Having already drawn the first of our two games against my lower rated opponent with Black, I was keen to do better with the White pieces. My Hertfordshire team, ‘Eight of Hearts’, needed the points as did my own rating! Since the widespread use of computer assistance it has been increasingly difficult to get any wins in Correspondence Chess!
As far as move eighteen I thought the game was reasonably level, although my opponent now gives me a passed e-pawn for nothing. I suppose he thought that I would now have three isolated pawns against his one. The diagram position shows that after thirty moves my position is looking quite good, although I need some kind of breakthrough to make progress. See if you can find the best continuation.
Yes, White’s 31st move is not so difficult to see, although not so clear to some computer programs who would prefer Re2 or Rb4. Of course, Black would have been better to play 33…Rexe6 to give back the exchange, although I doubt if that would have affected the result. I did enjoy my move 41.Qe8, leaving my queen en prise for the remainder of the game.