12 July 2014

Annotated Game #130: A tactical finish

This last-round tournament game featured some major swings in the initiative.  Neither myself nor my opponent were on familiar ground in the opening, but we both acheived reasonable positions.  Unfortunately I lost my way first, not having a suitable middlegame plan while allowing Black to take over the initiative and start pressing on the queenside.  The key sequence of the middlegame portion took place in moves 17-19, where Black could have established dominance but failed to see his way through the complications.  After this, Black overpressed and dropped first one pawn, then two, although it appeared like the endgame would be long and hard-fought.  To my pleasant surprise, Black continued to be over-aggressive and lined himself up for a discovered skewer against his king and rook, ending the game immediately.

Although I was a bit fatigued from the previous six rounds' worth of games and bungled the transition into the middlegame, I was able to immediately recover and then successfully calculate several different key sequences, which lead to the eventual victory.  Analyzing this game provided me with a boost to my opening knowledge and a much better idea of what to do in these types of positions, along with how to avoid the same problems in the future.

Having won my last three games, I ended up in the money for the first time in quite a while, which I felt was a vindication of my training efforts and new focus on chess.  We'll see in the next tournament analysis whether that was completely justified (hint: not entirely).

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