Blackmar-Diemar Gambit. Anthea has changed up her opening repertoire lately. I forgot that last time she tried a Ruy Lopez against me. I am just here to play chess. 🙂 Not really prepared for a main-line opening, so it’s great when for me when opponents avoid them. 😀
Going back over this game with Alex and the Fruit engine, I realized that I played this game sort of “Petrosian-esque”, positionally. This was mostly because I didn’t want to entertain tactical complications against Anthea. For example, Fruit chooses the more tactically obvious 14..g5 followed by 15..Bxh2+, but I didn’t want to spend a tempo removing the bishop from h2. Actually, the Bh2-g3 move would hit her queen later on. Anyway, it’s interesting that at the end of that line, there is a ..c5 move, since that is thematic, and the score isn’t much different. Still, I should have played that line and didn’t realize that 14..g5, 15.Qf2 Ng4 forks queen and bishop (didn’t see this, so caught up in the pawn-roller over there). Also, 15.Qh3, then g4 forks queen and rook.
She played her attack quickly, using very little time. I sensed that 23.Rxe6 was a blunder, but I didn’t know for sure until I played 24..Kb8.
On move 40.Ka6?? I had been planning on playing Rc6 for a few moves already, and considered it there, but was wondering if I would blunder in time-pressure because I am trying to keep three ideas in my head there, the Rc6, the Ka6, and Rc3+. Simple, I know, but it only got worse after that. I will have to study this ending because I knew that I was messing up. I don’t believe that the score is fully accurate, but it is close enough (a problem with my games being played out in time-trouble). The endgame has tactics, yet is mainly calculation. There isn’t enough time to calculate while blitzing, and this is the main problem with blitzing an endgame. It’s also easier to start seeing ghosts when one feels rushed.
Still, it was an interesting game, and I kept it positionally in control enough that when the tactic did come, I didn’t have a lousy position, and so could still defend. For example, I thought I had blundered with 19..Nd5. Actually, after 20.BxNc5 QxB, 21.QxQ bxQ (straightening out my pawns there), 22.Rxf7 Rd7 I am one pawn to the good.
In the real game, I believe that I did play 44..Rd2, 45.Kf3 Rd5, 46.h4 (I was trying to get the tempo count right in the posted game score), but I though she could play 46.Kf3, not realizing that Black has 46..g4+!, trading off all of the kingside pawns. The endgame is nothing if not a collection of finesses.