My game yesterday reminded me the game that I played 8 months ago:
A boy also rated 300 lower,  not the best shape of mine  (though different reason – I
slept 2 hours the night last but one before the game playing this %^&*$#@ blitz on FICS and less than 7 hours of sleep next night didn’t compensate that)  and decisive mistake in the endgame missing the win.
I’ll call it reboot of  “All screwed up” (in mass media it means to a discard much or even all previous continuity in the series and start anew with fresh ideas – bad ideas in this case :)).
So, I was White, Sicilian,  my favorite Moscow variation, here is the game.
I played fast in the familiar position (10 minutes for the first 15 moves), too fast and missed winning an exchange on move 15 , though Fritz doesn’t think much of it (I am leaving my opponent with a strong dark-colored bishop). Then on the next move I really missed winning an exchange with 16. Nd5 with an estimate ~3.  It wasn’t that obvious though. Then his 21. Na5 looked wrong to me, and I saw winning 2 pieces for a rook and pawn. I was afraid of the move 25… Qd4, but he missed it, still Fritz evaluates it as 1.18. During the next moves my advantage grew and we go into the endgame with him having 2 rooks vs. my rook and 2 minor pieces. I tried to win his weak pawn, at the same time didn’t want to let his rook on the second row and here I made a bad mistake, allowing him to win my pawn with a simple strike. I think I had less than 15 minutes on the clock at that time, he had about the same. Fritz drops the evalution from ~4 to 0.  Still later there was a moment when if I would play differently – 60. Nf5 I could win his rook for the passed pawn and get K+N+B vs. K endgame. The thing is I have very remote idea how to mate, except that I should force his king into the corner of the same color as the bishop. Having 5 minutes left I am not sure I would win.
Strange, but I am not very upset, the game was very educational from the opening to the endgame, so I’ll try to get maximum out of it.

I played this Sunday my regular G/90 and my 2-month effort learning/trying online French defense culminated in playing it for the first time OTB. My opponent is rated 100 lower,  I am playing Black.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ngf3 cxd4 8. cxd4 f6,  next move takes me by surprise – 9. O-O ( though, actually, it’s a 3rd choice from the book)


9. … fxe5.   I decide to take the pawn,  not that I knew the stats from – +10-3=2.  Basically, accepting this pawn sacrifice requires precise play, which I don’t demonstrate. 

10. dxe5 Ndxe5 11. Bb5 Bd7 12. Re1 Bd6 – mistake, much better was 12. … Nf7 13. Nb3 Bb4 14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. Bd2 Bd6  –  -0.76. 

Now a forced ( almost ) line follows – 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14. Bxd7+ Qxd7 15. Rxe5 Bxe5 16. Qh5+ Qf7 17. Qxe5 O-O. Crafty gives here – 0.91. I felt bad at that point and it took me some time to recover.                                                                              
18. Nf3 Rac8 19. Be3 Qg6 20. Nd4 Rce8 21. Rc1 Rf7 22. h3 a6 23. Rc7 23. Rc7 h6 24. Rxf7 Qxf7            
25. a4 Re7 26. b4 Qg6 27. b5 axb5 28. axb5 Qf7 29. Bd2 Kh7 30. b6 Qf6
I had a feeling that without queens my life would be easier.  I just found in the excellent article “The Evaluation of Material Imbalances” by IM Larry Kaufman a solid confirmation of that : “in the case of two minor pieces vs. rook and pawns; the side with the rook wants very much to trade major pieces, even if he is a bit behind in material. Why this should be so is subject to debate; my explanation is that having more than one major piece is somewhat redundant – in many games there may only be time to employ one major piece on an open rank or file. Having at least one major piece (preferably a rook) to bring to an open line may be critical.”                                                                                                                                          
31. f4 Qxe5 32. fxe5 Kg6 33. Kf2 Kf7 34. Ke3 Rd7 35. g4 Rd8 36. Nb5 Ra8 37. Kd4 Ke7                                                                                                                                            
38. h4 – Crafty’s estimate goes here from 2.5 to ~ 1.0.  38. … Kd7 – I want first to secure my pawn, Crafty wants Ra4+, then Kd7, no big difference. I had time advantage at this time, something like 20+/15.  Playing pretty fast, at the same time I tried to “watch my back”.  39. Kc5 Rc8+ 40. Nc7 Rf8 41. h5 Rf2                                                                                                                                                                               
42. Be3 Rc2+ 43. Kb4 – mistake,  much better was 43. Kd4 Rc4+ 44. Kd3 Rxg4 45. Nb5 Rh4 46. Nd6 Kc6 47. Nf7 Kd7 48. Nd6 Kc6 – draw
43. … Rc4+ 44. Ka5 White resigned                                                                                                                                                                                                                
OK, so I survived :), meaning the opening survived too, which is good news because I like it. Good news was also my tournament performance rating, which should get my rating over 1700 for the first time ( I will know exactly in 2 days).