16 March 2015

Annotated Game #144: Who deserves to win?

This fifth-round tournament game saw my opponent apply a great deal of sustained pressure and he clearly felt as if he missed a win.  To my benefit, he kept playing for winning chances past the point where he had any real threats and ended up in a losing endgame.  I was then able to finish him off shortly after the time control using two tactical maneuvers, which I credit my tactics training for allowing me to find and have the confidence to employ.

During the game I generally shared the perception of White having had all the chances.  White certainly held the initiative for a long period, but with careful defense I was able to neutralize all of his threats; analysis shows that White after his move 14 never had a real advantage.  My own negative perception of the game stemmed largely from some poor choices I made in the opening, essentially boxing in my own pieces unnecessarily (particularly the queen and the poor bishop on c8).  In the end, however, it was the reality on the board that determined the winner.  This is a good general lesson for when you are the defender in a game; simply because you are on the defense does not mean your game is bad, and you should not miss a chance to strike a winning counterblow.

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