A month ago I played against Qxd5 variation in French, Tarrasch and yesterday I got it again. This time it was an expert, rated 300 higher than me, here is the game. I played the opening better than the first time and was equal after it. Then he started to improve the position of his pieces unless he made a move Rae8. I decided it’s a moment to exchange his bishop on a long diagonal, and then he started rooks/queens exchange. Fritz didn’t quite like the latter one, saying I would be equal without it. Anyway we went into B+N vs. B+N endgame and bishops were soon exchanged too. I got a protected passed pawn on “c4”, he had a pawn majority in the center.
He advanced the pawns on the kingside and I thought that it’s time to counterstrike with h4. The move looked good, but as soon as I made it I realized that he can play f3! and get 2 passed pawns on “h”, which I didn’t like at all. But he didn’t see it and made a move losing a pawn. Finally all the pawns on the kingside disappeared. Fritz evaluated the position as difficult to win with me having only 0.43 advantage. My time, which was always less than his by 15-20 minutes finally approached 10 minutes (vs. 20) when he made a mistake.
I didn’t see it, played a wrong move 62. a6 and after 62… Kb6 he offered a draw. The proof of me not thinking clearly at that moment is that I refused it. The guy looked somewhat offended (by the way I actually expected him to do it much earlier in the game, not wanting as much lower player to do it myself, but he probably waited for my mistake in the time trouble). Anyway, in a few moves the draw became inevitable. I had a feeling that I missed something and of course Fritz told me that 62. Nf1 was winning. A little consolation can be found in a fact that the move doesn’t look obvious and in a shootout it took Fritz and Crafty a 13-ply depth to win, with 9 or 11-ply they drew. But if you get an idea that the “a” pawn is untouchable and the key to win is to get his “b” pawn, getting 2 pawns in the knight ending then maybe you can win somehow, taking into account that you are not playing against Fritz or Crafty.
Anyway, not a bad result and I like this Tarrasch draw more than the first one.
It seems me I should spend some time on this variation, as you guys said before – it became a mainline.