I played a new opponent as White in the game. Older gentleman, didn’t realize he was in his 60’s.
In the beginning, I made all the wrong guesses as to what type of game to play. First, I wanted to try 4.dxe5 but had no experience with that variation, so I turned it into an Advanced French because I didn’t want to play without experience in hand against a much higher-rated opponent – reality is that this turned out to be a wrong decision.
Then he plays 6..a5 and I did not realize that this is a main line. 8.Bc2 seemed like the sensible move, but I went for Milner-Barry Gambit style. Almost as soon as I had moved I began to regret it as ..a5 is probably a more useful move in the Milner-Barry than is a3 for White, but I had somehow liked the idea that it stopped a piece from landing on b4. Later, I find out he is also a long-time French player and knows the gambit well. I’m batting 0 for 3 so far.
Perhaps the real turning point was right in the beginning. I vascillated between playing 12.Qe2, which would have been my blitz move, and other such moves as 12.Kh1, so I played 12.Kh1? to see what was up his sleeve. He immediately crossed me up with 12…f5! Had I played 12.Qe2 instead, his sudden attack would not have come off anywhere near as well, IMHO, as I could have left the pawn on f2 and played a Re1 plan, and I think that that move was the turning point of the game.
I was never able to come up with an effective plan, and always down in score, according to Crafty, before making a final blunder. I was going to initially play the correct move 30.Bxe4, but in time-trouble did not like my back-rank troubles and weak h2 pawn/square.
Had I played the correct move, I’m sure it would look like some impressive loss to you guys, but it was still very much losing in a quite solid manner with simply his e6 pawn marching down the board, when he will win b6 and the pawn on b7 will decide. Surprisingly, he found a variation he thought complex, being up the exchange, until I told him that he could sac the exchange back to win the b6 pawn for a win.
I was in time-trouble, he was not, so he would have had little trouble winning in any event – not because of my time-trouble (as he incorrectly thought – I don’t need time at this simplistic, losing stage of the game), but rather because of his surplus of time. After the game, he told me he was once rated as high as 2150.