It’s a good feeling when you’ve played an opening enough to have it memorized up to the 15th move. This was a Caro I played where I didn’t even have to think until the 16th move, my opponent played sound but simple moves that I had seen in some form and none were challenging. The game ended up being a perfect 0 inaccuracies, 0 mistakes, 0 blunders game.
At this point I’ve got a slight edge of -0.6 which I’d say is owed to the c file pressure and the lack of piece mobility of some of the Black pieces. I usually focus on the c2 pawn since it’s the weakest point by stacking rooks or getting a Queen and rook battery on the c file.
White really drops the ball here by having pushed a4. It removed the defender of b4 and allowed Nxb4 with an attack on the Queen while supported by the bishop on e7. You see this kind of thing a lot when players don’t know what to do and I think it’s the separating skill between an intermediate player and advanced player. The repercussions of pushing a single pawn with out calculating lead to the loss of the entire game but it must be calculated. There is no obvious move here or obvious tactical blow but there are ways to improve the position. Bxf6 and Rc1 are both slow but are what’s required in a longer positional game and most intermediate blitz players want to attack and push forward.
After Nxb4 White should have played 18. Qd2 to keep in contact with the c3 knight but instead played 18. Qe2?? allowing Rxc3.
White willingly gives up an exchange here, perhaps the knight on b3 was too strong after the rooks stacked up against the c pawn with the addition of the knight. The position is lost after the exchange however, White just doesn’t have anything to strive for and must react the the discover on the e1 rook.
I offer White a Queen trade while attacking the rook on b5 but White declines the trade and leave the Queen hanging in the end. The game ends quickly in 7 moves after this position.
This is hands down one of my best 3-0 games that followed my opening prep. It was a Traditional GQD main line and my opponent was eager to trade off some minor pieces from the start.
I’ve had this opening a million times but I never seemed to make it to the point where I can launch a minority attack against the Black Queen side which is the standard idea in the pawns structure once cxd and exd is played.
We arrive at the position above where both sides are structurally sound. The imbalance is 2 knights vs knight and bishop, Black with a Queen side majority and I with a King side majority. This is the point where a minority attack will weaken Black’s advantage and turn it into more of a liability.
The whole idea behind the minority attack is to trade off pawns and leave Black with something to defend, generally the c pawn. You can see above that the c pawn is backwards and the weakest point in the position. Even if it can be defended it means that Black will be tied down while defending.
Ideally Black would play something like Rec8 and I’d play Rfc1 and there would be some poking and prodding by both knights. The position above is dynamic but equal.
Black drops the c pawn by failing to defend or thinking that taking the b pawn is a better trade so they might have a passed pawn. The main issues is the c pawn was the support for both the b and d pawns, Black has now made two weaknesses in exchange for the one.
The position above seems like Black has found a way to win material due to the double attack on the Queen and the knight with no way to defend both but there is a move. 22. Nxd5! counter attacking the enemy Queen if 22…Rxc6 23. Nxe7+ Rxe7 24. Bxc6. Instead play goes 22. Nxd5! Nxd5 23. Qxd5 Rfc8 24. Rxb5 1-0
Black resigns in this position as being down two pawns and only have 26 seconds compared to my 1:32 doesn’t look promising.
Generally speaking I’m a conservative and solid player so going against the King’s Indian tends to be abrasive to my style. This game was a little different than usual. I had been reviewing games where Black moves the knight from f6 in preparation to play f5 and White replies with g4 immediately before f5.
The position is going to get very sharp for Black but not so much for White. Since I haven’t castled yet I have the liberty of playing Qc2 and then 0-0-0 when the time is right, the g and h pawns will be thrown up the board supported by two rooks and the center is closed so there won’t be any center attacking pressure. As for Black, their pieces aren’t very active. In the position above both bishops aren’t on good diagonals, the rooks aren’t connected, the knights are on the 7th and 8th ranks still and the pawn shield in front of the King is more of a liability than anything when h5 and h6 come.
Because Black pushed f5 largely unsupported after 12. exf5 Rxf5 what can Black do? Whites plans of Rg1, Qc2, 0-0-0, and Ne4 are very easy to play but not very easy to interact with. In the next position we can see Black hasn’t accomplished very much, two tempi were wasted with a superficial Queen side attack.
Black is under a lot of pressure here, the h7 pawn is weak, there is a pin on g7 looking to be exploited, Ne5 is on the table, the h pawn can still be thrown up the board.
The game is over in a few moves after this position because there is no possible defense for Black. The e3 Bishop is coming to h6 threatening to remove the best defender of the Black King and from there the combination of Queen and rook is too much with so few pieces.