It was a third round in the Monday’s club, I played the guy who also was at the top of our section. My opponent’s choice to play English Opening was unexpected. A few years ago I would reply with Anglo-Gruenfeld, but I didn’t remember the lines, so played e5. I probably gave him too much space on the queenside, 13… Na5 wasn’t the best move, Nd8 was better.

23… g5 seemed risky to me, but I didn’t want him to have the “e” vertical after 23… f4. Computer suggests playing 33… a4 with the following a6 instead of 33… Qf6, with the idea of opening a “b” line for my rook.

Soon I got worse, also low on time and made a crucial mistake by playing 42… gxf4. I missed that he can take with a knight, creating a threat of fork on e6. Though I flagged in a few moves, it was completely lost.

 

 

 

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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.