This game in combination with the analysis of the previous round (Annotated Game #161) should be a good marker in terms of teaching me to better evaluate positions objectively, as well as spend the extra energy necessary for calculating critical sequences.
Class B - ChessAdmin
[...] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.¤c3 dxe4 4.¤xe4 ¥f5 5.¤g3 ¥g6 6.h4 h6 7.h5 ¥h7 8.¤f3 ¤f6 9.¥d3 ¥xd3 10.£xd3 e6 11.¥d2 ¤bd7 12.O-O-O c5 this early c-pawn push is rare, but scores well in the database. It is a little loose compared with the main line continuation. (12...¥e7) 13.¦de1 ¥e7 14.¤e4 ¤xe4 15.£xe4 cxd4 16.¤xd4 ¤c5 attacking the Qe4 and covering b7. I had contemplated sacrificing the b-pawn and playing ...Nf6, but I didn't see enough of an advantage in it, even with the extra file available to attack White's king.
16...O-O would be the way to offer the b-pawn and also looks best, getting the king to safety. For example 17.£xb7?17...¤c5 and now the Qb7 is attacked and the Nd4 cannot be protected.
16...¤f6 is indeed unsound, according to Komodo, where Black is evaluated as having little or no compensation. 17.£xb7 ¦b8 18.£c6+±17.£g4 ¥f6 the bishop here has a very nice diagonal and protects g7. 18.¥c3 O-O as we head into the middlegame the position is balanced. 19.¦d1 £b6 20.¤e2 it was smart of my opponent to exchange the bishops, since otherwise White has little hope for play on the kingside. 20...¥xc3 21.¤xc3 here the position calls for contesting the d-file, but I was over-optimistic about generating queenside threats. 21...a5 (21...¦ad8) 22.f4 removing the pawn from the g1-a7 diagonal where the Qb6 was eyeing it. Also a good attacking idea with f4-f5. However, it does leave the e3 square uncontrolled and available for the Black queen. 22...a4 not very creative and ignoring the power of the queen. (22...£b4!? with a side pin of the f4 pawn.) 23.f5 a3 I had to think for a while on these last two moves, as things are starting to heat up with the "race" on both sides. I correctly calculate that the text move holds the balance and expected White's next. 24.b3 ¤xb3+? however, I now play this as the result of an over-optimistic miscalculation. White plays the correct defensive line, which results in Black's attack not having enough punch to compensate for the material. (24...exf5 25.£xf5 ¦ae8) 25.cxb3 ¦ac8 26.£f3 £c5 27.¢c2± now my attack is blunted and the best I can do is get another pawn for the piece, but I keep trying, figuring that the material will be insufficient anyway. 27...b5 28.¦h4 a clever (and only) defensive move, as now ...b4 is met by Rc4. 28...£e5 by this point I'm really just hoping for a swindle, feeling that I've essentially lost.
28...b4 is probably still best, but after 29.¦c4 £a5 30.¤e2 exf5 31.¤d4± White is simply up material and it looks bleak for Black.29.¦hd4+−29...£b8 now with the threat of ...b4 winning the pinned Nc3, but my opponent easily avoids it by removing the king from the pin. 30.¢b1 b4 31.¤e4 £e5 32.f6 now my opponent seals the win quickly with a breakthrough on the kingside. 32...¦c7 33.£g4 g6 34.hxg6 fxg6 35.£xg6+
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