28 August 2013

Annotated Game #103: Right ideas, wrong moves

This round two Slow Chess League tournament game saw me go down in flames early in a Caro-Kann Panov variation.  The opening in general can be a little tricky for Black, as if he's not careful White can make some quick threats on the kingside and tactics also loom in the center.  Black should be able to equalize with correct play, naturally, but I was unfamiliar with this particular line and made incorrect strategic choices at key points, helping lead me into a game-ending blunder:
  • The first strategic choice occurred on move 10, when I play ...a6.  Not a bad idea in itself, but the logical follow-up of ...b5 and ...Bb7 never happens, stranding the bishop on c8 until its development is problematic (and in fact loses the game for me later!)  The database shows how Korchnoi used the ...Na5 idea, which gains a tempo on the Bc4 immediately, allowing the ...Bb7 development.
  • After White goes for the immediate liquidation of his isolated queen pawn (IQP), Black goes for the exchanges on d5 and then goes adventuring with the knight on b4.  The immediate 13...Bf6 or on the subsequent move would have concretely improved Black's pieces and started making threats down the long diagonal.  I eventually play this, but at a point where its impact is lessened and my position in the meantime has been weakened.
  • By move 16, Black is faced with another choice under worse circumstances, of how to blunt White's pressure on the h7 pawn.  I chose a superficially active move (...f5) that had a much greater drawback of opening the a2-b8 diagonal, which is what White soon after uses to defeat me.
This game, in addition of being a reminder of the importance of CCT with the losing move, also served to illustrate how one can have some of the right ideas and recognize good candidate moves, but fail to execute them properly (or at all).

1 comment:

  1. I really prefer the White side of the Bg5 lines in the Panov. Then again, I like the old school lines with the c5 advance.