I haven’t been sick once since I’ve been in Colorado, but have been feeling under the weather the last couple days. When I get sick, I can’t concentrate and stop drinking coffee to let my immune system work. This time, immediately before the game I had a sandwich at the venue, but should have ordered coffee instead as I could use have used a focusing performance boost.
In this game, I played another Alex, a Class A player that I had drawn once before as Black. He did the “fake the Najdorf, play the Dragon” which is typical of what I see from Black players (although that may simply be book), but I was in the mood to play either opening.
Not until I got into the game did I realize that I could still calculate, but wasn’t focused, and thought about grabbing some coffee but didn’t. I was surprised by his Nxe4 because I didn’t think it worked, but we both missed that he could win two pieces for the rook simply with …Rxd4, QxRd4…BxBh6. In the combo, I thought I was getting two rooks for queen and pawn, which I shouldn’t be allowing anyhow, but I missed at the end of it if I play Bh6xRf8, he has the intermezzo Be3+, saving his bishop before recapturing on f8. Actually, now that I look at it again, even without the check …Be3 would have been preventing my bishop from getting back out unless I sack back the exchange (chase the bishop with rook to f4, Black plays …e5, then RxBf4 allows the bishop to get back out – Bh6).
For some reason, I just didn’t want to face a pawn storm and the bishop pair, figured that might be too easy for him, so I ended up trading Queen for Rook and dark-bishop, which looked interesting afterward, but it was the result of a blunder. Some mental fatigue hit me, so I decided to move, then saw ..Be3+ immediately. Toward the end, just when I thought that I might get in Rf4-f7-g7 mate (yeah, right), he traded his rook for bishop and pawn, and I immediately saw the point of Qe5+ and said “Ahhh, I thought I might have had it.” – he smiled – which is my way of saying that I am playing on in a resignable game. I could have resigned right there but played on to witness his technique. Interestingly enough, we both missed his mate in two with …Qe1+ instead of …Qe5+. Later, I figured Rxb7 was best, but wasn’t much interested in playing out the rook vs. queen and played a tongue-in-cheek move instead, not seeing that it drops the rook.
Incidentally, if I had played Kf2 instead of taking his rook, I would still lose either rook or bishop on the d-file depending on my next moves – Crafty says -6.
Well, it was a fun game, he deserved the win, and I’ll have to be more careful in the opening next time. I sort of knew that this game might suck depending on how my body reacted, if my concentration began to come in waves. But you can’t time these things, ideally it would happen in a game against a lower-rated player. Needless to say, I haven’t been able to do hardly any mental work in the last two days.