By Chad Lieberman
If there comes a time in your chess career when you have been away from the game for a while, analyzing your own games is essential for your comeback.
I have been away at college all year and have not had much time to play or study outside of writing this column. Earlier this week, I sat down to play on USChessLive, an online interface I have mentioned in this column previously. I present here the analysis of jazzp-chad1032, 2004.
The opening is a variation of the Queen's Indian Defense where white develops his dark-squared bishop to f4 and queenside knight to c3. This is not the most aggressive set up for white against the QID.
After some maneuvering and the pawn thrust 12...c5, black is better because he has made the first dynamic pawn move in the fight for central space and his minor pieces are placed more harmoniously.
Ahead one pawn, I sought exchanges. Sometimes, however, this is not the best winning strategy. 18...Bc5, pinning the knight to the queen was much more forceful. What could've followed is: 19.f4 (preventing an immediate ...e5) Nb8 20.Bf2 Nc6 21.Nxc6 Qxc6 22.Qg3 Rac8 23.Ne3 Rc7 24.f5 Bd6 25.Qg4 h5 26.Qh4 Be7 27.Qh3 e5 and black is slowly but surely squeezing white's position into oblivion.
While my plan to push ...e5 was correct, the preparations were not properly made. This should have led to my defeat. More appropriate was 20...Rae8 21.Re2 e5 22.Nf5 d4 23.Qd2 Re6 and the extra move 20...Rae8 has placed black in full control.
Not making this move should have led to 23.Qg4 g6 24.Nxh6+ Kg7 25.Qxd7 Rc7 26.Qh3 Rh8 27.Nf5+ gxf5 28.Qxf5 Qd5 29.Qf6+ Kg8 30.Re4 and white wins.
This is a good example of the degree of accuracy with which one must play. Although some players will overlook such errors, the greatest players in the world will tear the position apart.
After white missed his chance, however, I utilized the newly opened h1-a8 diagonal in cooperation with domination of my opponent's second rank to finish him off. 34.Rgg1?? brought the end, but it was near anyway.