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I found this one tough to understand

• #1

15-10 I am white.

Highlights:

8.Bd2 losing a tempo with the bishop & putting the bishop on a square that I thought limited the mobility of my queen a little.

12..Rac8 from here on for quite a while black makes me battle to defend my e pawn.

21.f4 this seems a bad move.  What should my plan have been?

24.b4 white asks the black knight to make his way to a better square.

25.Bxg5 inviting the black queen in.

Move 26 is a blunder but black doesn't capitalize.

28.b5 my losing move (I think) and the first move I made with a plan.  Get my knight on b5 and put d6 under pressure.

• #2
• #3

Good points that I know but forget in a game.  I thought I was being really patient.

In this game it was never clear to me which side of the board to play on as we both seemed pretty equal everywhere.  Looking at the position in your diagram yeah b5 was a good plan to gain space & make a square for the knight.

• #4

An important idea worth remembering: if a pawn is on a square, then that means a piece can't go there.  In this case, playing f4 allows Black to trade his e5 pawn and then put a Knight on e5, which becomes the best piece in the game.  Things are even worse because Black forces a trade of dark-square Bishops, which leaves you with a light-square Bishop staring at locked light-square centre pawns.

Many people get stuck in the habit that f4 always equals an attacking move.  It isn't.  How would you plan to follow-up?  Your Rook is on the e-file and your Bishop is on f1, stopping easy access to the f-file.  It takes many tempi to turn your position into one that could use the f-file.

My intuitive reaction around move 20 would be to expand on the Qside, where I have more space (due to White's d5-pawn).  Something like b4 and b5, b4, a4 and b5, or Na4 and trying to exchange Knights or invade on b6 (after Be3).  f3 can be played to fully secure e4.  That appears to be the right sort of plan for this position.

• #5

One thing about your opening as well: d5 was a relatively weak move, which doesn't help your development or position at all. It grabs a bit of space, sure, but it also limits your options very much. It's usually better to retain tension in the center a bit longer by playing a move such as e4. As you found out later in the opening it became a bit of a liability even due to the Nxd5 combo

• #6

So 4.d5 is my first question mark. You say "gaining space rather than trading" but those aren't your only two options. 4.e4 continues your development, and if he wants to play Exd4 it improves the position of your knight.

While I understand Nh4xb6, winning the bishop pair, it seems to me that you don't have a good sense of the strategic requirements of the position. You have more space and an open file on the queenside - you should attack on the queenside. Black, meanwhile, is going to try to open the f-file and charge at your king, because that's where he has more space.

Those queenside attacks are tricky, and not something that are easy to master. However, by opening files on the kingside you shifted the action to where black had the advantage.

• #7

• #8

Good, well-played game with some instructive alternative lines.

• #9

Great analysis Clavius.  One question.  Why do you say I have better control of the c file on move 17, dont we have equal control?

• #10

After move 17 white has better control of the c-file because of the placement of the bishops.  Files are important because of the potential to invade ranks deep in the opponent's territory but Black will find that much more difficult to do.

• #11

4...e4...why not?

6. dc...his d file looks weak.

8. worried about nxd5 tricks? then again...play dc. Or play BxN. Don't give him a free move. I would resign before losing a move.

18 kh1. No preparation at all is necessary for f4. This was a totally pointless move.

20. qd1 Queen access to kingside? how? all squares are covered. Pointless move.

28 b5...THIS is where your game fell apart. You just missed extremely simple tactics. It really is that simple.

43. nf6+ qxf6. your resignation was perfectly fine. Actually, you resigned too late. your game was hopeless long before this.

• #12

concerning the question of what your plan 'should' be instead of f4...you don't have one. you wasted too many moves. Play f3. play to draw.

• #13
Vercingetorix75 wrote:

4...e4...why not?

6. dc...his d file looks weak.

8. worried about nxd5 tricks? then again...play dc. Or play BxN. Don't give him a free move. I would resign before losing a move.

18 kh1. No preparation at all is necessary for f4. This was a totally pointless move.

20. qd1 Queen access to kingside? how? all squares are covered. Pointless move.

28 b5...THIS is where your game fell apart. You just missed extremely simple tactics. It really is that simple.

43. nf6+ qxf6. your resignation was perfectly fine. Actually, you resigned too late. your game was hopeless long before this.

In the words of Ben Finegold "the truth hurts!"

• #14

good observations though, thanks!  The main point of 20.Qd1 was to keep the knights defence of the e pawn.  I think the queen has to move due to this?

• #15
skeldol wrote:

good observations though, thanks!  The main point of 20.Qd1 was to keep the knights defence of the e pawn.  I think the queen has to move due to this?

your queen protects the e pawn.

• #16

I guess I also wanted the queen off the file with the rook so the knight could move.  but then Qd1 definately doesn'tmake sense!  Qb1???

• #17
skeldol wrote:

I guess I also wanted the queen off the file with the rook so the knight could move.  but then Qd1 definately doesn'tmake sense!  Qb1???

you don't really 'need' to move the queen at all.

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