In the first game, I was Black against Sai the little Indian kid. Second time I have played him. I figured that I should have played ..Bc5 or ..Bb4, but my usual is to play the timid ..Be7 there, and I actually have nice results with it.
At the end of the game I played ..b6, and it wasn’t to win his Ba7, as he erroneously thought, it was to block his bishop out of play. Play could have continued 23. c5 (to rescue the bishop) Bxc5, 24. NxBc5 RxNd2, 25.Nxe4 Rxb2, 26.Rc1 Rf4 and Black has a mating attack.
Since Sai and I finished early, and Anthea’s opponent didn’t show, I got to play another rated game with Anthea.
In the second game (G/60), I was Black against Anthea. I respect her ability to play White in this Colle opening as she is knowledgeable on how to play it as White. Interestingly enough, the game speaks for itself more than I had realized.
Improvements that I could have made as Black. I thought that 7..Bd6 was better than 7..c5, but I was getting a little creative. The one move that I completely missed that I wish I had back was on move nine, I could have played 9…0-0 instead of 9…dxe, not realizing that getting out of the pin by castling means she can’t push with 10.e5, and that really killed all of my winning chances right there, if I were to have had any.
I could have played for the win with 43…cxd, and almost did. Believe me, that was what I spent my time looking at and it looked great, but I wanted to ensure the draw in the time-scramble. I checked it with Crafty, and although it is still a draw (as I suspected), White has to walk a fine line to draw it, and not try any funny business, but she was well composed in any case.
I have been in very similar pawn formations as Black and White nearly always won by going after the c5 pawn, or simply get Black to get all bunched up defending it and then exploit the immobility or dis-coordination of Black’s pieces. Crafty is not seeing it, interestingly. I knew from experience that the position is deeper than it looks and that White should play purposefully. So when I got my chances to equalize, I dutifully jumped on them.