After my horrible play on Monday  I came to the club yesterday with a strong desire to rehabilitate myself. My opponent was a man I played once before and drew. He had 1900+ rating last year, now same as mine. I played my regular Anglo-Grunfeld, here is the game. He started to think a lot almost right from the beginning.

I got a bit behind in development, but completely equalized by the move 18. The queens exchange wasn’t intended to get  a draw, but just seemed like the best move, computer agreed with that. By that time he already was in the big time trouble having about 20 minutes,  I had almost an hour. He makes quite a few draws, I decided to play until the end.

I saw his d5 coming, but couldn’t do anything about it. Then I played Kd4, probably hoping for a mistake. I think he had less than 5 minutes at that point, but just started to play faster. I played another bad move cxd5 and then had to decide where I move my king. 38… Ke7 seemed risky as I thought that I can lose queenside pawns, so I played Kc7, hoping to play Be6 and after bishops exchange push his king out with b6. I missed that he attacks b5 pawn.

So I realized that he wins a pawn  and played a desperate move b4. He took with a pawn, it was a mistake but he still could win. Than he made another one, playing 43. b5. I pushed his king with b6+ right away and then it started to look like a draw to me. His h4 scared me a bit, I started to calculate and saw that 45… g4 loses, but 45… gxh4 should draw, since my king gets there in time and has 2 squares – g6 and h6, so it will be no zugzwang. He finally realized it and the draw was agreed. He still had about 2 minutes, I had probably about 10.

When I came home, I understood why he played so well having less than 5 minutes in the end. In 1997 his active (rapid) rating was 2300+ (and his regular was ~2200). He is not playing that well now, but still …