Fruit likes 10..e5 a touch more than my 10..e6, but my move gave my opponent more of a chance to go wrong, as in the game continuation.
12.Bd3 (instead of 12.Qd4?!) is the move, and then 12…exd followed by ..c6 gives Black a pleasant equality, and my opponent probably rejected it for this reason.
20…Raf8? A blunder played quickly. Needed to hit the queen immediately with 20..Rf3 instead, but the game continuation transposes.
22…Nd3!? I figured OTB that this was probably not the strongest continuation, and actually 22..e3 is stronger, but I could see that it was winning, and my quick play all of a sudden had caught my lower-rated opponent off-guard.
34…Ra1?! I had seen that simply 34…a5 was winning, and would prevent my opponent’s bind, but this is the part where I get bored and spice things up to make it interesting. This habit tends to backfire badly on FICS, but I felt in control here to the very end. My friend Alex thought I was allowing a draw with my idea to sac the exchange, but I was calculating rapidly at the board and had found the wins when we went over the game afterward, and Fruit agrees. I was sort of “on” at this point because I saw that I could triangulate his king in the endgame, and also found that …h5 to weaken …f5 is a winning idea as well (had it played on me before online, naturally). But I just wanted to point out that 35…b5!! is a beautiful pawn sac here, as Fruit found it, with 36..Ra4 being the follow-up idea.
Anyway, I really wanted a win to cheer us all up from our losing streaks. An Expert lost to Anthea in a silly way, with a silly sac, so that bad play can happen to anyone from time to time. Jason is almost an Expert, and I was able to show Alex that he was winning in his game against Jason, not to fear Jason’s attack. I didn’t study any chess all day before the game, simply wanted to be there the real game. It was a nice day for a chess game. 🙂
The funny thing about this chess game is that before it I saw this video where Boris Becker plays Nigel Short. It’s a Ruy Lopez, but then Short replies with ..f5 rather quickly. Boris plays exf and Short once again quickly replies ..e4. So basically I used that same idea to win this game; now how funny is that? 😀
One neat thing that I pointed out in Alex’s game, I mean Jason was playing awful but Alex couldn’t find a win, I showed Alex that he could sac his extra passed pawn (which he thought was the jewel of the position) in order to trade down into a winning ending (Jason’s center pawns would fall and that Black could (but doesn’t need to) even sac wing pawns because a center-pawn will queen first, comfortably, while attacking the opponent’s king. He also missed another pawn sac to get at opponent’s king when all of Jason’s pieces were horribly tied down the queenside. So Alex gained even more space on the queenside, then couldn’t finish the deal, but could have sacked to go after what should be a winning attack against the king.
All of this is to say “Don’t be greedy!” The important thing in chess is to consume the position, all of what’s there, and not to go after material as an end-goal.