My opponent managed his time better than I, I think that’s what this game came down to. Starting with 32.Rh5??, getting caught up with an errant strategic plan, I missed my opponent’s coming Nb4+. At this point I was getting a lost endgame, and then making further blunders, starting with b3 instead of b4; I figured b4 was stronger but chickened out and played b3. I lost the thread of the endgame completely, and it mostly had to do with my poor time-management.
Here is a sample continuation of the complexity of this endgame, whereas there are voluminous chances for both sides to go wrong.
43. Rh4 is a draw in the above variation – mainly because the bishop and rook threats against Black’s king, and the h-passer is under control (unless Black wants to make some losing or further drawing try).
I pawned the middlegame off onto the ending, but then didn’t save enough time for the ending. I would do better to try and win the middlegame, unless I were up on time against a slow player. I wanted to 32.dxe5, but then was scared off thinking after …dxe5, then 33..Nc7, but that would drop the pawn on c5, although Black can get in the c4+, which White should prevent with 33.Ke2 or Kc2, then Black is in a bind and it is equal, but White can lose by trying something which doesn’t work out. Black can play ..Rd6 and scurry the king to ..g7.
These were the sorts of games that I held or won at 30/90, G/30, but without that second time-control or disciplining myself to play 30/60, G/30, there isn’t enough time for that endgame.
17.Ke3? was losing to his 17..Nf6!!, and when he played 18…Ng4 I made some comment like “Whoa, crap, I never saw that coming!” he chuckled. He spent a lot of time on that move (the …Nf6), but played all of the follow-up moves and even winning moves quite quickly. Very strong player, he can outplay my Fruit engine, as can I at times oddly enough – engine thinks I should play Qxg7 variations, then I refute the engine with ..Rh8-g8. I am starting to think than the engine is better in technical positions rather than the other way around!
17.Ng3 was correct, which I almost played, but thought Black could get a bind with …g5, after trading queens, but White can play f6 and Nf5 in response, and since 17.Ke3 drops a pawn anyway, and Ng3 is +=, I should have just played that.
One cool idea which I missed was to play Qf1 instead of Qg1, then after …Qh4+ White has Kg2, Rg1, and Kh1 when suddenly White has the +- if Black doesn’t play actively, such as with ..Nc5 instead of ..c5.
15.f5?! 15.fxe was much better , but I didn’t calculate it right.
13.Qe1? White has a strong edge after 13.Kg2. +.6
10. Bg3?! Other moves giving White a big edge are the surprisingly simple 10..0-0, and 10.a3 d5, 11.Bb3 Na6 (I had been considering this before he played …Bg4xNf3) 12.Qe2.
8. Bc4? was once again a mistake because of the same idea, but enhanced with what I was seeing as a reply, namely …d5, but then 9.exd Bxg4!, 10.gxB = 8.Be2! which I thought was possibly too passive, is the right reply here, covering f3. I completely missed the continuation after 8..d5, 9.a3! Na6, 10.Nxd5 winning! I can’t believe that after 9.a3, I rejected it at the board because I saw 9..exd?? threatening ..exNf3, followed by ..fxBe2, overlooking that 10.axNb4 and the Black queen is hanging. Doh!
That’s the thing, I should be getting a satisfying openings advantage against Rhett, but I have to accept that it will be from a weird, slightly complex-looking position; it’s not going to resemble any opening theory in the slightest.