This has to be one of the most disappointing games I have played. In most of my games I usually have a plan. It might not be the greatest plan, but at least I have something. But in this game, I had nothing. And I still don't. I really need a nudge in the right direction here.
So far I was not too unhappy with my game, but from here on things started going downhill.
There is not much I can say about this game. I wasn't sure what the correct plan was. Simple as that. If I could make some comments:
1) I might have played the opening inacurately, not understanding the ideas and where my pieces should have been targeted towards.
2) My light-squared bishop was a problem throughout the game. I could have tried to better it's position.
3) I underestimated Black's pawns that were rolling towards me.
4) I need to work even harder on Tactics. I can't believe I missed the forced mate at the end of the game.
Thank you all
Without going into a long explanation, as soon as you played 2.c4 there were two ways that your pawn at c4 was indirectly defended from capture by Black (ie 2...dxc4). The first and preferable indirect defense was 3.Nc3, which prevents Black from defending his pawn now at c4 with the 3...b5 (there is more moves to this variation), but the important part is that at the end you regain your pawn and Black's position is inferior. The second way is 3.Qh4+ and after Black interposes with his Knight, Bishop, Queen or c6 with his pawn, your Queen would capture the Black pawn at c4 by playing 4.Qxc4. Of course it goes without saying that this way of regaining the pawn brings your Queen out prematurely violating an opening principle.
In summary, until you know the variations that indirectly defend your pawn at c4, as soon as Black plays c6 you need to play e3. You can also play cxd5, but that removes the tension in the center and the pawn structure begins to become symmetrical and drawish after Black plays ...cxd5. The move b3 in order to defend your pawn at c4 is problematic.
You can look up all of these things that I am writing about right here on this website. With your diamond membership you have already paid for this information, you might as well look it up.
I would suggest to play 5. a4 instead of e4 if you feel unsure about how to capitalize on the sacrificed pawn.
Also 17. axb5 felt bad to me. It removes blacks double pawn, gives him connected passed pawns on the queenside and lets his bishop into the game.
Disclaimers: I am a patzer and I just skimmed through the game.
On 5. e4 black retains the pawn - this is not a QG actually it is a slav. This line is still playable but should be played as a sacrifice. To hold the pawn against the slav you should play 5. a4
I am not an expert in this opening but I think you ended up in pretty good shape after the opening (first analysis board) as you said, you played well.
15.Qxe6+ is certainly not a mistake. 15.axb5? Qd5 would be much worse.
For the rest, I will be using the analysis board.
Thank you CM streetfighter! BTW, I hope your coaching career has taken off as you had hoped. Best of luck!
24- Bf3 is better
Thank you very much once again Paul. It was a tough loss and very disappointing.
white,too much q. not enough additional fire-power. pieces lack good positional squares. More important--what is whites plan of attack?