This quote belongs to Mark Twain,  looks relevant describing my game yesterday. I played with this guy 3 months ago, so I had White and we played again the same Moscow variation of Sicilian, here is the game. As before, his d5 was premature and he lost a pawn, though in a different way. I saw that he loses it before he played d5. Then it became different, in previous game he lost a piece on move 26 due to some tactics, in this one he resisted much longer.

Interesting that 20. Rc3 was a best move, but also was a trap, if 20… Rxa2 21. Rxa2 Qxa2, then 22. Bxg5 and if Rxe2, then Rc8 with a mate. He said after the game that he saw it. I could win another pawn on move 32, but thought that after Qxb7 he will play Rb8 and will get “b” pawn back with some activity, but I didn’t see that I can play Rc8+ with rooks exchange and keep the pawn. I am not sure about all the lines Fritz gives starting from move 38 forcing rooks exchange, it could be perpetual. I didn’t want to go into queen endgame, so finally we went into the rook one.

I stopped writing moves at some point, what happened then is we exchanged pawns on the kingside and my king was able to join the “b” pawn. Finally with a little time left I realized that I have Lucena position. I gave a check to get his king separated by 2 verticals, and then moved my rook to the 5th row to build a bridge. I had probably less than 2 minutes  at that time, he – no more than 30 seconds. When he attacked my rook with the king I didn’t know what to do and felt that I am doing something wrong. I was, because the rook supposed to be on the 4th row. You can do it like I did too, but it’s more complicated and not an exercise for that little time that I had. While I thought how to rebuild my bridge his flag fell, I had 34 seconds.

So, it’s just a second time I have Lucena.  I screwed it up a couple of years ago, losing a pawn due to a simple tactics, now I couldn’t build the bridge. I was a bit ashamed, but what can I do now?  I went through it,  so third time should be a charm.


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