It was a middle-aged guy I never played before. I had White and played Ruy Lopez, here is the game. We went along Chigorin variation and my 13th move wasn’t very good, though he didn’t use it  (it allowed exd4 and you can’t take on d4 because of Qxc2, though in some lines White gets his pawn back). Then it looked like I got slightly better position, but I decided to play obvious 27. Be3. I completely missed his Nbxd5 after rooks exchange. it’s funny that he overplayed the combination making move Nf4, but I thought that after I move the queen he will play Nxd3, e4 with the fork, not seeing that if I take on d3 with the rook, I have Rxd6.  I lost a pawn, also he had 2 bishops.  He was spending more time than me, so I tried to make the play as complicated as I could. You will see, it actually worked in the end.

Meanwhile we reached 50 m0ves,  I ran to get a new scoresheet and after return played h5 quickly, noticing right away what will happen. I was already  thinking how many more moves I will flounder about, but suddenly he played Qc1, forcing queens exchange. You understand how I felt, it’s like somebody threw me a life ring. I quickly exchanged the pawns on the queen side, blocked his pawns movement and started moving my pieces back and forth.  I was writing moves until move 65, so the rest is my best recollection, except the final position, which is exact. I wanted to play 68… Kf5, but then thought that it would be risky to move my king too far from the “d” pawn. The analysis shows that there was a clear draw after I was taking f6 pawn. At some moment I told him: “Looks like a draw”, he answered: “Let’s try something” and played 80… h5.  With 90% probability there was a position shown after move 86, because I don’t remember having my bishop on h1 or h3, as Fritz suggests. I had less than 2 minutes at that moment, he – 15-20 seconds more. Then suddenly to my great pleasure it came to a draw.

He was somewhat disappointed of course, but appreciated the game. I praised his combo, which was good indeed. He realized that going into the bishops endgame was wrong and explained, that he was worried about playing endgame  with the queens while having a little time (he had a few minutes less than me at that moment).

The lesson is – there is no automatic wins or draws, you have to do your best and then Kaissa decides. 🙂  Looking at Fritz’s analysis of the endgame, you can draw one conclusion – if opponent’s king attacks your bishop, you should be very careful with defending it with your king, in two lines it allowed to opponent to make a beneficial pawn move.

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