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.

The words in the title belong to Vladimir Kramnik,  who said that about one of his games during Dortmund 2009.
Yesterday I played with the same old guy that I played the first game in this club 4 months ago:
This game was a reversal of the first one: he played known lines, had pressure and missed the combination winning a pawn. So, Kramnik’s words here don’t mean the final position, but just all of the above, also time.  I was White, French, Tarrasch, 3…c5, here is the game.  He didn’t go for the line Karpov and Korchnoi played – 4. exd5 exd5 with isolated pawn, instead – 4…Qxd5.
I remembered only first 7 moves, then had to play on my own.
He played that line with White a year ago, so was more familiar.
The queens got exchanged pretty soon.  I missed the point where I could get the initiative due to a few passive moves that he made.  Soon I got under pressure and we both missed 25. … Bxf2+, where he was winning a pawn.  He had more time than me right from the opening, then difference increased, so we had at some moment something like 30 vs. 55 minutes. I managed finally to get a position with  R+N vs. R+N, where I had 2 pawns vs. 1 on queenside and 3 vs. 4 on kingside. I didn’t hurry to create a passed pawn because I thought it can be weak due to a presence of his king and can be lost. Some kind of dynamic equilibrium arised, he offered draw when I had 15 minutes vs. his 30, I agreed. Fritz offered 42. c5, then moving passed pawn, but in a few shootouts I ran between Fritz and Crafty this pawn was eventually lost and all the games ended in a draw.
I was pretty happy with the result, especially taking into account how bad I am playing in this tournament.