A few weeks ago. I won a game as Black on lichess.com..

[FEN ""]
[startply "48"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d5 3. Bd3 c4 4. Be2 e6 5. d4 cxd3 6. Qxd3 Nc6 7. exd5 Qxd5 8. a3 Nf6 9. c4 Qxd3 10. Bxd3 Bc5 11. O-O O-O 12. Be3 Bxe3 13. fxe3 e5 14. Ng5 h6 15. Ne4 Nxe4 16. Bxe4 Be6 17. b3 Rac8 18. Nc3 b6 19. Rad1 Ne7 20. Bd5 Bxd5 21. Nxd5 Nxd5 22. Rxd5 f6 23. Rd7 Rf7 24. Rfd1 Rc7 25. Rd8+ Kh7 26. h4 Kg6 27. g4 h5 28.  gxh5+ Kxh5 29. Rh8+ Kg4 30. Kg2 Kf5 31. Rf1+ Ke4 32. Rf3 Kd3 33. Rd8+ Rcd7 34. e4+ Kxe4 35. Rh8 Kd4 36. Kg3 e4 37. Rf4 Rde7 38. h5 Kd3 39. Rf1 e3 40. Rd1+ Kc2 41. Rh1 e2 42. Re1 Kd2 43. Kf2 f5 44. Rd8+ Kc3 45. Rxe2 Rxe2+ 46. Kxe2 Kxb3 47.  Rd3+ Kxc4 48. Kd2 f4 49. Ke2 f3+ 50. Kd2 f2 51. Rc3+ Kb5 52. Rb3+ Ka4 53. Kc3  f1=Q 54. Rb4+ Ka5

To solidify my position, I pushed my pawns forward to create chains on both sides of the board. In order to defend against a rook infiltration, I doubled my rooks on my own seventh rank in order to guard my pawn. I then went on a long King walk and won a few pawns. Finally, I pushed my new passed pawns and promoted for the win.

However, in hindsight, I'm not so sure it was a good strategy. My opponent defended inadequately, so I can't tell. How sound was my long-term strategy?

  • I'm not entirely sure if Black played optimally, but definitely better than White
    – David
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


White was slightly better after 23.Rd7. This is one of those cases where you should have gone for activity with 23...Rcd8! Now, if he just doubles with 24., you can trade and then play Rf7; or if 24.Ra7 then Rd3 with active counterplay and better chances, but white is still better.

That said, the reason you won is that white knows nothing about the endgame, and tried to mate you with h4 and g4, and that is not what the position called for. He only weakened his position, and improved your K since there was not going to be any mate on g4 or e4. It required a gradual improvement of the white K, and then the gradual advancement of the q-side pawns.

By the time you started advancing e5-d4, that was generally the right plan, but you should have started with 36...f5 first so the pair could not be blockaded with Rf4.

In any case, you were already cruising by then.


By the time it got to 24. Rfd1 I'm not sure it mattered what you played. Re8, Rcf8 etc. all look about the same. Rc7 does give white an extra option of Rd8+ though. White's rook lift and doubling on the open file were pretty textbook. Your problems started with 17...Rac8 From there you were playing pretty passively. You should be looking to control the d-file, create threats (ie Na5, f5 etc) and exploit the fact that white is behind in development.

I would just say you're overthinking things. You're worrying about minor pawn structure issues and missing the big picture. You should be playing aggressively and forcing white to respond to you but instead you're sitting back, playing passively, letting white do what he wants and then trying to respond.

  • minor? white has the outside passed pawn potential. Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 21:53

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