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Playing Black's Pieces:
I know that my opponent played badly, and that these pawn pushes were bad, and I was able to get the victory. However, I feel that I gave up too much material and would've lost to a better opponent. I suspect there was a way for me to break through sooner, or to protect my own pieces better. What do ya'll reccomend?
I won't go indepth. I am certain there are much stronger players on here who would be able to give you a better explanation of moves.
However, while going quickly through your game I began to notice that you react to your opponents ideas without truly thinking them through. The 6...Bd4 is a good example of this. His most natural move since he isn't developing would be to run your Bishop all over the place. Instead of moving straight to b6, you went down to d4 because you saw a threat without looking at his defending move.
Beyond that issue, you made moves that felt out of place and almost chaotic. As if you didn't know how to break through his line. If pawn raids like this throw you off, I recommend looking into the essentials for pawn structure and how to combat them. However, your biggest mistake was running all over with your Bishop early on when a simple a6 + Ba7 would have done the trick and cleared your Queen Side's pawns to begin a counter attack with strong pieces to back them up.
As early as 3...d5! you could have opened in the centre and held an advantage as white's wasted 2 moves (h4, f3) and denied his knight the natural f3 square.
6...Bd4 isn't bad (after all, white is worse) but you'd need to think carefully. If 7. Nc3, 7...Bxc3 8. dxc3 d5 looks favourable for black, but it's harder to attack the dark squared weaknesses; holding with 7...0-0 8. Bb2 allows white time to develop and consolidate instead.
And, if 7. c3 Bb6 as in the game, you've lured white into denying his knights their normal f3/c3 squares, at the cost of perhaps giving him a tempo to prepare d4. Not that he'd play it soon so undeveloped, just a thought. If then 8. c4 to make way for the knight, it's the same as just 7...Bb6 8. c4, so you haven't lost a move there either.
9. c4 was very poor by white. Wasting time to hand over the dark squares is bad. A plan like Be2, Nf2, 0-0 and then Bb2, d4 seems better to finally start developing. On the upshot, 9. c4 does put a halt to your d5-break (which should have been played earlier?)
11...a6 is the way to start breaking down the pawns, especially since 12. Bd2? axb6 protects the knight. Always look at pawn breaks to undermine pawn chains, usually not piece play unless the pieces can all attack the base pawns.
White should probably get his king safe at around move 14, or launch a reckless attack (why not, it matches his opening) with 14. g4?!, g5, f4, whatever really. 14. Na4?! wastes time.
15...d5? What were you thinking here? Gives white a free pawn, better central control, and the e4-square for his knight. And the small matter of trapping your bishop.
Then 19...Nxc4? hung your knight. Why?
Here white should have tried 20. Be3 to start consolidation. It's difficult in practice to play with your centre so extended and pieces so undeveloped, but 2 pieces up is 2 pieces up.
26. Bc3? shows he lost the plot here. 27. Qc2? confirms it (27. Qxd7 saves the exchange.)
29...Qg4+! and 33...Qf1+! were good. A nice way to bring white's king down at last.
I agree with Phylar; your play seems like you had no idea what to do facing white's crazy pawn pushes. In such situations, setting up your pieces nicely in the centre is just going to get them kicked or give white time to develop his own; you need to make a central pawn break (...d5 in this game) to quickly take advantage of the time he wasted and start the fight with a lead in development.
So when somebody pushes pawns like this, just go ahead and bust open the center because they won't be able to hold it?
I would agree with Mark just above. If you are not yet confident you can break through (try it anyway) then look for the weakest point in their structure and concentrate there. Pawns are significantly important in chess and this player is leaving himself wide open with a strategy like that.
Was your opponent Daeth?
better moves were these:
5.d5 6.Bb6 8.Ne7 9or10or11.Nh5 15.!!! 18.!!! 19.e4+ 20.Nxd5 22.e3+ 30.Qxf4
A better way to handle all your unnecessary, time-wasting and positional weakening pawn pushes such as 2.h4?, 3.f3? 4.a3?, etc etc is to start learning some general principles of opening theory. You may find these blogs a helpful place to start:
As mentioned 3...d5 is a great move. Your opponent is making weakening pawn moves on the side of the board so you should play in the center. A combo like ...Nxd5 and ...Be7 would be problematic for White. Developing with Nc6 and Bc5 is fine but be sure to keep your eyes open for situations in which you can develop to take advantage of the subtleties in the position.
so I just lost surprise and can't look at the game?
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