The Morass of a +- Position

Round 2

Move 13, White to play and win…

My initial instinct was the same as Alex’s, as soon as I saw …f6 I knew this was a blunder and g4 should win, but then comes the grinch who stole Christmas – namely, the analysis to back that up!

I did not like 13.g4 Bc2, 14.BxB NxB, 15.QxNc2 fxNe5, but I never looked deep enough to calculate the in-between move 15.Nb5 (duh, I don’t need to take the Nc2 yet), followed by Q-moves, _then_ QxNc2 threatens Nc7+ fork, so ..Rc3, Qb3..fxNe5 Qxe6+ is ++-.

I looked at virtually anything you can think of on this move, but I couldn’t calculate deep enough in all of the lines. Ultimately, I simply missed his …Qb4 when Black has the advantage.

I looked at all kinds of stuff like NxNc6 followed by Nb5xa7 threatening Qxc6+, getting a Nb5 and Nc4 to hit Nd6+, and even playing g4 only after playing Nb5 (which is incorrect, around +.7 but not winning since the knight should come back to c3).

I played Ne3 quickly to the tune of the clock, sensing that my d4 pawn would drop and I could hold the draw as long as I get rid of the bishop pair advantage (I saw his Bd3, but missed that Rd1 holds the d4 pawn as well). I guess I didn’t want to get tied down into only-move territory but I had 6.5 min to his 2.5 min. I blundered the exchange, spending less than half a minute on the move. I kept playing but resigned once he was down to around 17 seconds. I finished with around 5 minutes. So, I tried to keep some clock pressure on him, but that didn’t work either as I was too tactically rusty.

The thing that sucks about this time-control (put aside that one needs to save time for the ending) is that each of these lines I mentions really needs to be seen like 8+ moves deep, but there are so many to look at in so little time that you end up looking at 5 or 6 variations 4 moves deep instead of looking at all of them deeper. The clock time-limit literally cuts the depth in half.


2 thoughts on “The Morass of a +- Position

  1. Nb5 is a terrific move, but to see it in the middle of the line …
    I think your 17. Ne3 was exactly “to the tune of the clock”, you didn’t have to give up a pawn. Simple a3 was holding it, giving him only half a pawn advantage. I think time trouble screwed up this game, yes the positions were too complicated and ate the time.

  2. Yes, I over-relied on his ability to blunder in time-pressure, and this time it was all about my blunders.

    Like Alex said though, I spent too much time on Ne5. At some point you really do need to whip out the refutations with a little of that “umph, in your face!” swagger, because it’s just as worse to doubt and lolligag, equivocate, and then lose the thread and play something else. g4 could have been whipped out as well, instead I spent forever. Also, I almost played Nb5 and Nc4 was more of a last minute cop-out, where I didn’t find …Qb4 (otherwise, it had looked terrific!).

    Tonight, I played more confidently and finished with 61 minutes on my clock. Chess is a little like sales, you’ve gotta close the deal. Close it out and move on to the next position, the next game. You’ve gotta be a “closer”, not nitpick, lolligag, nor get distracted by shiny objects.

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