In Round 5, I was playing Daniel, whose rating can fluctuate a hundred points within the same month.
Before the game, I was tired but Daniel’s cheeks looked like chipmunks as he had just had his wisdom-teeth taking out, which is probably the only thing that saved me if that is what made him blitz me in my time-pressure.
Crazy game. I saw that my …Ng5 move was dropping the h6 pawn, but then there were so many different variations I was looking at, and I saw a defense for him in every one of them (but he wasn’t as positive about them after the game until I showed him some of his defensive resources – it just means he has to be flexible and can’t blindly follow one plan against all tries). I digress, so I forgot about dropping the h6 pawn and should have played …Kh7 first, as my clock was telling me to draw the game instead of going for a win.
It took me forever to recreate the game as well as I did. I copied some of Daniel’s scoresheet and, while it is legible, didn’t help too much as quite a bit was omitted somehow or written down incorrectly. It’s my fault, and because of the 5 second delay that the moves weren’t written down. On move 45, for example, my king is on h7, so Rh6+ is not possible. I finished the game with 15 seconds on my clock. My new rating is 1807.
I want to say that it takes more intensity to play against higher-rated players, but realistically it takes more discipline.
Just when I want to quite G/90 chess, I take another look at the game to see if I could have made any incremental moves there like …Kg8-f7-e7, and instead thought I finally saw the win. During the game, I wanted to play 24…Nh5 so hard that I almost wanted to sac my piece on that square, but of course I knew that would just lose. Here is the thing that took too long to catch me eye 24…Bd8!? covering the h5 square at last. Now if 25.Nf3 Nh5, 26.Nh4 Nxg3, 27.NxQ? NxQ, 28.BxN Rxg6+ is winning a pawn for Black, but the hunt for intermezzos quickly turns up 27.Qe1! (27…Qg4, 28.QxN) winning the knight.
I just had one of those Carlsen moments where I was still thinking about the game in my mind’s eye, and come back to realize that 28.QxN?? is losing to 28…Qh5 discovered skewer on White’s queen where 29.Nxf5 would lose to …RxQ+, 30.KxQ QxRh3+, 31.KxQ exNf5. But instead 28.RxNg3 QxNh4??, 29.RxRg7+ KxRg7, 30.Qe1xQh4. It’s like your brain needs to have the efficiency of a computer, OTB. hehe.
So the incremental 24…Kf7! looks very strong after all as I would like to see 25.Kh1, and then the h pawn can be used as a lever, but more importantly the sacs on f4 begin to work because the Rg1 is so weak. If 25.Nf3 Rfg8, 26.Ne5?? BxN, 27.dxN Nh5 wins because the knight is immune due to the weak g3 square, for example 28.QxNh5 QxQ, 29.RxQ Rxg3+. 30.Kf2 RxRg1, 31.Rh7+ Rg7 -++.
It’s nice that I can see these things without a computer, but it does take time, energy, and mental clarity to pick out the win from a particular position. I probably had more of these, but each situation is the same sort of deal as the one above.