I grew up an only child but I always wanted a little brother or sister; somebody to protect, and only occasionally browbeat into doing my chores. If there’s a scrawny kid brother on the chessboard it’s the b-pawn. In the beginning you’ll need to babysit him. Yes it’ll cramp your bishop’s style watching this uncool, unimportant little tyke, but it’s the right thing to do!
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Bc5?! 4. cxd cxd 5. Qb3 and black is in a pickle. He will drop a pawn for insufficient compensation. He has room for counterplay if he condemns his little brother to the fate awaiting him, but white will keep excellent chances in these lines too. Watch your move orders!
1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 c5 3. Nf3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 and the position will be equal after Nc3, the best move. It’s the threat of b5, to protect black’s pawn after dxc4, that necessitates white’s a4, and allows the bishop to leave it’s three-square diagonal. Matthew Sadler offered a handy rule of thumb, that your queen must have c7 available to her before your bishop can leave, assuming of course that the opponent’s queen’s knight doesn’t bar the queen’s way. Look after your little wooden family.
This is a game where my opponent failed to heed this advice. His position degrades quickly. He is an online player, tactically clever with an unpolished form.
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Bf5 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Qb3 This is the way to punish black for his transgression of chess principles. Knights before bishops is more that just a suggestion -it’s a necessity
5…Qd7 6. Qxd5 Qxd5 7. Nxd5 Kd7
With black’s passive Qd7, not a real development move, and Kd7 the second player refuses to acknowledge his initial error. When you make a mistake continue to keep a good position. Do not chase one weakness with another as you try to justify your earlier moves.
8. Bf4 Na6
Na6 should have come in place of Qc7. It’s not a terrible place for the knight, looks worse than it is.
9. Nf3 Be4 10. Ne5+ Ke6 11. Nc3 Bc6 12. e4 Nb4 13. Bc4+ Kf6 14. Ng4+
Kg6 15. h4 h5 16. Ne5+ Kh7 17. Bxf7 Be8 18. O-O-O 1-0
I don’t want to turn this into a vanity piece. I played well, but not perfectly. The point is that a player can quickly find himself in a compromising position if he’s not careful with his move order. Don’t be another statistic!