Ungroundedly Fighting?

If you follow me on Twitter you may know that our team competition is almost finished. Although our team has a great score +7 =1 -1, I have to admit I do not bring too much points as I was used to bring in last seasons. I lost two games with 300 ELO points weaker players and I have not scored against any higher rated player so far. No wonder my rating is something like -40 points at this moment…

The game, I want to discuss now, is another French opening. I choose the same variant as in my game which I posted here a few weeks ago (see the post Questions About the Right Plan in One of My Games).

We reached this position during the game.


I though I was quite good. But how to get closer to the opponent’s pieces and break the blocked position (without allowing black to build nice centre with d and e pawns)? I also need to get the knight on b1 to the game. So my plan was exchange the knight on f5 (which irritated me) and place my knight on nice c5 square. The plan went well.

12. Bd3 f6 13. Bxf5 exf5 14. Nc3 Be6 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Na4 Qc7 17. Nc5 Bf7 18. Ne5


I was satisfied at this moment! I placed both knight on beautiful squares and I hope for gaining some advantage as the position seemed better to me. I did not know that Rybka would say the position is almost equal (=0.11).

Unfortunately, after 18…. b6 I went to a bit pasive square 19.Ncd3 instead of 19.Ncd7. As usual I saw the missed move immediately after pressing clocks… And I was quite piqued because of it…

The game continued 19…. Rac8 20. Rc1 Qd6 21. Rxc6 Rxc6 22. Nxc6 Qxc6 23. Ne5 Qb5 24. Nxf7 Rxf7 25.Qc2 and after 25…. Qc4 26. Qd2 Qb5 27. Qc2 Qc4 my opponent offered a draw in this position.


It is necessary to mention a few facts about this point:
– repetition of moves was caused by the fact I did not have too much time for remaining moves until the control in 40th move
– I was also curious whether my opponent would be happy with 0.5 point only when (in my opinion) his bishop is better than mine
– the last but not least – I knew I refuse the draw offer because of the run of the whole team match. Situations on other boards were quite unclear and we have to fight for each 0.5
So, I refuse the offer and tried to search for some active play for my pieces. Unfortunately, I found a bad plan.

After 28. Qd2 Qb5 29. Rc1 Re7 30. Rc8+ Kf7 31. Rc1 (31.Rc2 was much better) Qe2 32. Qxe2 Rxe2 (see the diagram below) black reached better position and won the game later.


I would be happy if you would share you thoughts about this game with me and other readers in the comments below. Would you chose another plan? Would you accept the draw offer?

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