January 2012

It’s a long time since I played against English. So, I got it on Thursday, here is the game. I was OK after the opening, then my 22… Ra7 was a mistake, I didn’t like my rook standing on h1-a8 diagonal, but even Ra6 was better. He didn’t find the best moves and then made a crucial mistake with 33. Qf3. Of course, I considered 33… Rc3 and saw that I win  a rook, but I thought that I can’t stop the “d” pawn from queening after that. Houdini showed me that I could. It was my chance to win the game. Instead of it I made a losing move, but he didn’t see Rc1.

My decisive mistake was 39… Ra3,  I had about 5 minutes left at this time. Keeping the mate threat on g2 was a key to this position. I saw that Nxf6 was losing, my answer was losing as well.

My opponent was a young guy, never played him before. He played Queen’s pawn, here is the game. His early attack, starting with h4, for a long time seemed not serious to me.  I missed a nice tactics with 13. Nxg4, it was my only chance in this game.

I did not realize how bad was my position until I made a fatal mistake with Ne4. His Rxh2 effectively finished the game.

I missed 2 games before in this club and that day I had a certification  exam in the afternoon. But I passed the exam well and though felt a bit tired I decided after some rest to go and get some distraction.

My opponent was the guy I played twice before having a +1, =1 score. He unexpectedly played e5 and again somewhat unusually went for Open variation in Ruy, here is the game. I had only one game with it, played Re1, lost, so here I decided to go for the main line – d4, though didn’t know it well. After 14. Bc2 I thought that I got some perspectives on the kingside, but with a few exact moves he neutralized it.

A few exchanges, which I felt I couldn’t  avoid, followed. He thought a lot starting from the opening and had 30 minutes less than me. Finally having less than 5 minutes he offered a draw. First I refused, but when after several moves we came into a dead drawn rook endgame I decided to accept it. He had less than 2 minutes, I had about 20, so he looked nervous and it was a relief for him. The first draw was similar to this one, we had opposite colored bishops and I offered a draw in his time trouble. And when I won with a rook sacrifice the second time, he showed the sacrifice to a few other people, praising me, people usually do the opposite, showing off if they win.

So, he is a nice guy and draw was a logical result of this game, as he rightly noticed after the game, nobody had an essential advantage  during the game.