26 May 2012

Annotated Game #47: Oh no, not again!

I have to admit that I rather ruefully went over the following game, which is another excellent example of why improving players should be analyzing their own games regularly.  As occurred not so long ago in Annotated Game #31, a perfectly fine Caro-Kann Advance variation is transformed by Black into a dubious French variation with a tempo down, due to the move 5...e6.  Those who do not remember their past losses are condemned to repeat them.

Black is, objectively speaking, not lost out of the opening, but it's nevertheless clear that I had little real idea of what to do, making the position an uphill struggle both on the board and psychologically.  Perhaps this is why Black misses several equalizing opportunities, most notably on moves 9 and 14.  It's also worth noting that these moves would have required Black to recognize the need for more active play; Black by move 16 looks stuck in a passive, defensive mode.

This is also one of those games whose result can be largely explained by psychological factors.  In this case, I felt like I was struggling the entire time and was lost from a certain point on (around move 19), which became a self-fulfilling prophecy.  In fact, White misses a killer move (29. f6!) and Black equalizes immediately, finally being able to generate counterplay - if only he could recognize it.  The crowning moment of the game is when White apparently picks up a rook due to a Black blunder, which led to my resignation before it occurred.  However, the rook is in fact poisoned and its capture would lead to White being mated.

Moral of the story: remember why you shouldn't play certain opening moves; never resign without running at least one final calculation of the position.

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