Never met him before, but I got him mixed up with another guy who is 1600 (I had never seen either of their faces before until tonight), wasn’t til after the game that asked his rating.
Anyhow, he defended nicely in this game, but made one game losing blunder which I failed to notice. I had determined to attack on the kingside, playing 20. Rbe1, so didn’t see the 20. cxd5 cxd5, 21, Bb5 skewer on the queenside. I was in time-trouble, which probably explains it, and other than that he played a good game. I had exactly 3 minutes left and asked for a draw since I liked his pawn structure plus queen and bishop better than my own. We played a few moves after and he did well, trading queens.
I couldn’t tell that he was 1100 level other than for that missed tactic I see with Crafty. Other than what should have been a game-losing blunder, he defended well. He said he’s been playing for 40 years, and had good composure at the board.
When I missed that tactic and played Re1 instead, it’s obvious that I was thinking there should be something there on the kingside, but he just kept defending, and so finally I just took the pawn, satisfied with a draw since I saw nothing better. It wasn’t until I looked at it for another couple minutes that I realized I did not like my pawn formations and pieces as much as his, even though I was up a pawn.
I had been hoping to get him to lash out with …g5, but he played patience defense with ..Bf5-e6-f7, which took me by surprise. A lot of times 1100 players can play great defense, and that is often an aim, and I don’t even find their defense, because I am looking at more active moves.
I almost played 13.cxd, moved my hand toward it, instead of a3. 13.cxd was the right move and I saw the Ng5 follow-up, but didn’t calculate it far enough after 14…Rc8. White trades e-pawn for c-pawn but then wins the b7 pawn at the end of it, winning advantage, but I didn’t look that far ahead. Petroff is so drawish, one has to look far ahead for the chances.
I went over that ending again and it confirmed what I suspected at the time, that my opponent had dragged me into the one endgame I should know, but don’t. Queen endings are a weakness of mine, but queen and bishop in particular. Going over it with Crafty I can now see there were lots of ways to win, I was just completely oblivious and needed to be shown what to do.
I had 3 minutes and he had 12 when he agreed to the draw. Ironically, the 1600 player came over and suggested a bad move for me g3, which allows him to force trade of queens (I could tell it was a bad move right away though), but my opponent was playing sound attacking and then defensive moves in the post-mortem, so I really would have needed to know what to do and not just wait to get lucky or unlucky, shuffling pieces around. He’s provisionally rated, BTW, and 6 of his games were from G/60 and a while back. This was maybe his 12th game.
The 1600 player suggested he should have played on because of my time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I win against someone like that. Sure, get cocky in my time-trouble and see what happens, that would have been a more typical game, but this guy was cool-headed, I thought.
This endgame would have been a skills contest. Objectively, it’s drawing, but White can outplay Black if Black is weak at this ending and White is strong at it (or has lots of time). The draw takes an extraordinary level of skill for a class player.