I think I was ahead but I couldn't bring it home



I would like to hear some hints about the game I played recently. I added my thoughts and ideas, but I just can't figure out a way to save the trapped bishop.


The built-in pgn-viewer seems to be unable to handle variants, so I post the PGN-File with my comments and variants directly:

[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2011.08.29"]
[Round ""]
[White "me"]
[Black "opponent"]
[WhiteElo "1346"]
[BlackElo "1390"]
[ECO "B06"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.d4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nf3 a6 4.e5 {Pushing the pawn forward with two intentions: first it blocks the a1-h8 diagonal with Black's darksquared bishop. Secondly it hampers the development of the g8 knight.}
Nc6 5.c4 {As Black does not make any claims to the center, this pawn aims to strenghten White's influence in the center.}
d6 6.exd6 (6.Bf4 dxe5 7.dxe5 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 {would render castling impossible.}
) (6.Nbd2 dxe5 7.dxe5 Nxe5 8.Nxe5 Bxe5 {looses a pawn.}) (6.Qe2
dxe5 7.dxe5 {I thought about this move, but didn't want to block the lightsquared bishop with the queen.}
) 6. ... Qxd6 {puts pressure on the d-pawn.} (6. ... cxd6 {was the move I expected, as it gives Black a 'new' center pawn on the d-file.}
) 7.d5 {Seemed to be the only way to save the d-pawn, but it left the a1-h8 diagonal wide open. My plan of blocking the bishop on this diagonal failed utterly.}
Nb4 $2 {I don't know whether this was intentional, as this looses the knight.}
8.a3 Bf5 9.axb4 Qxb4+ {At this point I was up 2 pawns in material but at a heavy cost: my queenside was wide open, I had no control of the center and only one minor piece was developed.}
10.Nc3 (10.Bd2 Qxb2 {looses another queenside pawn.}) 10. ... Rb8 {Strange move, I felt like it should have given me time to repair my position.}
11.Ra4 {I tried to chase the queen away.} (11.Qa4+ Qxa4 12.Nxa4 {would have done the trick.}
) 11. ... Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Qxc3+ 13.Bd2 Qb2 14.Be2 {Developing the bishop and preparing kingside castling.}
Bc2 15.Bc1 {I chose the counter attack as it allowed me to escape the bishop fork with even material.}
(15.Rb4 Bxd1 16.Rxb2 Bxe2 17.Kxe2 {I thought about this and chose not to play it, as I couldn't castle afterwards.}
) 15. ... Bxd1 (15. ... Qc3+ 16.Bd2 Bxd1 17.Bxc3 Bxa4 18.Bxh8
) 16.Bxb2 Bxa4 17.Bxh8 {I saved my kingside castle and got out with even material.}
f6 {Black tries to trap my bishop. The question is: how to save it?}
18.O-O {I wanted to activate my rook, but there wasn't enough time for helping the bishop this way.}
(18.Nd4 {Using the knight right away doesn't work either:} Nh6
19.Ne6 Kf7 20.Bg7 Nf5 21.Bf8 Rxf8 22.Nxf8 Kxf8) 18. ... Nh6
19.Nd4 {I wanted to help him out by covering the g7 square with the knight, but again, I am too late.}
Kf7 20.Ne6 $2 {I just didn't see the rook. Should have played something like}
(20.Bxf6 exf6 {This gives me another pawn, at least.}) 20. ... Rxh8
21.Nxc7 Rc8 22.Ne6 Bb3 23.Rb1 {One mistake leads to another. I didn't consider the backrank mate, that renders my counterattack on the b7 pawn ineffective.}
Bxc4 24.Bxc4 Rxc4 25.g3 b5 26.Nc7 $4 Ra4 {Black didn't spot my blunder, but the game is lost anyway...}
27.Re1 b4 28.Re4 a5 29.Nb5 Ra1+ 30.Kg2 b3 31.Nc3 b2 32.Re2 b1=Q
33.Nxb1 Rxb1 0-1


Thank you for some hints and tipps!


