Is too tame a description for this game; I was schooled.
Sometimes you find out later that your intuition was right, more than you could have realized. This was one of those games.
I figured that 8..Be7 looked solid, but wanted to play as actively as I could against someone strong (figuring that I would probably lose by doing so) and find out where I stood. Well, I know where I stand now, 8..Bb4 was, for all intents and purposes, the losing move. Naturally, you won’t quite believe this, but I just looked at about 30-40 different checkmates, and I can assure you that this man knew what he was doing.
At the end, I though I just lost interest, and somehow made a losing move that I knew was losing …Nf8, I had already seen before a couple times that it loses, but was at my wits end, forgot a moment, and just picked a move. I was right, everything loses! I don’t expect you to believe it because I just spent a couple hours on it. He said my best chance was to get in …f5, but curiously enough he was going to play Kh1, Rg1, g4 against anything I played, and play it right too, better than Crafty. He was right! His intuition and experience are stronger than Crafty’s.
Dean told me after the game not to feel bad, as Imre was on the cover of Chess Life back in the 1950’s.
My intuition told me that he knew what he was doing after 7.Bb5+, as I began to consider that move as being very interesting right after I moved, and I predicted most of his moves. But going over this game, an old thought came back to me that I had realized a very long time ago. The better/more experienced player has a better evaluation of who is winning, what the real score is, and at this level better than an engine. For example a 1300 and 1500 could have the same analytical ability, but the 1500 player may have a better sense of the ‘art of the possible, and probable’. I could have analyzed much better, and he still would have trumped me in that dept.
He beat me like it was nothing in the post-mortem, as I tried a few of these other variations. He said that after I didn’t get in ..f5, “You were losing”, like it was some kind of joke how easy it was for him. We even went over …f5, and he had no problem blitzing out a win there. Which is why I had to force Crafty to play this stuff and realize he was right. Sort of like at the feet of the Master, I didn’t know who I was fooling with.
Now I know why my made up move 4..d5 after 4.e4 doesn’t work too well with …Bb4. 4…Bb7 is theory and better, then if 5.e4 Ne4 and Black is quite alright, to be followed by 5…d6 in any case. I always wondered why this was book, and not what I played. Still, I don’t know how 8..Be7 would have worked out, probably okay, dunno.
I badly wanted to play 18..Bg5 instead of …Nf8 which lost at once, but could see that it looked losing and it does, some pretty mates if you go over it with an engine. In the post-mortem, he immediately responded with 19.Ng6 (like I say, I predicted nearly all his moves, just didn’t realize where it was all heading to) fxg6, 20.BxB Qc7, 21.g6 (we both blitzed this out with no hesitation), and now ..hxg6 can lead to a Qh3+ fork, while ..h6 is only going to give him a pristine seventh rank with which to sac on and generally abuse my king with.
I realized that allowing e6 and then Ne6 recapture was winning for White, and is, which is why I moved the knight. The best move was 18…Qc8, but that is also a lost cause, completely. Admittedly, I will try to lose better than this next time I am in a jam. 😉 As the crude saying goes “I got my butt handed to me” in this game. By the end, I felt like I was never in it, never got a chance in. I was more like his personal assistant in trying to spar against his winning plans, and not a very needed one at that.
I’m hoping my weekend tournament doesn’t go like this. I registered and found out pre-registrations are almost all going toward the Open Section (>1500). It will probably be fun. I can learn more from a genuine strong player (I know some of these kids have semi-cheesy 1900 ratings), so that even if I lose, it should improve my chess understandings.