I played ..g5 with 30 minutes remaining, and he undoubtedly had a half hour plus clock advantage.
He spent quite a bit of time on the move 15.BxNg5, so I knew he was going to play it by the time he did. There were two lines out of the pin, the crazy tactical, hopeful bail-out line, and the calm, more serene response of 15…BxBb3.
I am not sure or not whether I calculated that 16.Qxb3 Qe6 is okay because 17.QxQ fxQ defends the bishop – I may have thought this line unnaceptable, but also didn’t line 16.axb (my a-pawn will hang, and his queen is free to come over to my kingside, which would take more time to calculate.
The other alternative was a more concrete calculation, and in fact 15…Bxf2, 16.Kxf2 Ng4+, 17.hxg4 QxBg5, 18.BxBe6 (to prevent 18…Bxg4 attacking Qd1) fxe6+, 19.Kg1 Qf4 is indeed a draw unless White has intentions of playing on for a loss.
I feel that the time control is affecting me badly in this “resolution phase” of the game, right before the technical part of the game (and even that is another story). I felt like I didn’t play a chess game, but rather studied an openings monograph, as the …Be6 was a very poor move, and even Fruit suggested playing ..Be6 back to ..d7 where it should have been posted originally.
For example, the game would have gone in a very different direction had I been able to play 11…Nh5, but then can come 12.Be4, when 12…Be6-d7 retreat is the best move. Actually, Fruit says that White’s best response for showing up Black’s Nh5 move is to play 12.d4, which gives White a comfortable advantage/edge. After the stress of all this, I played some random bad move, 11…Rb8?, when I knew that 11…Bb6 was a much more practical move, but I was at “mental circuit-overload” by this point. I actually got a whole zero hours of sleep last night (lied down for one hour but did not sleep), and then napped for under an hour before the game (45 minutes was good rest).
Anyway, I obviously never saw 17.Qg4! coming, which seals the deal for White. Just as surprising was how quick that he played all of his moves for someone that wanted to borrow my book on tactics (which I haven’t studied in a long time) because he thinks that he is weak on tactics. Yeah, here, let me make you even stronger at tactics, by giving you my book, after losing like this. lol.
I also missed that White had a weaker line which is still close to +.8 after 17.hxNg4 QxBg5, 18.Nf5! I was worried about missing something, but G/90 is where you have to find it all quickly,the complications, no matter what your move choice is, unless you want to just sit there and eventually lose on time.
I originally wanted to title this post “Why psychology doesn’t work” because I “knew” that Imre, well at least previously, shied away from tactical complications like Nxg5, even if such a move seemed to be calling out, because there were so many other possible avenues of attack for White. Perhaps he was just as afraid that I might mount an attack if he didn’t take – maybe ..Nh7 with eventual..f5 to follow. During the game, I had preferred a ..g6, ..f5 sort of formation, which still takes many moves, and during the game I was planning on just hunkering-down instead by this point.
After the game, I thought I should have played ..BxB3 when he played Nf1. It’s funny because Aronian had my same exact position on his board today (I was not aware of these games at the time I was playing) except that he had played the move …Re8! Actually, I should have played this move as well because it allowed him the immediate follow-up of …d5. So, Aronian had the proper plan though out, whereas I was playing move-to-move. I too, wanted ..d5 at some point, but didn’t want to commit the f8 rook to e8, which is silly because that is where it belongs anyway because …Re6 is also a common procedure or recapture or support of Nf6 against Bg5 pin.
…BxB3 concedes the Nf5 square to White, as it did in their game, but Black handled this by resolving the center (..d5xe4) and then playing …Ne7, as Nc6 was no longer needed to cover the center. Curiously, my …Qe7? move blocked the file for a …Re8 and also prevented …Ne7 idea. …Qe7 was like a roadblock for my pieces. hehe.
This should be enough to make one realize that super-GM is not all about tactics, these guys can work out the opening, and middlegame schemes too.