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.
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.
I had an interesting 5+3 game today in an opening I can’t remember the last time I played against. Naturally I wanted to take a look post game and see how well I played without knowing the lines. Just following principles I played a near perfect game since the opponent made an early mistake on the 12th move I was able to capitalize on.
Black immediately puts the question to White’s development, where is the knight going and where is the bishop going? It’s not a bad opening and generally transposes to the typical style QGD if played normally. My opponent decided to support the Bishop after 3. Bd2 Qe7 which isn’t the main line.
Above is the critical position, Black is in a bit of a tangle and needs to get out of it. The bishop is stuck on c8 and there isn’t a clear plan for what the knights are trying to accomplish. Black needs to try to break open the position and get their pieces free. Playing e5 offers what Black is looking for but instead of that they play b5?? which immediately loses a pawn and severely weakens the c7 pawn. The game continues where Black fails to defend the c pawn and I am left with outside passed pawns that cannot be stopped.