I've just picked up chess again after a few years of not playing and I'm pretty rusty. I'd like to really improve my strategic game.
Just finished my first game here on rhp, thought I would get some use out of the forums. I lost the game and want to identify a couple of things:
- turning points - on what specific moves did I go wrong? were they tactical errors or strategic?
- evaluation of my ideas - where was I trying for the right setup, and where was I off in the weeds?
Couple of notes--I'm sure this game isn't as tactically sound as most cc games around here, but please try to understand this was a game with a good friend of mine in which we agreed to devote no more than 5 min/move of actual over-the-board analysis. I admit I'm not terribly interested in correspondence chess as such, I just don't have hours per night to play with my buds OTB. Anyway, onwards...
Here's the game: http://chess.maribelajar.com/chesspublisher/viewgame.php?id=1202327146
(Because of this site going down for maintenance, I can't link the game on this site--it's lost...)
Anyway, if you open the link above in another browser window, you can follow along with my notes:
position after 5. ... c5 - Nimzo-Indian Defense to Queen's Gambit. We're in unfamiliar territory for me. White (that's me) pushes 6. d5 hoping to create a backward d-pawn for Black after 6. ... exd5 7. cxd5. Or, after 6. ... e5, e4 becomes a nice outpost for a knight after exchanging on c6, e3 (contesting control over d4), Ne2, etc. If Black wants to prevent a White's knight going to e4 eventually, the exchange on c6 must be taken back with the b-pawn instead of the queen, busting his kingside. When Black exchanges immediately on f3, though, White's plan proves too slow to prevent Black from pushing 9. ... e4.
position after 10. ... Nbd7 - White's next move 11. f4 aims and removing the e5 square for Black's knight. After 11. ... exf3 e.p. 12. Nxf3 White's position also improves.
position after 12. Bxe4 - I saw the response 12. ... g5 but thought the sac might be worth the kingside attack potential. Did I misplay a sound opportunity or was this a bad move from the get-go?
position after 21. Rf6+ - I can't help but feel this is where I really went off the rails. I was sure there was an attacking combination that would result in mate or significant gain in material. Again, did I misplay a good idea or was it just a bad move? I was strongly considering Rf3 here, which I now think would've given me better chances.
At this point in the game perhaps I was a bit overconfident. Black's queen bishop and rook are still at home, I have a passed pawn on the d-file and I can't help but look at the position and assume that Black's king is in peril. (Perhaps trading queens with such a major imbalance in king safety was one of my big mistakes?)
I couldn't seem to make use of any of these advantages, though (if they are, indeed, advantages). Can anyone shine some light on what happened, exactly?