In the opening after 8. d5 blacks knight gets nicely to c5 and he should secure it here by playing 9... a5 (instead of 9... Bd7?). As the black knight is more passive in d7 than in c6, white could postpone releasing the central tension with d5 and instead play something like 8. Qc2, 8. Be3 or, as you mentioned, 8. Re1.
13. Qa4 combined with 14. b5 doesn't seem to work that well in the game and maybe white could do better playing something like 13. Nb3 with pressure against d6 (white still has b4-b5 ideas). It seems that instead of 20... Ra4? losing a pawn black could win a pawn by 20... Nxe4 21. Qxe4 Qxd6.
Around move 24 white has a dangerous passed a-pawn and you woul probably like to push it towards promotion with the help of your pieces. Therefore I would suggest 24. a4 keeping the rook behind this pawn and also the Queen on b5 can be helpfull (b2-chek can be kept in reserve).
Just noticed that 13. c5 also looks quite promising.
It's pretty much book untill about move 8. However that's when my knowlage stops and my sloppy play rears it's uggly head. Do you find that you reach a point in a game when you think well that's the opening done so what do I do now?
White did say after the game that the whole queen side attack was a pit of a waste. 20. ... Nxe4 is a good move, which I missed with the prospect of 21. Qxe4 Qxd6. I should have seen that considering how I was thinking about how to save the pawn at the time.
Yes, we did discuss the white passed a-pawn after the game as a root to victory for white after the game. Another move I reggretted was 25. ... Qe7, I should have put the Queen on the white square as that would have better aided my kingside attack.
Thanks for your input,
I guess we'll have to bow to your superior rating. Can you explain why?
White did say after the game that the whole queen side attack was a pit of a waste.
Of course there usually comes a point in the game when you are taken out of the book and you have to start thinking using your own brains. However, even then understanding the basic strategic ideas behind the opening variation and knowledge of typical middlegame plans for arising positiontype can help for mapping out a reasonable plan. That's why it's so important to try to understand openings instead of just memorizing variations. For example, if you want to understand the King's Indian, it's very usefull to study master games in this opening variation to see the typical midlegame plans and ideas.
In the game after 8. d5 there arises a very typical King's Indian structure. The centre is blocked and therefore players will probably launch pawn offensives on the wings. In general white will play on the queenside where he has a space advntage and black will play on the kingside where he can begin his operations by moving the knight from f6 and advancing f5.
I give an illustrative variation how play might proceed:
Thanks, your illustrative variation, it was very useful. It gives me another line to memorise . That was I think the forth time I've played the Kings Indian Defence, you see I've been looking for a way to play against d5 (arguably White's best first move) and have arrived at the Kings Indian Defence. I guess I need to look at more games like you suggest and pick up more useful pointers.
With the whole queen side attack thing, I think my opponent was talking mostly about the whole faffing about with the queen.
I've been recently working with the tactics trainer to help me with my general tactics whilst trying to memorise a few openings, maybe it's not the best root to chess improvement, but I think I'm gradually getting better. Maybe I need to tie in my tactics training more specifically to the openings I've been studying. My current three openings are the Yugoslav Attack vs the Dragon (the guy I've started playing against's favorite re-post to e4). However, I've yet to beat him playing the dragon . The instructive videos by Roman Dzindzichashvillihave been very helpful to me there, though I need to watch them a few more times before it all sinks in. I like the Danish Gambit if the opponent plays e5. and of course the Kings Indian Defence. Last week he told me that he'd play something different against e4 next time... I'm guessing the Caro-Kann or maybe the French Defence. I'm going to learn a few Caro-Kann variations (I've got a book prepared) and hope he doesn't play the French.
The other guy at the club has started playing the old english against me but I don't play him that often so that can wait for another week.
Thanks for your help,