I played this game on Sunday, regular G/90, against opponent rated 150 lower.  I had  a draw with him before.  So I play French, second time. It looked like after the first few moves it was “terra incognita” for him,  he was spending time finding the moves,  I played pretty quickly.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Nf3 a6 – second choice move to prevent Nc3-b5-d6 maneuver – I hate knight getting there. 6. Bd3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. O-O Nc6 9. Re1 Be7 10. Bf4 O-O.   Crafty evaluates position after move 10 as equal, time  +10 minutes.

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11. a3 Nc5 12. b4 Nxd3 13. cxd3 f6 14. d4 – I evaluated it as better for me, Crafty thinks the same – ~-0.50.

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14. d4 fxe5 15. Bxe5  Ncxe5  16. Nxe5 Bd7 17. Rc1 Rc8 18. Qg4

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Now I realize that I am in trouble – there is a threat 19. Nxd7 Qxd7 20. Rxe6. I can play 19. … Rf6 – but I see right away that it’s not good – 20. Nxd7 Qxd7 21. Nxd5 …  ( and I found out later that I lose e6 pawn too) .  Still I don’t think  I have a choice and hope that my opponent wouldn’t see it. Advantage in time disappears. Of course, Crafty found here an excellent counterattacking move  –  Bf6, and also there is Rf5,  in both cases I am OK. So, again, it’s not opening/endgame knowledge, not deep calculation – just seeing  the right move. But that’s what masters are about – they see it, we don’t. Anyway, I play Rf6, luckily for me my opponent plays 19. Ne2.  So,  19. … Bd6 20. f4 Bxe5 21. fxe5 Rg6 – better Rf7, 22. Qh3 Qg5?  Crafty says another bad move – 23. Rxc8+ Bxc8 24. Rc1 Qd8  25. Qc3 Bd7 26. Qc7 Qxc7 27. Rxc7 Bc6 28. Nf4 Rh6 29. Re7 Kf8 30. Rxe6 – 1.46.  But White plays 23. Rxc8 Bxc8 24. Rf1

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24. Rf1 Bd7 25. Qf3 Qe7 26. Qc3 Bb5 27. Rf2 Bc4 28. Qc2 Rh6 29.
Qa4 Bxe2

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30. Rxe2 Rh4 31. Qd1 Rf4 32. Rf2 Rxf2 33. Kxf2

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Draw agreed. Looking on the bright side,  I got out of the opening OK and with more time than my opponent.  Still need more experience in playing these positions.

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