July 2015

“We all make mistakes, but everyone makes different mistakes” — Ludwig van Beethoven.

It was the same guy I drew with in the last round of the previous tournament. This time I got Black and we played Ruy Lopez. After his 8. h3 instead of usual c3 (I guess he mixed up the order of the moves) I decided to get two bishops. Fritz thinks that after 18… Qc7 I still a bit better, I agree as I kind of felt I have nothing after Nxc1.

I had to take on g3 after his g4, but I didn’t like Qxg3, thinking that he will start to threaten me too. But after Qh6 and Rg6 I was winning his “h” pawn and keeping the attack.  Then I missed 37… Qxh6. I was still better, but I decided that I have to sacrifice a pawn to keep the attack. It was a wrong move.

I was already worse, when I made a mistake that could cost me a game – 45… Rc7. The idea for Black is to play Qf8+, then Qe8, Nf3 and Ng5. The same after 46… Qg6 – Qf8 and Nf3, winning. Luckily he didn’t see it.

Not liking how the game was going I decided to create complications and played 48… a4. It allowed me to intercept the initiative. We both got very little time, eventually under one minute each and played on 30 seconds increment. I think I handled it better and had I thought a winning position. When I played 68… Rb2+ I saw that it is a mate if he plays Ke3 and it was exactly what he did.

It was a first round of a new tournament. I had a long, tiring trip on weekend before, but got some rest at home before the game. My opponent was the same guy I played in the first round of the  previous tournament.

I had White this time and he played Alekhine defense, he did that 4 months ago, I lost then. I went along the standard line this time, though my knowledge didn’t extend beyond the first few moves. Fritz thinks that 12. d5 was better than exd5, for some reason this move didn’t come to my mind. Then I saw the idea of c5, Nxd5, Bc4. He had to play 16… Rd7, after Ng5  I got an advantage. But then his 23. Be6 made probably too strong of an impression on me that his problems are over. Instead of Bxe6 much stronger was fxe5 and eventually I was winning h6 pawn.

But worse than that was my 31. Bxa7 instead of Rf6, which would give me a pawn. In shootouts in half of the games White wins and half is a draw. I could say that at that moment two people who already finished their game were discussing it and distracted me, so I told them about it, but the thing is I didn’t see it at all. It was a crucial moment in the game, as then the quality of my play deteriorated when I got about 15 minutes left and exhaustion finally showed up. I played a “positional” 39. Kf1 move and saw right away that I lose after Rc1+ and Rxc4.