My opponent in that round was as expected, a boy I lost to a few times, last time about two weeks ago. I seriously wanted to change that. I prepared for the Scotch Gambit, but he suddenly played Giuoco Piano, then still sacrificed a pawn. I knew that I have to take with a bishop, I played this line at 2011 Canadian Open against ~2200 rated and drew after giving up the pawn back at one moment and getting a good position.

His 11. fxe5 was definitely a mistake, instead 11. Nc3 a6 12. fxe5 Nd7 was equal. His 17. b4 wasn’t a good move, I was gradually increasing my advantage. Then came a crucial moment of the game. I have to mention that after the game one boy came to my opponent and said something like “after Rd7 you missed…”.

At home I found out what he meant. After I played 20… Rd7? he could play 21. Nd6! and after exd6 the pawn takes with a check at the same time leaving the rook on h8 under attack. I saw Nd6 , but didn’t find anything suspicious. So I would have to play 21… Bd5 and after the following 22. Rxf7+ Kd8 23. Rxd7+ Kxd7 24. Nxe4 Bxe4 25. Bxb6+ Kc8 26. Bxa7 Bxc2 27. Rc1 Be4 computer evaluates it as +0.24. Luckily he didn’t see it.

Then I was able to use his weaknesses and win another pawn. Another crucial moment was when I played 38… Be4, computer thinks that I had to take on a2 and that my advantage could go down to -0.82 after 39. Nd3, but he played 39 . Kf6 and it was a bad move losing pawn on g3. Then my passed “g” pawn decided the game.