After only two previous games his rating is 1480, but he’s played thousands of blitz games online and such. It was fun talking to him after the game.
The crazy thing is that I saw 7 moves deep accurately that I was winning after 12.e5 Ne4, but we both missed that after …Nf8 13.Bc5 Nc6e7 prevents the loss of the exchange. We both played quickly on this move, but me moreso. The irony is that Bc5 was still Crafty’s choice, in order to pull the N at c6 from defending the a7 pawn.
I did get there late (although now I realize that the parking lot attendant will be there even after 6pm), so I lost maybe 12 minutes off my clock, and had 7 minutes left at at the end of the game, so it was an incremental improvement over the last game. By the end of the game, I needed to speed it up, so I was no longer making best moves like finding Nc7, even though I had seen the combination that it is used for.
As bad as it may be that I frittered away time in the wrong places, it could just as well be said that he didn’t spend enough time analyzing, which he acknowledged after the game, for he still had around 65 minutes left the time he played 17…Qxb. So, there’s the opposite effect to mine.
Before this game, I was worried that I was “chessed out” and would blunder, but I actually played very slow in the beginning and then it began to come to me.
We analyzed after the game and told him if he had played …Qb6, that I would have played NxNc6 QxN, then we saw that Bf3 kicking the queen was pleasant for White, and I told him that if fxg, that he should recapture with the h-pawn and then we looked at tactics. Which realistically reminds me that I cannot count on getting a winning advantage out of the opening. Sooner or later it’s going to be almost even leaving the opening, and I will have to stick with a sustained attack, merely trying to outcalculate my opponent on move-by-move basis for as long as possible.
Well, I made it back to 1800 on FICS, which isn’t too difficult for me these days; at least it is a cold comfort to leave it at 1800 there.