It was a 5th round in the Thursday’s tournament and I got an old guy rated ~1450. I had a draw with him a long time ago, his rating was higher then. I got White and worried that he will play French again, really didn’t want to play against French that evening, but he chose Philidor defense. I didn’t have much OTB experience with it, but played it online quite a lot.

I knew that 18… Bxa4 was a mistake, computer confirms that. After 19.e5 I didn’t consider seriously 20. Qxb7 which was +2,  being obsessed with the attack in the center. Soon I realized that straight attack on the kingside wouldn’t work and tried to to block his knight maneuver.  We both missed 27… Nxf5.

After I played 30. Ra1 I got the idea of Bxd6 and was happy to see him playing 30… b6. Then the game was decided by 32. Qxd6.

I didn’t play well lately and really wanted to get back on track. I had White and my opponent chose Philidor defense, which I actually prepared for another player. Here is the game.  After his c5 I decided to play Ne2 to let my “f” pawn free, DB recommends Nf5. Instead of f4 computer recommends Nf4, taking d5 under control.

I missed f6 on move 21, saw it a move later, when it didn’t force exchange on g7. Then after 23. h4 h5 I wanted to play g4, so I started to move my queen. I think he saw it, so he prevented it by Qe6.  It seemed me that I have an attack, but I didn’t.  I think he realized it, because he started a counterattack on the queenside. I underestimated it, then it was late. It was kind of a psychological shock, when his rooks suddenly doubled on “b”. I didn’t find right defensive moves, which could hold  the position and in two moves the game was basically over.  I prolonged it until he got 2 queens and then lost on time.

I was very upset after this game. A little consolation was a fine shootout game that Houdini won against Fritz, which started after 25. h4 h5.  Houdini knew that it has to exchange  the bishops, I thought about it after the game. Then it implemented Rf5 idea, I thought about it a lot, but didn’t find the right moment. Then it just outmaneuvered Fritz using an advantage in space, the thing I also considered.

That’s what I said once to my kid. Yesterday was a good confirmation of that, here is the game.  It was one of the two guys I prepared against, but he didn’t play Scandinavian as I expected. He answered 1… e5 to my e4,  I was sure he will not play f6 on the second move, as he recently did, yes, he went instead for Philidor defense, but then still played f6 on the 3rd move.  1% games in the online DB, White scored about 90%. After 4.Bc4 we went along this game: for another 4 moves, strange that master would play this line, so he paid for it.

My 12. b4 was intended mostly to prevent him castling queenside. Then I started to play on the kingside too. His replies created more weaknesses and I got a feeling that his position is strategically lost. His counterattack on the kingside with h5, g4, Qh7 really didn’t have any base.

After 24. Nc7+ his queen was isolated and couldn’t help his king. It was time for the decisive attack. Interesting that I just studied with my kid a pin in Nimzovich’s “My system” and maybe it helped me to find 28. Rf1. He played 28. Bxd6 and I saw the mate coming after Nh4+.