01 June 2014

Annotated Game #125: One tactic is all it takes

This second-round tournament game followed Annotated Game #123 and features a fatal tactical shot on the kingside after an initially rather innocuous English/Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) opening.  The English can in fact often lead to kingside attacks, despite its image as a queenside-focused flank opening.  I could have initiated the action earlier, for example with 10. Ne5 or 12. Ne2, but played in a more quiet and perhaps stereotyped fashion.  Later, I spotted the key 19. Nxf7! possibility of undermining the defenses around Black's king, which my opponent failed to see, leading him to miss the earlier saving ...Ne4 idea to block the White queen's diagonal.

Missing one tactic is often all it takes to lose a game, regardless of your level.  I credit the tactical study I've undertaken since starting this blog for allowing me to be alert to this sacrificial idea while sitting at the board.  Other useful observations about the game came out of the analysis, particularly the idea of accelerating White's central and kingside play.

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