Sorry if this question is waaay too long, but I just want professional chess players to know exactly what I think and help me. I'd appreciate it if anyone interested went through my question thoroughly to address my problems. Plus, the game's only 20 moves long, so I hope you don't mind having a look at it.
Here is one of the best (honestly) games I've played. Beating a player rated 300 points above me (before the match, he was 1529, and I was 1229)is unprecedented, for me. But I've got a few problems. Firstly, I made it to move 10 comfortably only because the Slav defense was one of the few openings I am familiar with, having studied it when I was 13. I don't know why some of the moves in the opening were done, I did them just because they were in the Slav defense.
Next, I struggled to find the right moves after move 10. Till move 14, I went about with vague plans of building an impregnable defense. You might notice that my pawns sort of inhibited my opponent's minor pieces (that's my take on it, I'm welcome to other opinions). In the remaining moves, I tried to reposition my pieces because it was the best I felt I could do. My defense might have looked secure to me, but I felt that it was as stable as a deck of playing cards, and moving even a single pawn to mount an attack would likely bring it crashing down (I've learnt this the hard way). Thing is, my opponent thought a lot on his move and lost on time. I want your advice on a couple of issues:
Was my idea of repositioning my pieces from the 10th move onwards good? As in, did I gain anything by doing so? I didn't have any other ideas.
How would you rate my defense? Were my ideas good? I was just implementing Fred Reinfeld's advice.
What should I do in such situations(which I often come across in middle games), where no attack seems to present itself to me? I'm usually good at noticing forks, checks, captures and so on(forcing moves), but when there are none, I sort of run out of ideas. I often risk pushing a pawn to mount an attack, only to see my defense unravel!
Plus, I can't predict my opponent's thoughts. What general rules must I follow, especially if my opponent's moves mystify me(as they seem to have no direct purpose).
If my moves weren't good (quite possible), please suggest an alternative game plan. Mine was to defend solidly and pounce on weaknesses. But defending is okay in the beginning, I have no idea how to carry on my plans in the middle game. I often resort to weak moves when I see no strong ones, just to keep moving. To repeat something that is obvious, I find it hard to mount attacks due to my defensive choices. But then, what else can I do? And don't some famous players play defensively?
To summarize, I want to know if my moves (10th onwards)were effective, and if they weren't, what I should have done.
I value both general and specific advice equally!
I played black.
[Site "Chess.com"] [Date "Jun 20, 2017"] [White "RDR22"] [Black "JoshuaFischer007"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "1508"] [BlackElo "1337"] [TimeControl "1 in 0 day"] [Termination "JoshuaFischer007 won on time"] [FEN ""] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 Be7 7. e3 O-O 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Be2 Bf5 10. O-O Nbd7 11. a3 a6 12. b4 Qc7 13. Bd3 Bxd3 14. Qxd3 Rae8 15. Rac1 Bd6 16. Bxf6 Nxf6 17. g3 Re7 18. Rc2 Rfe8 19. Rfc1 Qd7 20. Kg2 g6 0-1
PS: Did I get the tags right?