05 February 2012

Annotated Game #29: Back as Black

Following the second phase (post-scholastic) of my chess career, which ended with Annotated Game #28, several years passed before I played any serious games.  The next one was in fact Annotated Game #6, from the world record simultaneous exhibition in Mexico City.  I saw a notice for the event and remembered that I liked to play chess, so why not participate?

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)

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