I played Buck, an Expert, in this game where I had the Black pieces.
I’ll keep this post short, since I don’t get a lot of responses.
I decided to counter-attack, play defensive. I didn’t like his f5 move in the Vienna. On move 12, in blitz I would have played …dxe, but since I had time to calculate, …d4 looked best, but it is losing. Nevermind what score the engines give it initially, I have checked it out in many lines. Yes, my quick move Ne3 instead of Nf6 was dumb, but there is no defense to that line either – you have to play another 10 moves or so and I could explain precisely why in English, mainly because you need to defend with pieces on f6, which become vulnerable. My defense was based on Bf8, un-take-able there, but of course that didn’t work either.
KxNh7 was the losing move, but after the game he showed me quickly how he still would have won the Bf8 piece, had I not taken the knight. I knew he was going to play Qg6+, but was worried about the h-file, and saw the rook was going when he checked me.
His Ng5! took me by surprise and ruined my whole defense.
The correct move to save this game was 12… dxe, but what I saw was 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4, not realizing that I had 13…Nxg4, when 14. say Rg1 can be followed up by …Bxf5 and Black is on top. He saw immediately in the post-mortem, though, that he would have recaptured with 13..dxe, which is correct, but with a roughly even position.
I’ve looked at it again. After 12…dxe, 13.dxe b5, 14.g5 Nd7, 15.g6 hxg6, 16.fxg6 and now both …f6 and …fxg, from what I have analyzed, are losing. It would take at least Master level defensive skills to find a defense that I couldn’t (since I have Crafty to try lots of stuff with, and Black has few move choices) find.
Buck didn’t like my …Na5, but it seemed to me like it was obviously the principled reply. In fact, I did not play this defense “Spielmann-esque” enough. The correct thing to do is to play 8…NxBb3, 9.axN, and then 9…d5! at once. At the time, I actually thought that his Bb3 move was weak, since if I capture the NxBc4, White has more of a “Silman-esque” pawn bind, and saves a tempo over the retreat.
The ..e5 pawn is not hanging. For example, 10.Nxe5 dxe, 11.dxe Re8, 12.Qxd8 Bxd8 and the knight is pinned to it’s e-pawn 13.Nc4 Bxf5 (e-pawn is pinned to king), and …f6 is another device to kick the knight away from the e4 pawn (…Rxe4). Also, White can’t simply 12.0-0 because Bc5+ picks up the discovered knight on e5 with Rxe5.
In sum, a speedy counter-attack appears to be the key to holding against this f5 attack, not passive defense. This game reminded me of that Simul where RollingPawns lost to Bareev. Same type of attack, and futility level.
My chess-goal for the next time that I play a higher-rated player will be to not get that “1000 yard stare” when I think that my position is losing, but rather to ward off the most immediate attacks that win material, and make the win as hard as possible for the opponent.