Yes, that's a totally random number (using /dev/ random). I assumed that the thread title had to be unique (correct me if I am wrong).
So, the game to be analysed:
A few mistakes, some quite interesting positions and exchanges, and a zugzwang position as a finisher...
I'd say my opponent was only slightly better than me (and I'm pretty bad), but I totally wasted any advantage I had due to my inexperience with endgame strategy and tactics. Opinions very welcome.
As a first thought, I believe that 18.Bf4 instead of the sacrifice would be better, but it might prove difficult to protect it. (But the endgame concerns me more...)
Exchange here is correct on the value of the bishops; I thought you might like to know that 7.Qe2 is more than an equal alternative. Q can go to b5, e5, or stay on e2 threatening discovered check
This move is sort of passive because it loses some of your space advantage (possibly, e4-e5 to push the pawn for space instead of defending what's already defended and fixating your structure too
soon), blocks a diagonal of your queen (d1-h5), and exposes your king to check (...Qh4+). My direct preference would be 15.Bf4, before an attack like Nb5. Don't defend yourself and give Black the
time to do the same for his army if it's weaker than yours.
I guess the primary advantage to moving 32.b3 was to kick the knight elsewhere to gain the time of moving 33.c4 afterwards, thus enforcing a strongly defended pawn chain. After that chain of pawns is
sustained from capture, the power of checks is increased but perhaps still not ultimate.
It's also worth observing that 37.Nc3+ may force either 37...Kc5 or 37...Kd4 38.Ne2+ Kd4 = (Ke4?? 39.Re6+) draw. Better yet, just move 37.c4+ (to which ...Ke4 is also a fatal error) Kc5 38.Rg5,
forcing the exchange of rooks, leaving you with a passed pawn on g5 threatening to promote.
You should have thought of 39.Nd4 or 39.Rg5. Forcing simplification of your rook for Black's would have given you an impending passed pawn about to promote, while your King on d3 left Black's knight
almost out of commission to stop it.
I suppose this could have been the right move, but keep in mind that it tossed your last chance to play Rg6:g5 out the window. By refusing to simplify your rook for Black's and remove both rooks off
of the board, you leave Black with the power to generate counterplay for drawing the game or attacking your King. It was enough counterplay to trick you into losing your knight as well.
These unlimited-time games really aren't good for sharpening one's speed. From the looks of this move (which totally gave up your knight), your opponent was taking advantage of the time-free game
more than you were. Sharper play is developed from time-pressure games. 41.Nf4 would have generated even more counterplay while keeping your knight.
Obviously this left Black the opportunity to strike with 47...Rxf7! before promoting, but he didn't take it.
Instead of drawing your king over to Black's necessarily, this would have been the opportune time to impend a passed pawn advantage using 58.c4 bxc4 59.bxc4.
3...D5 Hopefully you won't see this too often as here, black drops a pawn for no compensation. At this point, it's just a matter of trading and holding on to your pieces. In fact after that, he puts
his knight on the rim making it dim.
11...Bc5? Here you win a free knight. Should be game over as your opponent then proceeds to trade in a position where he/she is down in material.
You managed to centralize your knight which is good. That ended up resulting in more pieces being exchanged while you are still a pawn ahead.
However, here is where we see you getting into developmental issues.
1. You have yet to castle. You want to castle asap to avoid complications. King's safety is your number one priority.
2. Your dark squared bishop is not active -- basically taking 3 points of material out of the equation.
3. Not only that it will take at least two moves to activate it. This leaves room for black to create some serious counter-play.
4. Your dark squared bishop is impeding your castling making your position just that much more awkward.
5.Both of your opponents rooks are active and attacking the center at this point while your rooks are ignorable since you haven't castled and connected them yet.
At this point you're very stiff and although you have the material-advantage pieces like your Bishop have become liabilities rather than assets.
18. Rhg1 hxg5
That hurt...but you're still in a superior position.
Towards the end you just needed to have activated your king faster. You made some needless rook moves, then dropped your knight.
You had the game but you dropped too many pieces. Try keeping your pieces on protected squares.
