This game was like “the perfect storm”, I was mentally thrashed and hoping to play about a 1000 player as White. Not happening, only strong players signed up this time. Doesn’t really matter if I have a headache, brain feels like jello, and my analysis was disorganized, I simply ran into a good player. Wrong time to run into the wall of being “chessed-out”.
I blundered and immediately resigned, I knew that my focus was slipping and there wasn’t enough left in the tank to come back. He had only spent a few minutes on the game. Technically, I guess I could have given up the exchange and kept playing, now that Crafty points it out.
On the move where I blundered my thought process was:
1. 0-0-0 – No. That runs into Bf4
2. g3 – No. Drops the knight
3. Ne5 – Maybe.
4. Ng5 – No. h6
5. Ne5 – No, drops a pawn and queen trade leaves king in center.
6. Bc2 – Looks okay, like I should probably play it, would like to find something better.
7. Hey, I know, why not play 0-0-0, it’s not dropping a pawn. Doh!
It was one of those moves where I was so tired of thinking that I just played it. Made me realize, since good players can drive the analysis so wide, that I need to use my list type of photographic memory to simply take a picture of the list like this one above, that way I don’t forget my original conclusion/decision. Re-analyzing the same move again that I had already rejected is pure abject mental disorganization regardless of whether my focus was slipping away or not.
I had actually seen his …Qa5, followed up by …Qb6 idea right away, but he kept up those “slithering” moves that required a lot of analysis.
I should have simply played 0-0, not noticing that BxNf3 is simply dropping d5 in return, if he takes on d4.
But for example, here is just one fantastic variation that becomes possible after what I played in the game. Try casually finding that variation, probably be lucky to. I knew I should have looked at Qe3, but by that point didn’t want to bother with it, suspected that “maybe” something is there.
This game made me realize that I haven’t been in the position where it was hard to find the right move in a long time. I haven’t played enough stronger players. This game gave me another taste of what the “next level” in chess is like. I need to see more, wider and deeper, against a player of his caliber.
9.Bc4! and White has the advantage. Naturally, I had considered this, but being in uncharted waters decided to be “prudent”. Later I would find out my opponent is quite familiar with the variation that I played into. And of course, I was looking for a quiet game, French Adv. variation perhaps, not the nightmare he whipped up for me. 9.Bc4 temporarily drops a pawn, but White gets quite satisfying compensation.
9.NxN?! followed by 10.Bc3 is an unsavory game for White to play. Black has the easier game, and White’s advantage is miniscule. With correct play, Black’s game seems to hold more practical chances/counterattacks.
Incidentally, the move to play where I blundered was Qe3+…Be7, 0-0…0-0, Ne5…NxN, dxN where White has a tiny advantage because Black’s center pawn is more isolated. That is what should have been correct play for both sides, IMO.
I’ll also note that I saw the Re3 defense for the blink of an eye then didn’t see it as my focus slipped (all within 2 seconds or so), thought I had imagined it, but Black can win the d-pawn as well as the exchange, very easy win. I got a chance to talk with him after the game about non-chess, and played two quick skittles games with him, much more interesting than hanging onto a losing game.
In other news, my FICS Standard rating is curiously at 1836. Probably, I have adjusted to quicker play some. The one thing I like about that rating is that it means I can play stronger opponents. It often ominously predicts my future OTB rating, but for slightly different reasons – tactics are flowing more.
Postscript: I showed Paul my Bc4 idea, he blitzed Nxd and I replied BxNd5, after a couple more moves he said that White’s attack was “brutal”. 😉