August 2016

“To err is human” – this is regarding my last game, to console myself . I missed a win 3 times in this game. Again, I played well positionally, but missed the tactics and specific lines. I found that in the whole August I played exactly one online blitz game and one OTB game before that game, it probably showed. I had White, never played this guy before. Our Moscow variation transposed right away  into Rossolimo variation.

The first mistake I made was playing 13. f4, I realized that I have a problem after his 14… Nh5. I saw Rxb2 threat and spent a lot of time to find a good move. I thought that after 15. Bxd6 Rxb2 16. Rxb2 Bxc3 I would lose a piece, not seeing that after 17. Qc1 I get it back. So I played 15. Qc1 and lost a pawn.

His 19… Ba6 wasn’t the best move, he could play d5 with advantage. His 20… Kg7 got him into a trouble, I found Qc1 with a strong attack. 24… f5 was another mistake, but I played 25. Qf3 and didn’t find the right move – Qg5. His 25… Rxe4 was unexpected, I calculated 26. Nh6+ Kg7 27. Nxf5+ gxf5 28. Qxf5, but didn’t see that it was winning. But he could play 26… Kh8 and  it was just a bit better for me.

When I decided to take on c6, I thought that then I will play Qe8+, so after he played 29… Bd5 it was an instant premove. I had about 5 minutes left at that time. Had I spent a bit of time I would see, of course, Qxd5 with a win. Then again he made a big mistake playing 33… Bxa2, but I played the moves in the wrong order – it had to be Qf6+ first and then Qe7 with a win.

So eventually I found myself a pawn down, pursuing his king. I noticed in the scoresheet that we repeated the position 3 times and offered him a draw. Much to my surprise he declined, so I claimed threefold repetition and TD confirmed that.

It was a first round and I played in the middle section, so my opponent was low rated. I had Black and played Queen’s Indian. His g3, Bg2 caused me some grief, so next time I should be prepared better. I had a feeling that 11… Na6 wasn’t a very good move, nevertheless I played it, he could answer Ne5 with advantage, even more if 13. Ne5.

After 14. Qd3 I equalized and then managed to get an advantage after his 17. Nb3. He had to give up a pawn after 17… dxc4. Computer criticizes me for 21… Bd3.  Anyway I was increasing my advantage until it became winning and then I made a mistake by playing 53… Qf7 instead of b2.

It was equal after  54… Qf5 and 56… Rd2, but every time he was giving me a chance. But after 57… b2 I realized that he has a perpetual. Then he made a decisive mistake by playing 59. Qb8+, but I let him escape by playing 60… Qd6. Then after 63. Ng5 I finally took the game in my hands and in two moves he resigned.