"I'm better player in just one game?"
Yes. You are on the right path.
You thought differently about the position infront of you.
You were open to what was for you a new idea, you experiemented.
You are at that awkward 'Rule of Thumb' stage.
Rook =5 Knights' =3, Bishops are better than Knights....
Now you are looking to break these rules because you know they are
The knowing when to obey them and when to igonore bit is hard.
It comes with experience (the experience of this one game will matter in the future).
You thought about activity over material - that's a massive step forward.
As you get better and start to think about all your alternatives
the more games you will lose!
Only the gifted ones shoot straight up.
Us we go up a bit, slide back a bit, go up a bit higher, slide back a bit.
We never slide back to what were, but we never reach what ever heights it
is you want reach in Chess without the rocky ride.
It takes time for the new ideas to gel and it's durng this phase you are
at your most vulnerbale.
You will fall for things you never fell for before because you are a better player.
That may sound cock-eyed but it means you will see ideas you never thought of
before. You have not yet got the judgement to see how good they are so you go
for it and perhaps lose. (that is the sliding back bit).
Experience (and study) will tell you when you can put your better understanding
of the game into action and win. (that is the sliding up bit.)
A previous poster was correct.
Misplacing pieces to win material does come down to wether or not the
Queens are still on the board.
There will come a time when you have to balance the position in your mind.
Will the active piece get me more (....say a checkmate.)
or is now the time to cash in my good position for material.
Queens on or off (and the position of both Kings) will influence this decision.
But rule of thumb. (which has to weighed at ever position.)
Queens on go for the King, Queens off take the material.
Now was the time to cash in the good position and play Rxd2 and Nxc7+ and Nxa8.
Black would then have to make all kinds of odd moves to try and keep the a8
Knight bottled up. You use the time to cook up other traps. (see game fragment.)
Any good player would have played Rxd2 here without a moments thought.
If you had a Bishop on c3 you would have played Bxd2 without hesitation.
You have not given up the exchange. Forget the term the exchange. (it's a rule of thumb.)
Think that Rooks, Knights and Bishops are all equal.
You are now ready to exchange any for any if you are happy with the outcome.
At the Master level exchanging a Rook for a Knight or Bishop when the position
demnads it is no longer considered giving up the exchange.
It has become as mundane as a bog standard Bxh7+ check check and mate sacrifce.
The irony is you refused to give up the exchange to refuse to win the exchange
a few moves later.
(see what I mean about it taking time for new ideas to gel.)
Ignore RJ - any thread that. is not about him then he gets the hump.
What did he say?
"It was Black's 22...Be6?? blunder that gave you the win. It had nothing to do with GP."
No explanation as to why Black played 22...Be6?.
(if only computers could talk...)
Your opponent must have wondered what was going on.
You refused to win the so called exchange just to keep the pressure on.
He was so worried about swapping the h1 Rook for an active Knight
He blundered with Be6.
(this guy is non-blog reader....no climbing up higher and sliding down a bit for him.)
The 14.Rxd2 line. Two possible continuations.