I went over this game with Brian Wall after the game, and he was nice enough to flatter me and say it was the craziest game he’d ever seen. I was feeling woozy before the game, and not in good physical shape, so that I was trying to avoid exactly the type of game that this one became. We went over it until Brian Wall had the win for White down to a science. I didn’t see that I was dropping my queen until after I took his rook, but I felt strangely that I might be winning since he was creating a tactic from an inferior position. Anywhere between move 22 and 25 (for four moves) you could insert e5xf6 and White is surely winning, ++-
Well, when I am not feeling well I compensate by taking gobs of time, basically knowing that I can blunder anything back in time-pressure, which is exactly what happened. I debated between retreating my knight and bishop, not even paying attention that the knight was hanging. I hung it at 2:25 remaining on my clock, so you know I was in bad shape. I could still analyze well, given all the time, but in time-pressure blitz I was hopeless.
Richard offered me a draw on move 40, but I played my next move with 52 seconds left because, as I said to him, I didn’t feel like I had gotten enough chess in yet (and the position wasn’t completely played out yet, so I kept going).
Richard is this lower rated player who can play a surprisingly nice endgame, and he’s surely at least Class A at the endgame. I tested him once again and had that “Kasparov moment” where I just about bolted back in my chair when he played 53.g5, which I somehow never expected, but within a couple seconds realized that I was just losing. Great endgame lesson on how to win with knight vs. bishop. Richard is a knight-endgame magician.
Incidentally, I had tried to purge both of these games from memory by not posting them, and left the one scoresheet at Alex’s nearly 3 weeks ago, but was able to recreate the game from memory just now rather quickly. Kind of amazing how you remember the mistakes.
Oddly enough, I didn’t offer or take any draws in these games, as if finally living up to the Bent Larsen tagline admonishment to never take a draw until you reach Master level.