I am still upset after yesterday’s game, here it is. My opponent  was a friendly guy I knew, but never played before. He was one of the opponents I expected and I knew he plays  Modern defense, but I didn’t have time to prepare. By the way I recently lost a game against it. So I played a line, where Black after 7… e5  has ~92% score. My novelty 8.Na3 was criticized by Fritz too. But his 8… Ng4 wasn’t good and I got some advantage.

Then I saw that I can sacrifice a bishop for 2 pawns and after his forced knight’ retreat fork him and get an exchange. So it was material equality – R+2P for B+N, but I thought that my rook will be stronger, since his pieces weren’t well placed. It was right.  Also I got psychological advantage. I was attacking from that point, not defending as before.

By move 31 I got real positional advantage. I think the critical moment was when I didn’t play 33. R1d6 as I first intended. I thought that he can play 33. Nc8, but Fritz noticed that after 34…Bd1 he loses his queen. After that I saw that I can win his “a” pawn, but decided that I have to do something more drastic.

I have to say that most of the game he had 10-15 minutes more than me. After his Nd5 and following exchange I started to feel not comfortable, sensing that my advantage went away, though Fritz says I still had it after queens exchange. I also felt that my rook doesn’t have a stable position. 42… Rd6 was a bad move and then having 10 minutes vs. his 16, I made a blunder. I saw right away that he has Bc5 and he played it. I resigned.

Some lessons learned from this game:

– if you have advantage you have to finish off you opponent the sooner the better and you must look for tactics that will let you do that

– Qf2, Kg1 is not a good combination, it creates a pin motif. Just moving king to h1 at some point would allow to avoid that lethal blow in the time trouble. Play safe.