As usual, there were last second byes, and so me and Alex were matched up together. Alex was nervous, but I wasn’t, as Dean announced a $70 first prize, which would go to either of us if we win.
The course of this game altered when I played pawn en-passant and wrote my move down, except that when I put my pawn on a3, I didn’t remember to take his a4 pawn at that moment. He quickly took my pawn while I was still writing down the move, and I thought “Why did he leave his pawn on the board? I guess I must have made a visual error.” I thought this because I would have taken his pawn if he hadn’t captured so quickly, and I expected him to do the right thing. Well, he left his a4 pawn on the board because I hadn’t taken it off, he just took my pawn on a3 and left his pawn on a4 and kept playing.
I was scratching my head “Where did my extra pawn go?”, but at the same time I was happy for him now that he was somehow back in the game, and that I would have to earn the victory. Well, I did get what was possibly a winning position later on, but muffed it right when I could force a possibly winning endgame, possibly only a draw but would have been an easy draw for Black. missed a shot of his instead and lost.
After the game, I said “What happened to my pawn?” and then “Hey, you didn’t take your pawn off the board when you quickly captured back on a3.” I was going to follow it up with …BxN, …Qc7 and …Rfb8, which is -1 according to Fruit and in all probability a winning advantage for Black.
If you want to see how the game went and imagine that he still has a pawn on a4, then here is how it went:
I almost played 26…Re3, but was trying to optimize as if queens had already been traded on g5, and I was naturally in time-pressure when I played instead 26…Re2??
Another thing I am tire of is chess engine evaluations. Fruit says it’s .9 advantage to play the en-passant, doesn’t even consider it, says it’s 1.67 not to, and then shuffles it’s pieces around endlessly in a draw, not making any progress as Black, but it found a way to practically win after en-passant. I was the only one of me, Alex and Fruit to think that a4 was a blunder, and yet I am “the bad chessplayer” because I lost the game/tournament. It’s almost senseless. Well, if the pawn is off a4 in that position, then …Re3 for example would win easily even against Fruit, but it’s hard to say with the pawn on a4.