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!

17.Bf2 Qb4

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?


Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

Personally i would try to trade off the last remaining minor pieces like 24.Nb6 (attacking the Bishop) Bc6 25.Nd7 (attacking the Rook on f8) Bxd7 (seems unlikely he will move the Rook instead) 26.Rxd7 (attacking the b7 pawn) and maybe double up on the d file. When i picture this on the board it looks pretty nice to me. So i would definitely want to trade off those last two (minor) pieces. But hey, I'm but a patzer :-)

P.S. Nice game so far :-)

Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

I would also want to trade off the pieces because Black's Bishop looks like it can do quite some damage, you know? As in good vs bad Bishop? This one (light squared) looks good to me... But that's just my patzer vision :-)

ejh said...

Why did you play f4?

Ryan Emmett said...

I decided on a plan to attack on the King side by f2-f4-f5.

A previous comment on my earlier posts about this game criticised this move and suggested f3 instead. I was reluctant to play this at the time because I felt it blocked in my light squared bishop, but I think I realise now that that is not a problem and that f3 would help to protect e4 and g4 and support a Kingside attack.

It's precisely this sort of misconception I am hoping to find in my play and learn not to repeat.

Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

Okay, so you weren't waiting for comments concerning the game's continuation, my bad...

Ryan Emmett said...

All comments are welcome, although I would prefer comments on the moves I have already made rather than plans for the rest of the game.

I'll try to figure that out for myself! :)

ejh said...

In a way it's deciding to attack that's the problem here.

Does the position justify it? Do you have the initiative, are you better placed on the king's flank than the opponent, are you more likely to expose Black's king than you are your own?

Are there other ways of approaching the position? Trying, for instance, to restrain Black's possible breaks, putting your pieces on better squares, trying to exchange off his best piece (the g7 bishop)?

There are other ways of pursuing advantage than attacking.

Ryan Emmett said...

Thanks for the insightful comment, ejh. I think I understand what you mean. I should try to figure out what I SHOULD be doing in the position, not just doing what I WANT to do when the position doesn't justify it.

I've heard this advice before, but didn't realise that I was guilty of the crime myself!