Over another year passed, however, before I came back to tournament play. This first-round game showed that I was still capable of hanging with the competition, despite a disappointing final result. In a Classical Caro-Kann, my Class A opponent made two separate attacking demonstrations (on moves 16 and 26) which however ended up being nullfied, due to a lack of a robust follow-up on his part and some good defending on mine. A dynamic endgame then ensues, with a material imbalance of R+R vs. R+N+pawns. After some tense play, I make some judgments which allow White to stop the pawns and then go on to win. No doubt fatigue played a role, as this was a long, hard-fought game. However, the primary factor was probably my weak endgame knowledge.
Some lessons learned from reviewing the game:
- Look at getting in the ...c5 break in the Classical Caro-Kann as early as possible (move 14)
- In this variation, always keep in mind the potential weakness of e6 and tactical ideas associated with that for White (moves 16, 25)
- Look beyond superficial one-move positional analysis when deciding on piece placement (move 19)
- Passed pawns must be pushed! (move 41)
- Take advantage of concrete advantages when they occur and calculate the consequences (move 48)