I played a new opponent in this game, an older gentleman, and close to my rating.
I thought I had committed a semi-blunder, somehow eying the Nxe4 fork-trick as soon as I pushed bishop to f4. We played it over after the game, and he still let me fork on c7 and thought he was then playing for the win as Black with his extra center pawn. In slow-time, I think I could win that, but he had to leave after some more moves, but think I had zugzwang there for the win.
Anyhow, I spent a long time deciding on taking on f6, which apparently wasn’t the right choice. Also spent a lot of time on h3, alternative being Be2, but then I have to worry about …Bf5, …Nc6-b4-c2, that sort of headache, so played h3. Surprisingly, he did not play …Bf5 and I began to get a somewhat comfortable position. Then he gave me a tempo with …Nh5, and I was finally back on the offensive. I thought he could have maneuvered his queen instead by …Qb6, when Na4 to protect both b2 and d4 would allow him to play …Qb4, a3 Qd6 and he is supporting his e5 thrust nicely.
Afterward, I watched two Class A players, Paul and Alex play out an ending, so that was interesting to see how they played.
I don’t mean for all of my games to be over by move 16, but it is a trend, which only seems to magnify the gravity of those moves, particularly in an unusual opening. I could have played out an ending, but a lot of these games I never get a chance to.
Incidentally, the ending to this game would have been …Qa6, Nd6..b5, Bxb5 and the queen has no escape. I saw all of this OTB, and showed it to him afterward just to let him know that I had seen it.
I actually analyzed this opening correctly OTB (or at least Crafty is no better at figuring out the main line of this opening than I) and would play it again against him, same variation. It’s probably close to equal, but I can let him prove that he can handle it better than me before thinking of switching back to an Accelerated Dragon, which I figured he was gunning for anyway and indeed did play …d5.
Looked at the CA DB. After 6 moves, we were out of book. Turns out my h3 move, which I didn’t want to play(!) is a novelty. …Bf5 isn’t good after all because it runs into g4 a lot. Shredder11 goes for ..fxd, but here is the thing, the way for White to get a winning advantage is to sac the center pawn and go on a king hunt – White even has time for 0-0. The better tactician should win.
If instead, White simply wants a practical game, there is the plan of Nc3-e2, followed by Be3, Rc1, then Bf4, White retains an edge. I actually found the Nc3e2 plan in the first post-mortem of the game, protecting the pawn chain and supporting the f4 square. Then grab the c-file with rooks and gain some space over there.