Didn’t play on Wednesday, went to a hearing instead.
I played Today and messed up as I was not well composed, going into time-pressure. Round 1.
I transposed into a losing ending, and played it poorly to boot, even if it was a lost ending all the way (I’m assuming it was).
So, I went for the faulty combo and saw in time pressure that it was losing, but then because I was in time-pressure nerves and a bit tired forgot that the Rc8 is no longer there to cover the NxBb8.
Alex pointed out that I should have transposed the move-order and played a winning combo 21…Nxf2!!, 22.KxN Rc2+! winning instantly. Instead, I only looked at 21…Nxf2, 22.KxNf2 Qg3+, 23.Kd2, and it had seemed to me that White is escaping, but as Alex pointed out 23…Rc2+!, 24.Kd3 e5! 24.dxe5 Qxe5, 25.Nd2 Ba7, 26.QxR RxQ, 27.KxR Qxe3 is winning, and if 25.QxRc2??, then 25…Qe4+! finishes the job.
The losing combo came from a tough postion, and I still don’t know what was best there. I thought I should have played …Qc6 instead of …a6, but it’s really tough to know what is best. It looks like Black should have an advantage but it’s hard to find one, really. It’s as if it’s a queen and bishop ending – very finesse, which is what I was trying to avoid in time-pressure.
Ah, I see the win now. 24…Qc6, 25.Bd2 Bd6! this is the move that I had missed all this time. I told Alex tonight that I refute attacks well but that I am often lame at finding building moves, and this is the magic building move. Now Black really is threatening 26…b6, 27.Nxa6 Ne4, 28.Qg2 Bg3+, 29.Kd1?? Qa4+ picking up the night on a6. This plan should be strong regardless of where White moves these pieces.
Here is a nice Game that I played on FICS today that shows I am still actually capable of playing well, even at blitz.