The other night I played two games and got worked pretty good each time. Here's the first game:
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1. d4 Nf6
Black develops his knight, choosing not to commit to an opening line. I would have rather played against d5, as I'm more comfortable with the Queen's Gambit.
My idea is to develop naturally and wait to see what Black has in mind.
2... d5 3. c4
Transposing into a more familiar Queen's Gambit-like position.
3... c6 4. Bg5 Bg4 5. e3 h6 6. Bh4 e6 7. Be2 Bb4+ 8. Nc3 Nbd7 9. O-O Bxc3 10. bxc3 Qa5
I don't like the way the board is shaping up. Black is putting pressure on my weak pawn and has a perfect spot for his knight at e4. In retrospect I think that playing cxd5 and then pushing my c-pawn would have been a sounder approach.
11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. Qb3 O-O 13. cxd5 exd5 14. c4 Ne4 15. cxd5?
Yikes, I should have paid more attention to Black's strong position and my weak d2 square...
Didn't see outcome of the next set of moves until the final one.
Black undermines the only defender of d2.
16. Bxf3 Nd2 17. Qxb7 Nxf1 18. Kxf1 Qb5+
Winning the exchange Black forces me to trade Queens...obviously comfortable with his prospects in the endgame. However, I'm up two pawns and after the exchange, both will be passed. If I can threaten to Queen them, I might be able to use the pressure to gain back some advantage.
19. Qxb5 cxb5 20. Rb1 a6 21. a4 Rab8 22. axb5 Rxb5 23. Ra1
I'm not sure if opting out of the rook trade was the right decision. However, I would have been hard pressed to stop him from Queening his passed pawn without my rook.
23... Ra8 24. d6 Ra7 25. Be2 Rb6 26. d7
I'm offering to trade one passed pawn for another as well as my last rook, knowing that I have another passed pawn to play with. A rook versus bishop ending isn't very attractive to me, but if can activate my King, I might be able to make it work.
As far as I can see this is a mistake, which allows me to win back the exchange.
27. Bg4 g6 28. Rc1 Kg7 29. Rc8 f5
Tough call, Black choses to lose his f-pawn rather than his passed a-pawn.
30. Bxf5 gxf5 31. d8Q Rxd8 32. Rxd8 a5 33. Ke1 Kf6
I'm within the queening square and the rook can't leave its post on the a-file. On the other hand, Black can force my King into the corner and out of the action.
34. Kd2 a4 35. Kc2 a3 36. Kb1 a2+ 37. Ka1 Rc7
Here I could have have played Rb8 before taking the pawn with my King. This would have enable me to block the fork from ...Rc2+. Right about now all I'm thinking about is queening that passed pawn. I should also have been trying to trade rooks and protect my material advantage...
38. Kxa2 Rc2+ 39. Kb3 Rxf2 40. Rd6+ Kg5 41. Re6 Rxg2 42. d5 Rxh2 43. d6 Rd2 44. Kc3 Rd5 45. Kc4 Rd1 46. Kc5 Rc1+ 47. Kb6 47... Rb1+ 48. Kc7 Rc1+ 49. Kd7 h5 50. Ke7 h4 51. d7 Rc7 52. Ke8 Rxd7 53. Kxd7 h3 54. Rc6
Is there any line that does not result in a draw from this position?
54... f4 55. exf4+ Kxf4 56. Rh6 (1/2-1/2)
And I'm happy with a draw after being down the exhange for most of the game. I played one more game against this opponent, and got smoked.
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