09 November 2013

Annotated Game #107: Don't be afraid of the center

This game is from round four of the last Swiss tournament run by the Slow Chess League.  Some all-too-familiar lessons can be seen from analyzing this loss:
  • Don't be afraid of the center!  White could have established a fine center with d4-e3 early on, consolidating his pawn advantage and giving Black little scope for counterplay in the center.  White also shied away from "posting up" in the center with e4 later on.
  • Following general principles without concrete analysis can lead to trouble; in this case, I did not properly evaluate some of the exchanges that I initiated, although Black also made some similar missteps with exchanges.
  • Planlessness and negative trends.  I drifted planless starting around move 17, when a simple plan would have done fine.  This contributed to the establishment of a negative psychological trend for me and letting my opponent take over the initiative.  He was able to make a series of threats without having to worry about my counterplay, which in the end gave him the game.

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