This game was played a week ago, in the first round. I got a master, had White, in 5 games before with French in all of them the score was =3, -2 . French again, this time for diversity sake I decided to play an Exchange variation.

It was going well, the opening and the early middlegame. After move 35 I even thought I have an advantage, but the game was equal, he was careful enough to move his king. Around move 40 the game was absolutely equal, I just had to stay cool. But maybe because of the time pressure, I suddenly decided to play f4, probably it was a desire to open up his king. This move was still OK,  but if you say “A” you have to say “B” – I had to play 44. Qf5 and if 44… Qxb6 then 45. Qg4+ Kf7 46. Qd7+ Kf8 47. Qxd5 and it was equal. Instead I played Qb4, the move that I had to play instead of f4. Of course he exploited it and got an advantage.

Then I saw that I can answer his f3 with 48. Qc7+, but decided that after 48… Qxc7 49. bxc7 f2 I will be pawn down in the arising queen endgame. He told me after the game, that he could play 48… Kg6, but after 49. Qxg3 fxg3 50. gxf3 it is a draw. So I had a chance and I missed it. Instead I played horrible gxf3, lost both “h” and “f” pawns and was going to lose. I resisted, thought at some moment that maybe I will get a perpetual, but he made the exact moves and I resigned.

I played yesterday in the club,  regular G/90.  Here is the game.
It was one of 3 guys I expected  (Swiss+possible byes).
I knew that as White after 1. e4 e5 he doesn’t play my favorite Ruy, rather Four knights or Italian which I don’t like.
So I decided to go with French. It became Exchange variation, which is not my style and I think it showed. I got under pressure on “e” and had to watch over “e6” square all the time.  It really remainded  me a positional war like World War I with soldiers mostly remaining in trenches and exchanging fire.
He tried to attack on kingside, but I halted his “h” pawn.
Then I realized that I am intercepting the initiative.
He had 5-10 minutes less than me, about 25-30 minutes, got a bit nervous and started to repeate the moves. I spent some time improving the position of my knights and we got equal,  15 minutes each. I saw the move 39… Ne4+, by the way Fritz wanted Ne4+ on move 33 and 35,  and that I get passed pawn after exchange, but having difficulty fully evaluate the position, with only 15 minutes for arising complications and feeling somewhat tired after long previous defense I offered a draw (even forgot that I should make a move). He agreed, of course.  Fritz at home offered instead of 39…Ne4+ – 39… Qe8 40. Kg1 Ne4 and evaluated line after that as ~-0.75.  I didn’t see Qe8 anyway.
Maybe I’ll run shootout between Crafty and Fritz to see what could be the result.