I felt embarrassed for myself after the game that I had missed the Qf7+ part of my combination. Granted I had only slept an hour and half the night before (a lot of that was due to preparing an opening line to play, and that part of that worked), and then half an hour nap before the game.
I had calculated (and so had he) that 12.Qf3+ Ke8, 13.Qh5+ is a draw because then I get into f7, Qxg7, QxRh8 if he lets me, so I had rightly seen …Nf6 coming, which he would have played. But then after making my move, I could not calculate the Kh7 retreat correctly. My intuition was working, but not my calculating skills. BTW, I was feeling very unfresh/unsharp, which is different than being tired. It’s chess fatigue, I guess, and my opponent was obviously very fresh.
I looked at 12.Qf3+ Kg6, 13.Bd3+ g6, 14.hxg+? (Bxg) Kg7, 15.Bc2?? Be8 (covering the light diagonal). I forgot about the queen being on f3 during this part of the calculation, so overlooked the instant Qf7 mate threat after taking on g6, just completely forgot about her. I had it in my mind that I wanted the h-file opened and Qh5 rook and queen battery. IOW, I was thinking general concepts instead of calculating out the concrete position/moves. This is why I played 12.h6??
At the end of the game, I missed Qf3 instead of Qe2 (I saw his Nxd4 sac coming) but was in time-pressure at this point.
I felt that 23.Qe3 was a blunder and my instinct was to take it to remove the bishop from defending f8, but I missed the easy tactical continuation 23…BxQ, 24.fxg7 Rh7, 25.Rf8+ Ke7, 26.RxRa8 Rxg7! and the point of Black’s position is that he was 3 pawns for the exchange, and has the bishop pair, so is still technically winning.
Of course, the main reason I missed the tactic above was that I was “sitting on” a different tactic, before he had played ..Bc5, of fxe followed by RxBf8 KxR, Qf1+ Ke8, Qf7+ Kd8, Qd7 mate – which is a lof of “ifs”.
I had seen his Bb5 pin winning exchange before, but forgot about it when I suddenly “woke up to the position” and realized that I was 3 pawns down.
I don’t know if that last pin happened, but I didn’t record the moves in the time-scramble – it went on but you can see it’s pointless from here, and I lost the exchange somehow.
I also want to add one last thing, it’s that you have to have confidence in yourself when you make a sac like this (because you may not see everything in advance and probably won’t, there is intuition involved) even if you aren’t feeling particularly confident about your abilities and decisions OTB. Three people briefly looked at this position after I sacked the piece and then turned away after not spending too much time on it, and I got that vibe that they were thinking “Idiot dropped a piece.” So, I began thinking this myself and feeling very unconfident about the sac and then was having trouble calculating it, perhaps already feeling a bit mortified in advance. Remember these words if you make a sac someday because these are the sorts of feeling to overcome to make and play such a sac well.
I also let myself feel unnerved after seeing that the first variation, the short one, doesn’t work out after Qf3+…Kg6, Bd3+?? (h6) cxB, QxB+ Kf7
I felt so out of it afterward that I once again vowed to stop playing on Thursdays, but I will keep playing. I went home after eating dinner with Alex at his house and went straight to bed and felt better after the five hours of sleep. 😀