January 2016

My opponent was a boy, I played many times with him before. He had White, again Ruy Lopez, Anderssen Variation – 5. d3.

After his 13th move I decided not to wait until I get under the kingside attack and played d5. He did not play the exact moves – 14. Qe2 instead of 14. exd5 was equal and 15. d4 was not well thought too.

The same was with his 17. Nf5 – he was attacking even I was better developed. I spent quite some time calculating 17. Bxf5 until decided that I am good in all the lines. I considered his 21. Ne5 a mistake, but he actually did not have a choice, he could not play Be3 because after cxd4 he couldn’t take on d4, it was losing a piece.

So, he I was, happy being pawn up, but what next? 24… Rg4 was too cautious, I was seeing ghosts with Rxg7+. Instead 24… f6 25. Rg3 Re8 26. Be3 Rd3 was keeping pressure. Then we exchanged another pair of rooks and after a few more moves he offered a draw. I refused first, but then not seeing how I can win and having 22 minutes vs. his 45, agreed.

My opponent was a guy I had a +1, -1 score in the last 3 years. I looked at our games before coming to the club. He played that night the same Giuoco Piano, but a different variation.

After 21… Qf5 I was feeling confident. Computer thinks that 23. b4 was a mistake. I thought for a some time how to play on move 24, Nd3 or Rg6, decided on Rg6, it was right. But then after g3 I did not see Qc2 eventually winning d4 pawn. I did not want to play 27… Nxb4, seeing that after 28. Rb2 he wins the pawn back with a better position. But computer suggests 27… c5 28. dxc5 Na6 with 0.6-0.7 advantage and a better play for Black.

So, I think it was after 25. g3 that he offered a draw. I refused first, but after a few moves saw that I have 12 minutes against his 18 and also didn’t see how I can win, so I agreed to a draw.

Computer evaluated the final position as +0.5 for me and suggested playing 28… Rg4. It was another idea I didn’t see, to attack his d4 pawn. Anyway I think it was a reasonable decision and it stopped a losing streak too.

It was a second round, I played with a boy, couple of months ago he didn’t want a perpetual and lost to me. This time I had Black and he played Vienna Game.  I was happy with how the game developed and he really was behind on time.  Then on move 27 I made the first bad decision – to exchange queens, thinking that even without queens  I will still be much better. Fritz says that after 27. Re4 I had about +2 advantage, +1  after Qe4.

It was a moment when I had 30 minutes and he had one, but then he started to play fast. I couldn’t find a good plan and was probably hoping that he will flag or make a decisive mistake. I had perpetual after 41. Rd2+, but did not pay attention, exactly like he did in the previous game.  Then I got less than 5 minutes left and stopped writing the moves, the rules in our club allow that.

So, eventually we got into a rook endgame.  He managed to win my “b” pawn, I won his “c” one and also I lost “f” pawn on the kingside  and exchanged “g” pawns.  My king was cut off and with the passed “b” pawn he had an easy win. No need to say that I was really disappointed.