It was a strange opening of the season in the club. First I was paired with a master, with whom I have a 0:3 score. So, I prepared to “die with a music” , even started the clock, then he came and said that he can’t play tonight (he is TD by the way), but there is a guy who got a bye, so he can. So, instead of the number 1 in the list I get number 24. I feel much better. It’s a boy, we finally start the game. I have White and it’s a Ruy Lopez, Keres variation, here is the game. I played this variation twice before (2 wins), his 12… Bf6 gets me to the unfamiliar territory.
I realize that d5 will restrict his knights and bishop and play it. Then I gradually prepare attack on the kingside. After 19. Nh5 Be7 I think about Nxg7, but feel that it is premature. I decide to get ready on the “g” file before that. Then, after f6, I feel that the moment has come and play Nxg7. Houdini prefers quiet Ng3 with a good positional pressure. He plays Kf7, I feel that it’s a bad move, but don’t see g5! and play it one move later, when the effect is not the same at all. Anyway, I think that I have a very strong attack. I defend h3, then double my rooks, thinking that it prevents Rg8 (?). I have 48 minutes left and for some reason get a bit nervous, like “it’s taking too much time”. Then he plays unthinkable Rg8. I think that he blundered, he looks a bit confused. I take on g8 and frankly expect that he will resign. Suddenly he quickly takes on h3 and right away shakes my hand (kids like to do it when they win). I see that I got mated.
This is a first time in 4 years playing OTB (after a very long break), that I blundered a mate in 1. It was once that I didn’t mate my opponent in one move, I won anyway. After coming home, I find that all the positions after Nxg7 evaluated by me as at least +3 the three different engines – Crafty, Fritz and Houdini consider almost equal. I don’t remember the case when I was so wrong.
I don’t know what to make out of it. Of course, there was psychological moment: I thought that I was winning, the guy looked completely lost and his “blunder” was typical for these situations. I actually don’t remember ever getting into a trap, so it mattered too, no experience. I underestimated the guy too, he had 1900 performance rating at Canadian Open, drawing and beating quite a few 1700-1800 guys. Also, that nervousness about the time, I should never get it to affect my play, better lose on time.
Still, if I compare it with what I do – programming, it is not possible that having many years of experience you will write something stupid in your program, forgetting the basics and that’s what I did here. Unbelievable. I remember now that famous video with Kasparov after the game with Anand, how he shakes his head and makes faces, now I can understand it very well.