The original post was devoted to the game where I had an isolated pawn, here I had the same opponent but we reversed the roles, here is the game. He had White, played Italian game and went for the variation with an isolani. I prepared for it, but not enough. He missed 14. Rxe6 with an advantage.  Then it was a critical moment when I could take on a2. I decided that it looks too risky with my kingside getting under attack and my rook and knight out of play. Houdini kind of confirmed that saying that with one pawn it was equal and if I would take another one, I would lose.

After exchanging queens I saw that all my difficulties are behind. I missed 3-fold repetition after 44… Rd6, I would claim it having less time at this moment. Then I decided to play on the kingside. When I had about 5.5 minutes and he 7.5-8 minutes he played Rf3. I quickly took the rook, thinking that exchange is OK. The thing is he blundered, after h3+ he loses the rook. I didn’t notice it and he too.

Then something interesting happened. I stopped writing the moves and started to play faster. He also reached 5 minutes and then it looked like he lost “the time initiative”. His time became equal to mine and then he got behind. On the board there was some meaningless maneuvering. I thought that I don’t want to win on time, being in this drawn position and not knowing how to win, it would be not legal by the way. Anyway when I had about 3 minutes 20 seconds and he about 2.5 minutes I offered a draw. He looked kind of surprised, so I said: “You have less time, but it’s up to you, of course”‘.  He thought for a moment and agreed.

When I came home, of course computer pointed to h3+. It kind of stuck in my head for a half of Friday, the only excuse I have is that I was playing blitz at that moment. From the positional point of view I think the game demonstrated all the advantages of isolani in the middlegame – playing on open verticals and strong knight on e5. It also showed that d5 was a nice square for my knight.