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Hello guys. It’s good to be back after a brief break. Did you miss me? I bet you did. I am in a kind of dilemma though, trying to decide which games to analyze for you my avid readers. I would like to know which games you are more interested in, my games or other people’s games. I personally prefer my own games anyway.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy this game which I played in the 4th round of the just concluded 2015 edition of the National Friends of Chess Championship which held in the Chevron Center at Gbagada, Lagos State.
I played as black, and my honorable opponent was Oluwalasinu Seye. And here we go…
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 my usual Petroff defence which they say helps black equalize quickly with best play from both sides, I find it comfortable to play without expecting any tactical swindles any time soon.
3. d4 Nxe4 4.dxe5 d6 the book line says to play …d5 here and I considered playing it for a long time before making my move. I did not play d5 because I felt a need to eliminate the pawn on e5 which I felt was going to impede the development of my other pieces. This was bad judgment on my part as you will discover soon.
5. Bc4 c6 of course at this point, white goes all out for the initiative forcing me back into defending my position, very “un-petroff-like”. My last move was in preparation to push my pawn to d5 which I could have easily played in my previous move.
6. 0-0 d5 and d5 is finally played. 7. Bd3 Be7 8. Re1 Nc5 9. c3 NxB I agree that exchanging off my only active piece so far is against the opening rules, but at this point, I was really glad to take away that mean bishop.
10. QxN 0-0 11. Nbd2 Nd7 12. b4 Re8 13. Nf1 Nf8 the funny thing at this point is that I was subconsciously building for myself a good position, with the possibility of eliminating that dreaded pawn on e5, but alas, it was just subconscious, not a conscious plan per say. The next move gave me such an opportunity but I blew it in a bid to activate my pieces, losing several tempi and struggling to catch up and regain the opportunity…
14. Be3 Bg4 I just aided my opponent to stay in a better place. I personally feel that …f6 was a better move here. Eliminating the menacing e5 pawn by force and seizing the opportunity to activate my dark-squared bishop (talk of killing 2 birds with a stone). Of course, my opponent is not forced to exchange the pawn immediately, he does have several other option of moves on the board eg Bd4, Ng3, etc. whatever he chooses to play poses no real threat to me and so I can take the pawn by myself immediately, and that’s comfortable for me. The game can go on quietly.
15. Nd4 Ng6…f6 is still playable here 16. f4 now I was worried about my bishop getting trapped after losing several tempi. Getting back to square one was probably the best bet …Bc8
17. Bd2 Bf8 18. Ng3 a5 19. a3 axb 20. axb Bd7 I feel that I should have played …RxR first. I still would have gotten the opportunity to play f6 after 21. RxR.
21. RxR QxR 22. Nf3 Qb8 23. c4 Nxf4?? I was desperate!!! I want say at this point that up till now, except for a few miscalculations, the engine has been kind to me. All my moves before this point have been safe and mostly equalizing according to the engine’s judgments. I think that my focus on the e5 pawn right from move 4 was my mistake in the entire game. I was just afraid of shadows and my last move paid for it dearly.
24. BxN Bxb4 in my mind I had exchanged 2 pawns for a piece and of course, if we ever get into an endgame with all materials exchanged, I probably have the better chance at winning. Little did I know that there won’t be an endgame at all. I won’t talk much about the next few moves because the game simply played itself out from here…
25. Ng5 g6 26. Rf1 Be6 27. cxd Bxd5 28. Nh5 Be7 29. e6 Qc8 30. exf Bxf7 31. NxB KxN 32. Qc4+ Kf8 Bh6#
Of course, I lost the game. But I learnt my lesson. Just as I was taught many other lessons in the other games I played in this tournament (laughs). What lessons have you learnt from this game? What do you think should have been my focus in the game, instead of the e5 pawn? Do you think focusing on the e5 pawn was even ok anyway? Please leave your comments below, sharing it would mean a lot. Gens Una Sumus.