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How to avoid blunders

March 13, 2009

If you want advice on this subject, I’m the last person you should come to. Case in point:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. h3?! Nc6 4. Bc4 e6 5.  Nc3 Nf6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Bd3 e5 11. Ne2 d5  12. exd5 cxd5 13. Ng3 e4 14. Bb5 Qb6 15. Qe2 a6 16. Ba4 Bd6 17. Nh1 Rb8 18. c3  Be5 19. Bb3 Qc7 20. Rd1

Avoiding mate (20…Bh2#)

20…Bd7 21. Qe3 Bh2+ 22. Kf1 Bb5+ 23. Ke1 Bf4??

How can I even begin to explain this blunder? Before this move, I have played reasonably well, his king is “uncastled”, and Fritz gives me a 2 pawn advantage. Bf4 is the first move I consider and promptly dismiss as a blunder. I then think through some variations after Be5 and they seem ok. I then lift the bishop and plonk it down on f4. I hope I learn a lesson for the future: always, always, JUST before moving, make sure its not a blunder!

24. Qxf4 Qb7  25. Ng3 a5 26. Nf5 a4 27. Nxg7 1-0

So that’s three straight games where I have gone from a better position (the previous two were outright winning) and thrown it all away.

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