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axedrez 51 ( +1 | -1 )
Help! In a recent game I played with a 2000++ rated player, I *think* that my critical error was my 14th move, Nb6.

Tell me if that move gave him the advantage and the exchange was unsound, or I am just blaming my poor endgame play on my middlegame.

Sabesan (1788) - Büchan (2156)


1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 d6
6. Bb5 Bd7
7. Be3 e5?!
8. Nf3 a6
9. Bc4 b5
10.Bd5 b4
11.Na4 Rb8!
12.Ng5 Nxd5
13.Qxd5 Qf6
14.Nb6?! Rxb6
15.Bxb6 Qxg5

Black won about 30 moves later.

Was there something I didn't see that I played before Nb6?! Or was Nb6 fine?

Your puzzled friend

-Axe
caldazar 135 ( +1 | -1 )
On your 14. Nb6 Your 14. Nb6 isn't so good since it gives up two minor pieces for a rook. This isn't terribly disasterous in principle but if you're going to make this exchange, leaving you with the two rooks, you have to ask if your extra rook is going to be more useful than his minor pieces. In this case, one obvious way to deploy your rooks is to double up on the open d-file, attempting to attack Black's backwards d-pawn. However, this is going to be slow, since you need to castle, play a rook to d1, lift it, and then switch the other rook to d1, costing you four moves. This gives your opponent plenty of time to play ...Be7, ...O-O, and organize something active. As a slight improvement, you could have been more materialistically minded and played the in-between 15. Qxf7+ Qxf7 16. Nxf7 Kxf7 17. Bxb6, gaining an extra pawn over the game continuation. But with queens off the board, it's doubtful that you could have exploited the slightly exposed Black king anyway.

Instead of 11. Na4, I would have played 11. Ne2, when at least the knight isn't stuck on the edge, out of play. Also, since the game revolves around a battle for d5, I wouldn't have given up your light-squared bishop so easily; 10. Bb3 looks better to me, retaining the bishop while maintaining control over d5.
atrifix 95 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm not sure but what's the point behind 6. Bb5? Only Black benefits from an exchange of B-for-N, so the bishop is just misplaced. 6. Bg5 or 6. Bc4 are better.

10. Bb3 is better than 10. Bd5 not simply because you preserve your light-squared bishop (you don't, really) but because you preserve the c3 Knight. On 10... b4 White can play 11. Nd5. Black would have to try something like ...Na5-c4 or xb3, when White should be better.

Instead of 14. Nb6? you should probably just play conservatively with 0-0, b3, and Nb2, although Black would probably be better. After 14. Nb6, your best option is probably 15. Nxh7 Rxh7 16. Bxb6, which picks up another pawn and prevents Black from castling, and also keeps the queen on f6 instead of g5. Black still should win after moves like ...Be7 and ...Kf8, but it offers better chances for resistance.

If you're planning on putting a knight on b6, you probably need support from a pawn on a5, not just an e3 bishop--it's also possible that the knight could be entirely out of play on b6.