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Trading Order

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White: Elden Watson
Black: John P. Pratt
Date: 27 Jan 1986
Location: Hill Air Force Base, Utah

I tend to always get burned on trying to come out ahead in trading pieces, if there are more than two moves involved. This time I made my typical mistake that would have left me down a piece, but fortunately my opponent made a fatal one.

1. e2-e4, e7-e5. 
2. Ng1-f3, Nb8-c6. 
3. Bf1-b5, Nc6-d4.Ruy Lopez Opening
4. Nf3xd4, e5xd4.Black is happy to trade his queen's knight for the more important king knight (guarder of the castle).
5. e4-e5, Bf8-c5. 
6. c2-c3, c7-c6. 
7. Bb5-a4, d7-d6.It's not clear to me why Black did not take the c3 pawn, which would open up the diagonal for his bishop.
8. 0-0, d6xe5.White sees potential trouble with Black's queen putting his king in check, so he castles, which allows him to do likewise to Black. Finally Black gets to rid himself of that pesky king pawn who has kept his horse in the stable.
9. Rf1-e1, Qd8-d6.White's rook attacks and pins that pawn, and Black develops his queen. Compare the two developments at this point. Black is dominating.
10. c3xd4, Bc5xd4.Black loves this trade. His bishop attacks the castle, the b2 pawn, and also defends his king pawn.
11. Nb1-c3, Ng8-f6.Never too early to develop those knights!
12. d2-d3, 0-0.Both sides make another developing move.
13. Nc3-e4, Nf6xe4. 
14. d3xe4, b7-b5.Both sides prefer bishops to knights. So be it.
15. Ba4-b3, c6-c5.Black intends to ram these pawns down Black's throat!
16. Bc1-e3, Bc8-b7. 
17. Be3xd4, e5xd4.Black is keeping his pawns connected.
18. Qd1-f3, Ra8-e8.White seems to be setting up to push his king pawn.
19. e4-e5, Qd6xe5?What? Black takes a pawn allowing White to choose the order of trading. Can you see how Black's move can leave him down a bishop? (20. Re1xe5, Bb7xf3; 21. Re1xe8, Rf8xe8; 22. g2xf3).
20. Qf3xb7??, Qe5xe1+.White goes after the bishop first, thinking he'd get that bishop first and hopefully avoid trading queens. But it proved fatal! He has now allowed Black to determine the important order of trading!
21. Ra1xe1, Re8xe1 mate.Sometimes the order of trading is really important!