Aside from the blunder 27 Nh3, what moves should have been made to make this game winning for white?

    rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1

   1. d4  Nf6 2. c4  g6 3. Nc3  Bg7 4. e4  d6 5. f3  O-O 6. Be3  Nc6 7. Qd2  a6 8. a4  e5 9. d5  Na5 10. Ra3  b6 11. b4  Nb7 12. h4  a5 13. b5  h5 14. Be2  Nh7 15. g4  hxg4 16. fxg4  f5 17. gxf5  gxf5 18. Bg5  Bf6 19. Bh6  Bxh4+ 20. Kd1  Bg5 21. Bxg5  Qxg5 22. Qxg5+  Nxg5 23. Nf3  Nxf3 24. Bxf3  f4 25. Ne2  Rf7 26. Ng1  Rh7 27. Nh3  Bxh3 28. Be2  Bd7 29. Rg1+  Kh8 30. Ke1  Rg8 31. Kf1  Rh3 32. Ra1  Rxg1+ 33. Kxg1  Nc5 34. Re1  Rg3+ 35. Kf2  Nxe4+ 36. Kf1  Bh3#  0-1
  • It was a fine effort against a much higher rated opponent.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 12:40
  • I'm not sure about 11. b4. Black's knight is out of play at a5. Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 23:14

3 Answers 3


You don't seem to know the kind of plans that arise out of the way you played the opening. You lined up the Be3/Qd2 "gun" and then never fired it! You needed to play Bh6 at an early stage and look at the possibility of h4,h5 and maybe even sacrifice the exchange if conditions are right if he plays Nxh5.

"Winning" is another question, but you never really made him struggle and fight. Your hand was never anywhere near his windpipe!

  1. Ne2 isn't great. I know you are already a pawn down at this stage, but leave the knight there to protect the pawns and instead look at Ra2-h2 to build a rook battery on the h file. It's a much quicker attempt to get at his exposed king while he is still a bit disorganized.

White winning at when? After a pointless 8. a4 Black has an upper hand. 15. g4 is a blunder, but White already is in a pretty bad shape (19. Nf3 might give White some fighting chances). At 20. ... Bg5 White may resign.

  • The statement about 8.a4 seems too strong, but otherwise I agree.
    – rolando2
    Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 16:10

Win? What are you serious? This looks like a draw at best for white.

You would have had to play a lot better a lot earlier for white to have chance to win.

You were done when you lost that pawn and then let black move to f4 later

at 25 you should have left the horsie on c3 and got you other rook to the kingside asap by going ra2. after that depends what black did.

  • some patzers downvoted a good answer because they dont understand how to play well yet. Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 0:49

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