as Black and lost.
I went for a dumb pawn sac, and then realized right away that it loses and I should have played …e6 first.
The post-mortem was interesting because I asked “What if I had played ..e6 before playing NxNe5.” He doubles on the c-file, not too surprising, but he showed how easily I could be constricted there and the real problem is that a Ng4 and the Bg7 get locked out of play. I have scanty recent experience with kingside fianchettoes as Black, so I was not prepared for this opening and went for a passive position. He showed the active possibilities that I could have taken early on, but I played Nd7 and took on a very passive yet rather predictable-looking position. It’s hard to defend strategically against a master, but like I say all the interesting stuff happened in the post-mortem. Strong strategic player.
I also realized after the game, more than he did (people usually see their own best moves more easily) that Rxc1 was a huge mistake, not that it wasn’t already in the tank, in any event.
When I went for the pawn sac, I wasn’t paying enough attention; I was worried about g4 and g5, but after I sacked I realized rather immediately that he couldn’t have played that move because it drops the g4 pawn after NxNe5. I was also confusing that with a variation where he plays NxNd7..QxN, IOW I was swotting variations, but naturally after I played the sac realized there was nothing real to worry about and that I had blown it. Interesting, I didn’t even sac it right, …Ng4 instead of …Ne4 was also a big mistake now that Crafty shows me.
I didn’t spend that much time on the game, was thinking about a programming task because he spent a lot of time and came late. So, by no means was I a bit nervous like back in the days when I took it all so serious and really bore down. This was the highest-rated player that I have faced, so I really didn’t know how to take the game anyhow. Like I say, I am only barely familiar with the opening that I chose. He even said he was trying out g3, which was an effective choice…but, he seemed to have researched the basic replies that I could have played, just didn’t know them in detail.
To be honest, I had called in for a bye earlier in the day, but it turned out that I had the time, and since there is not much to lose vs. not playing I wasn’t in a mood where I felt any pressure. Colorado Springs is really nice in that you know there is a tournament game going on and you can get there so quickly. In Los Angeles, going somewhere seemed like such a big deal because you were risking your car and a lot of time in traffic, so it seemed like you had better make the trip worth it. Here it’s like stopping by the neighborhood bar or something, except that it’s a chessgame instead of a social call.
Here’s the game
He is 2228, and reached Master 6 years ago, just noticed. Next week I am scheduled to play a 1300 level player again.