There was nothing unusual about this game from my perspective. Spent a lot of time in the opening, mostly to look-off bad moves, yet still never quite playing anything resembling a world-beating opening, just normal stuff.
Well, my opponent beat me last time we played. I had a winning position, and then played some losing moves quickly. That was the game which began my downward spiral of losing to 1400 level players. Sure enough, he must have gained some courage from that result as he was trying to “punk me” early, I guess.
It took me no more than a minute to calculate that 13.Ne5 is dropping a pawn, and then I spent one more minute looking at f2 sacs. So 13..NxBc3 was one of my fastest moves in the game, which is somewhat regrettable because I didn’t see his Bxh2+ sac, and yet it didn’t feel right at all that he could attack me so early this way. I was rather confident that I had a winning advantage when I played 13…NxBc3, and it simply seemed just that I would win a pawn out of it.
For his rating, he was going for too much against me. After that, it was a matter of technique. I could have played the finish more boldly, but for me the most important point was that I had 11 minutes at the end of the game compared to his 4 minutes. IOW, I could afford to slack off and make quick moves, being up a piece, compared to his position where he had to try to make something of it (the sac).
Maybe this will signal the end of my and RollingPawns’ unlucky streaks. 🙂