It was an unfortunate combination of me being far out of the city day before again, so tired the next day, the opening that I don’t know well, my positional lapses and opponent’s good play. It was a young guy, I had Black and it started as a Scotch game, here it is.

The line I went along – 6… Nd5 doesn’t have good stats. When I played Qh4 to cause g3, I never thought he will castle queenside because of the open “b” line. So, soon I found myself under attack. He didn’t find the best moves and after queens exchange I thought that my problems are over. I was considering 26… Re3, as Fritz suggests, but didn’t see his 27… Bc4 continuation.
Then I got greedy and took a pawn on g3. I completely underevaluated his threats. After that the game went downhill. Soon I realized that my king’s position will cost me the game. It was exactly what happened.

I played yesterday, my opponent was a middle-aged guy.  I thought his rating was 1300+ – 1400+. It reflected on my play, I played very fast (at least 2 times faster than usual) and felt really strong. He had White and played Scotch game, here it is. I am =1,-1 with it and after the last loss I decided to play 4… Nf6 instead of Bc5. I did’t play the best book moves, but after 8. Be2 Ba6 there is only one game in DB between two “C” class guys and Black won.:) The guy with Black used the same idea as me – Bb4+ after b3, counting on Bd2 and bishops exchange and leaving White with weak black squares. My guy played worse – Nd2 and lost a pawn after a bishop fork.

Little I knew that Fritz will find 12. c5 here and I am without a piece for two pawns. As I said for some reason I played fast and felt confident, too confident. I didn’t try to avoid exchanges, believing that in the endgame a spare central pawn should give me an advantage. I played 23… Kf7 preventing his intervention on “e” line, but didn’t see Qc2 winning my h7 pawn. Fritz found that there is nothing to be afraid of. I think Kf7 was generally bad, as soon there was another opportunity for him after 27…Nd7 – Qh5+. Nevertheless he didn’t see it. My 29… c4 had multiple purposes, one of them was to provoke f4. I saw that Ng6 was safe, but preferred more active Nd3. Then I saw that if after Qh5+ he tries to win d5 pawn he has a choice of getting into the bad endgame after Qxd5, trading queens and cxb3, or looking better Nxd5 which actually loses the game after 32… Qc5+ 33. Kh1 Nf2+ 34.Kg1 Nh3++ 35. Kh1 Qg1#.

I left the table not wanting to show any emotions. When I returned, I saw that he played Nxd5. After Qc5+ he didn’t see the mate.

Yesterday was a first round of a regular Swiss tournament.
I couldn’t decide until the last moment in which section – 2000+ or U2000 I should play (you can play 100 points up), finally went to U2000. Didn’t feel ready to play every time with masters/experts. I got the guy with whom I played a year ago and won with White in the endgame rather easily. This time I had Black and he played Scotch game, here it is. After queen exchange I thought that I am somewhat worse due to his pawn majority on the kingside (on the queenside I had doubled pawns). It looked like Ruy Lopez exchange, but without me having two bishops. But Fritz thinks that I was OK until move 14, when I moved my bishop to a5 allowing him to get bishop pair.
I didn’t play Bd6 being afraid of f4, but f4 wouldn’t work because of his bishop hanging on e3. I understand now that Black has here some dynamical counterplay.

Then I completely underestimated the strength of his queenside pawn attack thinking that without queen it’s not dangerous. It was, and 19… c5 was a game losing mistake, because after “a” vertical opened and pawn c7 dissappeared, dark-colored bishop became deadly. I lost an exchange and a pawn and could resign right there.
I played another 10 moves and then blundered in already very bad position. I spent about 50 minutes, he about 30. I have to admit that my opponent played well, much better than a year ago. I was extremely upset, today I calmed down a little bit.
A few things can be learned from this game, I’ll finish on that note.