This was the best game of the 10 game match I played with Mr-Raptor. I chose to show it because of its complete balance throughout the game until a small pawn move was made in the middle which lead to a completely losing position. It exemplfies how cut throat chess can be at times and all the effort put forth before can turn into nothing by a minor pawn move.
It was an exchange Caro which can be dull but that’s my style when the option is presented. The exchange allows for true chess understanding to come out, there aren’t big tactical mistakes and complicated positions instead it becomes a slow strategic game where either side will grind the other down.
Let’s look at why b3, a seemingly harmless move caused so many issues. The main weak spot in White’s position is c2, this is very common in the Caro once the c pawn on Black’s side gets swapped off. Black will be able to control the semi open file and exert pressure over time. White currently has nothing defending c2 but the knight was blocking it for now which is supported by the b2 pawn. Once White moved the b2 pawn the knight became a weakness it self and it was the only thing stopping the double rooks from crashing through to c2.
We arrive at this position where White has attempted to place a rook on the c file as well to defend the pawn. It’s White’s move and the best move to make is Ne2 accepting the loss of the pawn instead of allowing Black to continue to mount pressure on the c file in addition to the knight which would jump in on e4. In the game White makes a far worse move while attempting to deal with the pressure and the game ends soon after.