It was the first time back to the club in over a month, and I got an unrated player, his first rated game. Not a kid, at least in his late 30’s.
I started out with the notion to play fast, gain time on the clock, and figured there might be a win there early, but was content to simply see how this guy plays, wasn’t trying to knock myself out.
He plays 6..Na5, and I like my position after 7.Bd3, but suddenly think I am winning a piece with 7.Qa4+ only to discover that I forgotten about 7..c6, which I’ve played 1,000 times myself.
When I got home I noticed scores like +2 from the engine starting with 5.exd, and as soon as I saw that score I thought “Oh, snap! Must be a Bf7+ deflection winning the queen.”
I was rusty. I didn’t feel like 10.b3 was best either, felt correctly that 10.Nbd2 was best, but I thought I was playing this unrated so decided to play 10.b3 instead, should be fine. I thought of winning the a-pawn at the end, but didn’t like 23..Nd3, 24.QxQ (BxQ or RxQ), 25.Rc1 and now ..Nb4 is -+, but I did not see this move, just saw variation where Black can win my e4 pawn.
I wasn’t Mr. Intensity for this game, that was the big difference. I liked the 12.d5 idea and couldn’t figure out how to fit in a4 idea, which seemed best, but what I missed was combining the two ideas 12.d5 Bd7 (saw this), but then 13.a4! now.
I was half-expecting him to just lose (he was asking the TD about touch-move and how to keep score, like it was something new to him), but I lost the initiative and then it was like playing against myself, and I felt that it would be a draw. The c4 and d5 was a sort of defensive posture on my part to ensure at least a draw.
I liked his recapture with the knight on d7, but he was playing with his hand, almost recaptured on d7 with his queen.
Thing I did wrong in this game was to play too quickly in the opening, got ahead on the clock by 20 minutes but missed my chances. It also takes a while to get used to the 3-d board, which is why ..c6 was not spotted – I always see that in the online 2-D board.