Paul did show up for the last round even thogh a bye would have secured first place. He showed up for a shot at ratings, as he is trying to make 2100.
Dean said “If your oppoent is not here, you can start the clocks”, so I did so and Paul was 7 minutes lates.
In this Game, Paul varied from his Moden Defense and played the Caro-Kahn instead.
As usual, I am getting over a cold and sneezing as I type this. My call-center job/environment has been getting me sick on a near weekly basis as of late.
On move 27.Nxd5, I played this combo at 11 minutes remaining with the intent of clock management; it leads to a 0.0 position, but keeps me in the game on the clock, which is what I was looking for at my lessened energy level from the cold. I did consider 27.Nfe4, which is +2.5, but it was beyond my reach at G/90. Against a lower-rated player, I would have opted for my originally intended 27.Ng4 Nd7, 28.Rc7 Qc5, 29.Qf4 with the idea of Nf6 (attacking h7) and after ..NxNf6, QxNf6 followed by Qe7 QxQ, RxQ and the rook/s can dominate (this is not an engine variation) – but I hadn’t fleshed-out that trade on e7. Also, I considered getting the Nf7 and then to d6, but that is still a vulnerable place and takes time to prepare and calculate. At a longer time-control, this game would taken a different path here.
27.Nd5, I believe is most like a phantom combo, as White should first set this up with Re1 to save the e5 pawn, but after a knight move from Black the combo likely won’t exist anymore, not sure about that though. In any event, I realize that I should have continued to build the position here, and the combo was too much of a cop-out.
I should have traded queens right off the bat, and Paul makes some inaccurate moves to keep the draw within reach for me. At the end, I was going to play 62.Rf3, but it had gotten difficult for me to think quickly here, and I played 62.Rf4 instead and immediately resigned. It didn’t help that I had a cold, nor that I had 26 seconds remaining on my clock and made that game-losing blunder with 24 seconds. If I had made it past that move, it would have been 0.0, but the swindling chances then would have been more on my side than his, but really it is an easy draw at least for White, but should be for both sides there.