What mistakes did I make in the middlegame to lead to the losing position after (29...Kxe8) ? Is there a good strategy after that?
7...Rc6 is passive. 7...a6 or 7...d5
10...Qd7 helps white by trading queens. He is a pawn up. Better 10...Bd7.
15...f6 is passive again. Better 15...Nf6.
28...Be8 trades your good bishop and parts with the bishop's pair. After that you have no compensation for your lost pawn.
The idea of Nb5?! is to play c4, and the immediate d5 prevents that idea. d5 is also according to the principle that the player who has the development advantage should open the position. If your opp takes on d5 you win another tempo by attacking his queen.
I recommend playing through some old games by Morphy, he did that all the time against his opps who usually were not fully aware of this simple principle - develop as fast as possible, open the position, mate him.
10...Qd7 is a fine move. Bd7 would be passive. The bishops do need room to roam, but your position is too cramped to use them effectively. "The future belongs to the bishop." is a common quote and justifies and endgame plan.
15...f6 is wrong as it completely hems in your bishop. f5 opening the position is better. 16...g5 may secure the outpost at e5, but hems in the bishop further.
21...c4 releases one bishop but kills the other and creates a weakness. Rd8 is playable, but, as there's no invasion point, does help white. I don't really see any function for the black rook, so this is a difficult judgement call.
This is endgame, but more knowledge can't hurt. Around move 33, thinking defensively, the plan should be to play Be3 and Bd2. This prevents the king from reaching the queenside, ties the knight to the c-pawn, and guarantees the draw. (A closed position where the bishop is stronger than the knight.) You actually got lucky then killed your game with 40...c3. This stops all you counterplay and kills you bishop. Bxa3 and Bxb5 would create an unclear position. Without calculations, I would assume the your two passed pawns would queen/mate before white has a chance to safely move one of his pawns.
I still disagree with 10...Qd7 and favor 10...Bd7. The bishop is good there, it can go to c6. It wins a tempo on the white queen. It keeps the queens on the board. Black is a pawn down, so he should seek dynamic compensation, not an endgame.
As a general rule if you are a pawn down, you want to trade pawns, not pieces. Hence neither 10...Qd7 nor 28...Be8, but instead aim for ...d5.
As a general rule if you have the bishop"s pair, you want to keep it and you want to open the position, not close it. Hence neither 28...Be8, 15...f6, nor 21...c4, but instead aim for ...d5.
As a general rule if you are a pawn down you should aim for opposite colored bishops. So you should not trade your light square bishop for his light square bishop. If you trade at all, you should trade your light square bishop for his knight.
This topic has been archived and can no longer be replied to.