This game my opponent really seemed to know their opening, it was very solid on both sides initially but White seemed to slip more as the middle game came around. Middle game ideas were something I struggled with for awhile, the opening and end game made sense but the middle game is the wild west of the chess game. The tipping point came shortly after the position below, play followed 1.Ne4 Bxe2 2.Qxe2?! Nxd4 since the Queen left defense of the d pawn. From that position I retained the pawn advantage until I was able to win another by stacking Rooks against the c2 pawn. It ends with a little Rook sacrifice in order to deflect the White King from their last pawn and allows me to promote.
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It’s a rule of thumb not to put your Queen under fire too early, as you can see from this position my Queen was on b6 by move 7 but came under fire from a Knight on a4. In the Caro-Khann I think this rule has an exception, the Queen on b6 generally supports the pawn on c5 which is normally pushed c6-c5 (looking to break in the center or have White capture and Black’s dark squared Bishop recapture) and also keeps an eye on b2 tying the White Bishop to the defense of it until b3 is pushed or some other defense comes around.
The Queen is relatively safe unless White deploys extra effort to attack the Queen, which wastes time and disrupts position and development. The Queen is mobile enough to avoid these attacks and strong enough to counter attack in response. The main fall of the game for White was the extension of the White Knights in order to attack the Queen and overlooking a central double attack. If White had spent time developing and castling the Queen could never infiltrate and wreak the havoc she did.
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I’ve been out of Chess for a little while now, about 2 months since school had started picking up more in the Spring. With a Summer schedule that’s less demanding I figured I would jump back in and try to play some when I have the down time. This was against a 1510 player in 5-0 blitz and the first game of the day, I hadn’t expected much from it but I was proven wrong. The game went right into my favorite response to the advanced variation after Bf5 and continued into a pet line of mine which is on the board below, pushing c5 after having played c6 seems odds to many people but there is reason to it! The idea here is to tempt White with the capture and free my dark square Bishop, keep tension in the center and open more space on the Queen side and save the c4 push to gain a tempo on the White Queen. The line offers a lot and its flexibility is one of the reason I enjoy it, also many Caro players on the White side not being familiar with it.
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