Friday, 23 March 2007
Stream of Chess Consciousness - 3
I have previously posted the moves of a game I am currently playing against Hiarcs 9.6 (for Palm) on my PDA. I am trying to set down my thought process on this blog in order that I can try to learn from my mistakes and find if there are any particular flaws in my thinking that I need to correct.
I am White and I have returned to the position after 13...Ng4 (see diagram). You can play along using the arrow keys under the board below.
The Knight at g4 creates some threats along the a7-g1 diagonal which I missed last time, so I decided to exchange it off straight away.
14. Bxg4 Bxg4
I was reluctant to do this because I didn't want to give Black the advantage of the two Bishops. Now I decided to unpin my Knight at c3 so that I can start to think of moving it to the nice square at d5, so I continued
15. Rac1 h6 16. Bh4 Qc5+
Fortunately I noticed that 17. Qf2 would lose horribly to Bd4!
Cleverly pinning my hapless Knight again. I was still concerned that Black had the two bishops and now took the opportunity to exchange one off.
18. Bd4 Bxd4+ 19. Qxd4 Qc5
I was a bit upset at this move, which I hadn't foreseen. I can't protect my Queen so I'm going to have to exchange Queens, which evens out the pawn structure - which I didn't want to do. Only later did it occur to me that I could have played Qf2, but this retreat seems to lose the initiative anyway.
20. Qxc5 dxc5 21. h3
I felt sure this was a good idea because I wanted to claim the newly open d-file with one of my rooks and so I needed to drive away the Black Bishop which is covering the d1 square. However, Fritz points out that 21. f5 is better (this was my plan when I originally played f4 earlier!), with threats to trap the Bishop.
21...Bd7 22. Nd5
I changed my mind from playing Rcd1 to playing this Knight move because I liked the threats it creates. Black can't play e6 to kick the bishop away because of Nf6+ forking the Bishop and King. Also e7 is attacked and Rfe8 is met by Nc7 forking the rooks. I was concerned that if I didn't play this move now black would play e6 and stop my knight from ever getting to d5.
22. Rae8 Rcd1 23. Kg7
This last move protects the f6 square so that black now threatens to kick the Knight away with e6.
So, that's where I've got to. I'm a lot happier with my position now than I was a few moves ago. Black no longer has the bishop pair and I have a nice Knight on d5 and more control of the only open file. But I'm concerned that Black may play e6 and kick my knight away from it's post and it looks like it would have to retreat.
I feel that despite playing more slowly I'm not looking very far ahead and missing obvious moves. I think I will try to adopt a more structured decision making thought process when at the board - somthing like that recommended by Dan Heismann at Chess Cafe. (pdf file).
As ever, I welcome your comments on the game and my lines of thinking. Am I along the right lines or am I missing the most important features of the game?