Thanks to IM Jeremy Silman's interesting article, I've decided to take up the QGD as my opening against everything except 1. e4. I plan to gradually improve my understanding of this opening by playing it.
a) To be able to play the QGD with confidence against strong opposition
b) To simultaneously hone my positional understanding.
Okay, then. Here's my first game in the series.
7. Ne5 - I didn't understand the purpose behind this move. I guess it was to hit the d7 where I'd like to develop my N/b8. Since there was no immediate threat, I decided to solidify my pawn on d5.
10. ...Ba5 - Because I thought if 10. ...Bxc3 11. bxc3, then White could nicely take charge of the b-file.
14. e5 - At this point I couldn't find a comfortable home for my Knight. I thought of taking the path f6-e8-d6, but I couldn't analyze in depth the possibility 14. ...Ne8 15. Bh6 Ng7. So I gave up that attempt. What I did play was obviously worse.
15. f3 - I think this was a mistake. My opponent allows my Knight to expose his King before bidding the world farewell.
18. Bh6 - This insatiable hunger for material marked the beginning of my opponent's end.
All constructive advice that could help me get closer to either/both of these goals is always welcome (please note: I can digest only descriptive advice).
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