Yesterday I drew with an expert. It was a guy 25-27 years old.
I was Black, he started d4 and it became Benoni without d5 – 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. e3.
My first 7 moves were intuitive, still very good, then somehow delayed development of my queenside got me under pressure. I played 14. … Qb6 instead of Qc7 and after 15. Rb5 Qc7 16. Be7 lost an exchange. It looked like familiar scenario with much higher rated players – getting positionally overplayed, then missing a tactical blow. There were, however, 2 big differences.
First, I had 2 strong bishops, no weaknesses and thought that the position is defensible.
Second – his clock. He spent about half of his time on the first 15-16 moves (it was G/90), I spent ~30 minutes. I thought it will be a factor. Both my suggestions were right.
I missed winning exchange just after a few moves (try to find it). Eventually after 24 moves I got my exchange back, trapping his rook with my 2 bishops. I could play Nxd5, but was afraid of the pin. As the guy rightly pointed after the game I had Nf4 avoiding it. So I played Qxd5 and had to give up the pawn on g6. He was thinking a lot on every move getting in real time trouble. I decided to keep tension on the board, do not exchange queens and see what happens. Soon I made a wrong move allowing him to win an exchange with decisive advantage, but he didn’t notice it. After 35 moves he had I think less than 5 minutes, I had 20-25. Then it became 2 minutes, he started to play faster. When he had about 30 seconds on the clock ( I had ~10 minutes) he made a move forcing me to exchange queens. After the exchange we got an opposite colored bishops endgame, him up a pawn. Suddenly I felt like blown air balloon, I realized I don’t want to win on time this drawn endgame. I offered him a draw, he agreed, of course. The guy was very nice and friendly before the game, I felt like he didn’t deserve to lose and I to win (I didn’t actually show GM’s 2550 performance in this game).
I will post Fritz annotations later, as always Fritz spoiled my eyphoria :).

Yesterday for the first time I drew with an expert.  It was a guy 25-27 years old.  I was Black,  he started d4 and it became Benoni without d5 – 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. e3.  After the game I said I would play b5 if he played 3. d5,  he smiled and said he doesn’t like this stuff,  prefers pure positional play.  My first 7 moves were intuitive,  still very good, then somehow I delayed development of my queenside and it got me under pressure. I played 14. … Qb6 instead of Qc7 and after 15. Rb5 Qc7 16. Be7 lost an exchange. It looked like familiar scenario with much higher rated players – getting positionally overplayed, then missing a tactical blow. There were, however, 2 big differences.

First,  I had 2 strong bishops, no weaknesses and thought that the position is defensible.  Second – his clock. He spent about half of his time on the first 15-16 moves (it was G/90),  I spent ~30 minutes. I thought it will be a factor. Both my suggestions were right. I missed winning exchange just after a few moves (try to find it). Eventually after 24 moves I got my exchange back, trapping his rook with my 2 bishops.  I could play 25. … Nxd5, but was afraid of the pin. As the guy rightly pointed after the game I had 26. … Nf4 avoiding it right away. So I played 25. … Qxd5 and had to give up the pawn on g6. He was thinking a lot on every move getting in real time trouble. I decided to keep tension on the board, do not exchange queens and see what happens. Soon I made a wrong move allowing him to win an exchange with decisive advantage, but he didn’t notice it. After 35 moves he had I think less than 5 minutes, I had 20-25. Then it became 2 minutes, he started to play faster. When he had about 30 seconds on the clock  ( I had ~10 minutes) he made a move forcing me to exchange queens. After the exchange we got an opposite colored bishops endgame, him up a pawn. Suddenly I realized I don’t want to win on time this drawn endgame.  I offered him a draw, he agreed, of course. The guy was very nice and friendly before the game, I felt like he didn’t deserve to lose and I to win (I didn’t actually show GM’s 2550 performance in this game).

Also, there is an interesting FIDE rule:

Article 10: Quickplay Finish

10.1 A `quickplay finish` is the last phase of a game, when all the (remaining) moves must be made in a limited time.

10.2 If the player, having the move, has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall stop the clocks and summon the arbiter.

If the arbiter agrees the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or that it is not possible to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise he shall postpone his decision or reject the claim.

Would be just moving the pieces and advancing the pawns in this endgame  ( I can’t win of course) qualify as “making no effort to win the game by normal means”?  What do you think about that?

I posted the game, raw pgn. I will post Fritz annotations later.

Here is the game annotated by Fritz.

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