Brain Freeze

This was (another) game that made it clear to me that I need to learn a new d4 system and forget about the Stonewall. A strong player easily neutralises White’s initiative.

It was really good to go through the game with Nigel and I found his ideas about an e5 lever very instructive. His line starting 17.d4 is very interesting. I am terribly materialistic and tend not to look for sacrifices but this would have been very nice. I’m working to understand what makes this sacrifice worthwhile. As Nigel says the Bd2 becomes useful, White has control of the open e file and there are possibilities of his Knight coming into an attack on g5.

At the very end I started seeing things and blundered horribly. I was convinced that I couldn’t stop his King coming coming forward to e5 and wanted some lever on the Kingside. Clearly I can stop his King and 39. h5 would have been a dead draw. The marvels of the mind….

Dan Staples