You forgot about the development of your pieces. Out of first seven moves, six were with pawns, and three of them with the e pawn which dissapeared from the board. That were three lost tempi. Also, with the advance of the pawns you have weakened the squares next to them ei. d4-d5 weakens squares c5 and e5. Back overlooked the loss of the knight Nb4, and tried to get some compensation in quick development. You should have played 10. Qd2, with extra piece. Correct was 15. Qa1 or even 14. Qa1 and after the exchange of the queens and Nd4 white has a won game.


well i looked at it!

a lot of my comments are a reaction to what you said. So make sure you refer back to your own comments.


or if you prefer PGN:

[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2011.08.29"]
[Round "?"]
[White "nn"]
[Black "na"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B06"]
[WhiteElo "1346"]
[BlackElo "1390"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2011.??.??"]

1. d4 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. Nf3 a6 4. e5 (4. Nc3 {BLACKADDER: your e5 idea has one
major drawback; that after moves like f6 black can challenge your pawn centre.
As for the knight, well black can allways try e6 with Ne7}) 4... Nc6 5. c4 d6
6. exd6 {BLACKADDER: exd6 is probably the right idea. but notice that its been
only 2 moves since 4.e5 and black has already found a way to develop his g8
knight AND free up his dark-squared bishop!     the lesson to be learnt here
is that the reasons you played 4.e5 were flawed.} Qxd6 7. d5 Nb4 $2 (7... Ne5)
8. a3 Bf5 9. axb4 Qxb4+ {
BLACKADDER: white is fine here. Black does not have sufficient compensation}
10. Nc3 (10. Qd2 {BLACKADDER: did you consider Qd2? Its quite a good move
since the b2 pawn is completely safe and moreover, we threaten a queen trade
(which, given white material edge, is good for white)}) 10... Rb8 (10... Nf6 {
BLACKADDER: Rb8 is a tad odd, Nf6 seems better.}) 11. Ra4 (11. Qa4+ Qxa4 12.
Nxa4) 11... Bxc3+ 12. bxc3 Qxc3+ 13. Bd2 Qb2 14. Be2 (14. Rb4 Qa2 (14... Qf6
15. Qa4+ Bd7 16. Qa5 b6 17. Qxa6) 15. Qa4+ {
BLACKADDER: this sequence is worthy of consideration.}) 14... Bc2 15. Bc1 (15.
Rb4 Bxd1 16. Rxb2 Bxe2 17. Kxe2 {BLACKADDER: this is a good position! 
remember that castling is important in the opening phase of the game but in
endgames castling is often ignored (in favor of simply placing the king in the
centre). With queens off the board, and with the endgame fast approaching the
king is actually BETTER PLACED on e2 that on g1!     The lesson: dont
overestimate the usefulness of castling.  Rb4 was much better than what you
played.}) (15. Qa1 {BLACKADDER: this move keeps whites advantage. (as does Rb4)
}) 15... Bxd1 (15... Qc3+ 16. Bd2 Bxd1 17. Bxc3 Bxa4 18. Bxh8) 16. Bxb2 Bxa4
17. Bxh8 f6 18. O-O (18. Nd4 Nh6 19. Ne6 (19. Bg7 Ng8 20. Ne6 Kf7 {
BLACKADDER: this is a bit better than the line you give.}) 19... Kf7 20. Bg7
Nf5 21. Bf8 Rxf8 22. Nxf8 Kxf8) (18. h4 {
BLACKADDER: this looks like one way to try and save the bishop} Kf7 19. h5 g5
20. h6 Nxh6 21. Bxf6 exf6 22. Rxh6 Kg7 23. Rh1) 18... Nh6 19. Nd4 Kf7 20. Ne6
$2 (20. Bxf6 exf6) 20... Rxh8 21. Nxc7 Rc8 22. Ne6 Bb3 23. Rb1 Bxc4 24. Bxc4
Rxc4 25. g3 b5 26. Nc7 $4 Ra4 27. Re1 b4 28. Re4 a5 29. Nb5 Ra1+ 30. Kg2 b3 31.
Nc3 b2 32. Re2 b1=Q 33. Nxb1 Rxb1 0-1


I think you could play G4 following by G5 that should save your bishop, but that is just off the top of my head :)


Thank you all very much for your answers!


Have to agree with movement of your pawns. They can't come back after you move them , only forward. So you have to be careful about moving them. You ended up opening the center of the board to be attacked.


 You lost your bishop but got a rook in return. You came out ahead on that trade.