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Anti-sicilian vs Nc6 - first try out in long play


Interesting game, but was worse for a fair bit of it and blundered at the end as time got low.

I remembered the theory and plan to get to play d4 and Qxd4 at the cost of B for N.

Opponent deviated by playing the dubious 5... Nf6, which 6. e5 is the only move that makes sense.

At move 8, considered c4, overlooking that after Nf4 d4 Ng2 Kf1 the knight is trapped, wasn't so happy with Nc3.

9. bxc3 was wrong, but at that point it's hard to see it. The aim was to either use the open b-file or a4 Ba3. The pawns resembles the Winawer French, but Black has the two bishops, so trying to keep one of them bad. The computer notes dxc3 is better, and while that does give better chances to the bishop, I was worried that Black's two bishops would find that position easier. Any suggestions here on the right way of thinking here?

11. a4 was an attempt to keep the light-squared bishop out of the game, and maybe give Ba3. The computer seems to want to play exd6 and dxc5 and swap queens, but I thought the pawns being on an
open file and the two bishops would be far better for Black.

13. Qc1 was trying to get rid of the bishop, but it wasn't going to work because Bg5 f6 would favour Black. 16. f4 makes the Bishop worse, but what is the alternative. Nd3 (computer suggestion just look s bad here).

21. Nd3 would have equalised,  but I thought the N was needed to defend c2.

28... Bh3 should have cost the opponent the game. I was lucky (didn't see it beforehand that I had Ng2 as a resource).

31. c3 was an outright blunder in low time which loses the game. I need help to arrange my thinking so blunders like this don't happen. With more time I would have consider plans for my opponent. I think the thought process that goes wrong is thinking c3 will have to played without considering what options it gives the opponent (in this case a forced win). 31. Rb1 wins, but I had though Qc7 was okay for Black. However, it now gives Nf4 and Rxf4 is no longer playable.

So to recap, I played the opening well given inexperience, but didn't look further after Nxg2 in the c4 line else I would have played it. Should have played dxc3 rather than bxc3 but didn't see the reasoning behind it at that stage. Finally I need to be able to think in a way that avoids blunders under pressure.

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