I played James for the second time. He ruined my tournament a while back that kept me from serious prize money, and I know he is a good player since his rating is around mine. I knew that he likes to give me an isolated pawn, but that feeds in my like to get activity, so we both got what we wanted. I don’t know what is objectively best for Black, but I also know I could spend hours looking at a computers analysis of “theory” and get nowhere just as well.
21..Rf6 was a real howler, should have spent another half minute on that move I figured, but I guess I had already missed my best chance with 17..Rxf2 (double-check), courtesy of Fruit; not that I didn’t look at it for perhaps half a minute, but that is only enough time to say that I looked at it.
21..Qf7 is the move, and Black still has decent winning chances. 17..Rxf2 is only winning a pawn after 18..Qe3. A strong player I supposed would play such a saving move and then continue to work my clock at G/90. He had 51 minutes left at the end of the game – a higher rated player would probably not end up having not spent a lot more of this.
During the game I began to count on him getting caught up in his “strategical advantage”, whereas I might be ahead in piece development, and that is obviously what happened. It’s curious that even 18.e3 will lose a pawn after the tactical 18..Be7. Of course I wanted to play this, but the time to look at such a move is not as in place as much as it would be at G/2 or longer. But the game has already gotten weird with all the queen moves, so it’s no longer a normal game by this point, either.