I played unprepared, except I knew it would be a Scandinavian opening, and like I tell everybody, James (and DuWayne) are my most difficult opponents to get an advantage against (although Imre is a close 3rd.
Fruit really despises this opening for Black and is giving me major points, but for a human it’s exactly the sort of opening where it’s difficult to tell what exactly is going on. I see a lot, but then there is a lot to evaluate.
I am getting low on clock and energy when James thrown in a zinger 13..Bc5?!! What now? It will take yet more time and energy to figure this out. Here I lost my nerve, and the nervous tension and exhaustion caused by all the time I’ve spent and position on the board has gotten to me. I miss the 15.Qxd4+ completely, and in fact I almost walked into 16.Kf1 Qg1 mate.
After I play 18.Nd6? I am kicking myself for not doubling the rooks, and see his 18…Nc5 coming.
Then, a miracle occurs, he doesn’t play 19…Rad8 (-1.5 -+), but instead makes the rookie move of 19…NxB, and I realize then that I should be able to draw this thing just due to practical chances.
I almost offer a draw after 27.Ra7, but then realize I don’t want to insult him, hate getting rejected by refused offers because it usually scr*ws up my concentration afterward, he can reject it by playing what he did or by forcing a repetition, and he has close to an hour vs my 8 minutes. After the game he said I should have offered it, but juding by the result I was right to not offer one and HE should have been the one to offer on (or force perpetual)!
He played all the way ’til mate, even though I finished with 40 seconds on my clock.
I was so glad to win this game, since this is the “money” tournament, unlike Thursday where I perpetually have zilch shot at one.