I reached the position below in a recent tournament game
[Event "Recent Tournament"] [Site "Deepest, Darkest Oxfordshire"] [Date "Feb 2020"] [White "Ian Bush"] [Black "A Young Victim"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteELO "~1850"] [BlackELO "~1850"] [ECO "C55r"] [StartPly "52"] [FEN ""] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 d5 6.Bb5 Ne4 7.Nxd4 Bd7 8.Bxc6 bxc6 9.O-O Bc5 10.f3 Ng5 11.Be3 Qe7 12.f4 Ne4 13.Nd2 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 O-O 15. Nb3 Bxe3+ 16.Qxe3 f6 17.Nc5 fxe5 18.fxe5 Be6 19.Rae1 Rxf1+ 20.Rxf1 Rf8 21. Rxf8+ Kxf8 22.Nb3 Bd7 23.Qc5 Ke8 24.Qxe7+ Kxe7 25.Nc5 Bf5 26.c3 h6 27.Kf2 Bc8 28.Ke3 Bf5 29.Kd4 Bb1 30.a3 Bc2 31.Na6 Bb3 32.Nc5 Bc4 33.Ke3 Ba2 34.Kf4 Bb1 35.h4 Bc2 36.g3 Bb1 37.Nb3 g6 38.Nd4 Kd7 39.b4 Bd3 40.a4 Bb1 41.a5 Bd3 42.Nb3 Bc4 43.Nc5+ Ke7 44.h5 gxh5 45.Kf5 Be2 46.Kg6 Bd1 47.Kxh6 Be2 48.Kg5 Bg4 49.Nb3 Bd1 50.Nd4 Kd7 51.Kf6 Ke8 52.Nxc6 a6 53.e6 Bg4 54.e7 Bd7 55.Nd4 Bh3 56.Ne6 Bxe6 57.Kxe6 h4 58.gxh4 d4 59.cxd4 c5 60.d5 1-0
Though I ultimately won I have to admit a good part of it was waiting for my opponent to make a mistake - my opinion was that only black could lose this one so I'd try and slowly improve things waiting for a mistake in a difficult position, and then hopefully pounce. But is there a better plan which does not involve my opponent being cooperative and I can just win whatever he does? Sample variations to illustrate ideas would be appreciated - especially as this is a thematic endgame from the opening I use, and so I would like to learn how to play it better. I should also say I saw at various points how I could win a Q side pawn or two but was worried it was taking my wonderful knight out of play and sometimes saccing the e5 pawn to get 2 Q side pawns, which again I was not convinced was a good bargain - was I being too cautious?
For what it is worth both he and me are about 1850 FIDE (converted from ECF), and my plans to improve the position were
- Get everything on black squares so he doesn't have any targets
- Edge my pawns forward making them closer to queening when the breakthrough occurs
- Plant the king on d4 or f4 again for the breakthrough
- Combine varying the angle of attack of the knight against the Q side pawns with threats of e6 to try and win one or more of his Q side pawns