforded to an opponent to chase her about and develop pieces along the way is exactly the reason why it is a mistake to bring the queen out early into any location where the enemy can get at her.