I played yesterday in the club, my opponent was 10-year old boy. I knew him  a bit, he played with my kid a few years ago. I was Black, knew that he plays some kind of aggressive Italian game  (I don’t like this opening), also having lost 2 last games with 1… e5 I decided to change decorations and play French, here is the game.

I got Advance variation and until move 12 played well, getting rid of his “good” white-colored bishop. Then I also decided to get rid of my bad bishop and it wasn’t a good idea, I lost my advantage.Then I played 16… a5, a prophylactic move against b4, which could cause me problems I thought. I saw Qb5 right after I played a5 and I knew that I will lose a pawn. The consequences were worse than that, I eventually lost  a piece for a pawn. I got angry and decided to fight until the end, noticing that he got behind in time. It looked like he didn’t have a plan how to win, at the same time spending more time than me on every move. Then he missed a threat and lost a passed pawn. It calmed me down a bit, I realized that with me having passed pawn and all his pawns on the kingside he will have to spend essential time to win. It was his 10 minutes vs. my 20 and he played Rg8. First I wanted to defend my g7 pawn and play Nf6, but something was wrong. I especially had my rook on the first line to harass the bishop. So suddenly I saw that bishop was left unprotected… After  a few moves he offered me a draw.  Having a spare passed pawn and twice more time I refused. I manuevered, he didn’t go for the knights exchange (I couldn’t advance my pawn without it), then he missed a simple combo. That was it, though he resisted until got mated with queen and knight, I stopped writing the moves when my time got under 5 minutes. I praised him, of course, then talked to his parents in Russian. I said that he played very well unless he blundered in time pressure.They said, that he gets sometimes in time trouble in 90/G format, plays worse and loses games. Recently, they said, he got 3-rd place in U2100 section of 2/30, SD/1 tournament. It explained something. I told them that he should play blitz, but they said no. Maybe they are afraid that he will get a habit to play “not deep”.

Later I realized, that there were 2 parts in this game. In the first part I screwed up the end of the opening and the middlegame, not feeling the position, so not seeing the right moves. He played very well, calculating like a pro.Then in the endgame, under time pressure, he played essentially worse, making 3 mistakes, 2 of them crucial. I played well, finding resources to resist and using tactical possibilities that he gave me (winning a pawn and a knight). My rich blitz experience paid off.

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