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Subject: Need help with this game

I played this game recently against a very strong player here at GK. He's torn me a new one on multiple occasions, but I feel I had my strongest showing here. The strategic motif is that this player frequently breaks down my kingside while I try in vain to concentrate on the center. Am I diluding myself? What's going on here? I know I made a tactical error with the decision to push the pawn to g5, but it seems like I was already on the ropes. Any help is appreciated.

1. e4 c6
2. d4 d5
3. exd5 cxd5
4. c4 Nf6
5. Nc3 e6
6. Nf3 Bb4
7. cxd5 Nxd5
8. Bd2 O-O
9. Bd3 Nc6
10. O-O Be7
11. a3 Bf6
12. Be3 g6
13. Rc1 Nxc3
14. bxc3 b6
15. Bf4 Bb7
16. Re1 Rc8
17. Be4 Qd7
18. Ng5 Na5
19. Qf3 Bxe4
20. Nxe4 Bg7
21. Be5 Nc4
22. Bxg7 Kxg7
23. Qf6+ Kg8
24. Qh4 Kg7
25. Rc-d1 Qd5
26. Rd3 Qd8
27. Qg3 Qc7
28. Qf3 Qe7
29. Qf4 Rf-d8
30. Rh3 h5
31. g4 Rd5
32. gxh5 g5
33. Rg3 Kh6
34. Nxg5 Rxg5
35. h4



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No deeper analysis

Just my impressions after having played this game for three times now:

Moves 01-09:
Opening looks okay for both players. Black has development problems (Bc8 is often a weak one in Caro-Cann). White�s Pd4 is isolated and may become weak, but it is in the center (good position). Chances and dangers for both.
Moves 10-14:
Instead of finishing his development (b6, Bb7, Rc8) Black re-arranges his Bb4 (to f6) pointing to d4-pawn. But after 14. bxc3 this pawn is covered safely, White has solved his little problem (if it has been any).
Moves 15-17:
Now the black bishop is in the game (the diagonal for it looks good), but in the meantime White had enough time to finish preparations for his plan: He is looking to the black King�s corner - with ALL of his pieces! It seems Black underestimates the danger ...
Moves 18-21:
Black apparently uses his moves to trade pieces, probably hoping to keep the game simple. But the knight manouevre Nc6-a5-c4 costs time, and White manages his knight to a much stronger square (e4) looking at the ugly cheese holes in the black King�s corner.
Moves 22-24:
White trades away the best black defender (Bg7) knowing that there will be three pieces attacking soon.
Moves 25-29:
The three attackers are in perfect position, Black has given away another tempo (Qd7-d5-d8), but I don�t think this was decisive in this situation. After the next move 30. Rh3 I felt that the game was done. Black�s Queen and rook can�t protect their King sufficiently because the black pawn wall will definitely be destroyed.
For me the white Ne4 deserves the title of the MVP (most valuable piece). And it only moved three times for this title (Ng1-f3-g5-e4), very instructive!
Moves 30-35:
No problem for White any more, maybe there are some better Black�s defence plans - but not in the long run. White�s advantage is too obvious.

Sorry, only impressions with no improvements for the black play. I wish my own play were as consequent, positional and unhasty as White demonstrated here. Good game!



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thank you for the input. I showed this game to a 2200 USCF player (albert rich in san jose, CA) and he said Black was ahead through most of the game because of pawn structure; instead I blew the defense and White attacked expertly.

Check out these suggestions:

30 Rh3 Rh8
31 Rf3 e5!
32 Ng3 exf4
33 Rxe7 Rhe8
34 Rxe8 Rxe8
35 Nf1 (Rxf4??) b5 =/+

and then even after my poor defense:
31 g4 e5!
32 dxe5 Nxe5
33 Ng5 Rc5
34 gxh5 Qxg5+
35 Qxg5 Nf3+
36 Rxf3 Rxg5+

White is still ahead here, but Black is still in the game and has chances.

I pretty much saw this game in the same you did: Black struggling against a terrible white onslaught. It just goes to show how great a role attitude plays because appearance was not reality! Had black followed through with the intention of attacking the center with e5, white's flank attack would be mostly neutralized. Shame on me for not playing this necessary move.

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