So I figured Alex might show and I would get to play him and sure enough I was right. I am 0-3 against him going into this game, and so there was at least a goal to shoot for.
I did get there 9 minutes late, so only had 76 minutes, and did get into time-pressure, but I don’t think that’s the issue. People play G/30 and G/60 and still don’t make the mistake that I did. I use around 75% of my time on offense and saved 25% (that you never know you will need but always do) for defense. This should be the opposite.
I figured that my position should be better, and that I should switch to defense, but I never quite did except when it was forced. I sacked a knight trying to gain a perpetual, but should have switched over to solid defense. I haven’t looked at this with an engine yet because I am on my Linux machine and an engine isn’t installed into Xboard yet.
It’s easy to say there is more a feeling of certainty with offense than there is with defense, but this is no excuse, my gut told me I needed to try and defend and see what happens, but I got lazy and tried to sac my way out of it into a draw.
If I played this game again, I would definitely improve. I didn’t tell Alex, (we both knew that Qh3 didn’t work out so well), but in the future I would try a Rd1, and I knew that I should play that move going into it, but I got too undisciplined and wanted to attack prematurely. This is my chess problem right now, attacking prematurely, spending too much time on attack, not saving time for defense, and not being willing to try and defend and just see where that leads.
I am just looking at this right now and thinking about how I decided not to play 29.Qh5 during the game because I was low on time and unsure about “wasting” a tempo. I can’t believe I decided to sac instead but I thought he could defend with …Rc7 not even noticing that that would drop the d-pawn. So, perhaps I really did have a win there after all. I was also unsure about the 29…f6 reply after 29.Qh5.
Maybe this is better not dumbing myself down with computer analysis. 29.Qh5! f6, 30. exf Rxf?, 31.Ng5 RxR, 32. QxR looks winning. So 30…gxf, 31.Rxe6 and it’s going to be interesting to see Black try and defend this and push the a and b pawns. It didn’t even take me much time sitting here to find this, just a few minutes that I did not have at the time.
Oh shoot, I just worked it out in another four minutes about. I was also worried about 29.Qh5! d3, 30.Ng5 h6, 31.Nxf7 RxR, 32.Nxh6+ gxN, 33.Qg6+ Kh8, 34.RxRf8 mate. Last possible variation to look at, in my mind, is 32…RxNf7, 33.QxR+ Kh7, 34.RxR QxR and I have a rook for three pawns. All I have to do then is win one pawn with queen, trade queens and rook can stop the other two pawns. I don’t know how accurate this was up against Crafty, but I can say that I could have done it easily in 10 minutes, if I had had 10 more minutes at that point. I was definitely the fresher person after the game. I wasn’t tired, just didn’t save time for all the turd complications thrown at me.
Also, 32..Kh7, 33.Ng5+ Kg8, 34.RxR+ KxR, 35.Qf7 mate. Now let Crafty find a hole, I think I covered that rather well.
My previous computer died. I rebuilt a Windows machine but just lost a long reply to this. This site is much more jacked-up on this machine, but I also use an Ubuntu machine which is better. Wow, this is virtually unusable, but I wanted to comment that both move 29. lines are equal 0.00 draw in theory. 29.Qh5 h6, 30. g5 g6 (I had seen this idea but not in this line), 31.Qg5 Kh7, 32.Qe3.
I’m thinking that if I had played 29.Qh5, he probably plays ..d3 and loses, instead of ..h6 which would at least win on time. I should have given him one more chance to lose and remained hopeful. Just checked, there was one more flaw in my post-game analysis of 29.Qh5, I forgot that there is no Rf8 mate because his queen is covering f8, so if he had replied ..d3, the game ends in perpetual check instead (Qg6+, Qh6+), but at least that really would have been the quickest chance to come up with a draw. But if I had had an hour left, I would play 29.g5 and he has a lot of chances to make a mistake still – my gut tells me he would make a mistake eventually and lose.
He had maybe 57 minutes left. It’s not that I am playing especially slow so much as these are G/30 veterans and they play fast. I figure 85 minutes vs. 76 minutes to start, plus spent time, so the entire game was played in about an hour and a half. I could have saved more time, but that is still on the fast-side for a game that lasted for virtually 40 moves. We had time to post-mortem our game, twice, plus post-mortem another guy’s game, and get out of there on time.
One other thing I learned about this game is that I can’t expect that a lower-rated players’ ideas won’t be better than mine, the ideas can and they will be better from time to time, but I need to win the battle of execution instead, not have so much pride and get overly stuck on defending ideas since that takes too much of a toll on the clock.