[I am the OP. BTW, I really enjoy not having to register a silly handle in order to post!]
WOW! You are merciless – analysing the game like that truly reveals how shitty it really was! Quite humbling...
More seriously, Mephostophilis, I'm very, very thankful for such a thorough analysis, which I also intend to re-read in the future thanks to its educational value. I can only hope that you enjoyed
writing it as much as I enjoyed reading it, because now you 've made me spoiled – this won't be the last time I'm posting something like that! I promise, though, that the next game won't be that
horrible (I already have bookmarked a few older "interesting" games, but I'd prefer current stuff).
I've noticed your comment about unlimited-time games and you are probably correct – I tend to play quickly even then, not taking advantage of the extra time.
You were also quite gentle to avoid commenting on the complete train-wreck that was the latter part of the middle game. eg. 23.Rxg6 would be better (I think), move #33 was just bad (as you said) and
move #45 was losing tempo in exchange of a pawn at a very crucial moment (tempo-wise).
Lots of things to ponder. Again, thank you.
BOBZ, thank you very much as well (we were writing at the same time).
Those first moves indeed showed me that he wasn't unbeatable. After #25 (I think) I proposed a draw, which he refused. I just had the feeling that I wouldn't be able to use my material advantage :P
Do you think that 18.Bf4 would be better?
Also, I agree about the useless rook moves.
Ya you were right about moves 23 (Rxg6 over e5) and 33; I just didn't mention those because I tried to just discuss positional things. I mean it's obvious why 23.Rxg6 was better than 23.e5 after you
saw you'd lose a piece if you took back; for me to point that out to you along with other errors would just double the size of my post. I find it's better to focus on the positional stuff than just
re-instating that you could have taken free pawns or pieces, since usually we're capable about working those sorts of things out on our own.
Though 45.Rxc7+, I don't think you made a mistake there. Since it was a checking move it's not like you lost any time or tempo to go back to trying to slow down Black's promotion. King is put into
check, rook moves again to a more useful square. It was probably all you could do at that point.
Also I know I sound brutal at times lol. I've done this a lot of times before while trying to avoid sounding harsh and such, mostly just slows down the process of me pointing out improvements, after
posting some of these reviews so much I find it's just easier to be direct and out with it. Plus I always hate when people try to balance giving me positive versus negative feedback; I don't care
about random complements lol.
Well, (in control theory) positive feedback commonly leads to instability, whereas negative feedback is a Good Thing™. So I agree ;)
Regarding move #45, yes, I see; it seems that I forget the reasoning of my own moves!
Yeah I've given positive feedback before, but I guess one factor in the whole equation is how afraid I am of my post becoming huge as a result lol. Conversely, sometimes reviewing what we did best in
our games rather than what we need to work on or what we did worst actually improves us because we know what kind of game we want to shoot for. Positive feedback can sometimes help a person survive
in a game, too.
You played the opening and earlier game on fine and well. In fact, that's probably what told me to focus on balancing things out a lot less and just focus on criticism, is that the opening implied
that you were adept enough to know where you focused on things correctly already. I never want to run the certain risk of telling people things they already know.
Feedback and criticism are always welcome and helpful, as long as they are well-disposed. As such, your posts were truly valuable.
Now, what you said (
"reviewing what we did best in
our games rather than what we need to work on [...] because we know what kind of game we want to shoot for"
) also struck a chord, because, again, I agree completely. (Not to mention, sometimes I get disappointed when I only focus on the negatives – you see, I'm a perfectionist, and every little flaw
looks amplified. I don't even consider myself a chess player, yet.)
Chess is a game and winning is everyone's purpose; but you can't only focus on past losses in order to improve your game, because losses aren't fun. Having fun is the most important thing in a game
I had lots of fun during the following very short game, despite the obvious mistake(s), because I actually WON, while my opponent was ready to deliver a checkmate as well:
It was more due to his lack of focus than thanks to my playing, but I (think that I) like fast, offensive games like this, even when I lose them.
In the future, I might open a thread asking for directives regarding offensive strategies and opening a game :)