….or so that is how this one felt like. I showed Dean improvements he could have made after the game, such as ….Nd7 instead of …Bd7 (and yet I had to convince him as his database said …Bd7 most often played). Thinking about this now, I am so glad that I don’t have to rely on a database or a chess-engine as a “surrogate brain”. It’s funny how I think the database and engine are frequently wrong, and don’t feel the need to consult one, particularly for my own OTB games.
I inadvertently let out a chuckle when he played 21…Ne6, because I knew that to play that move he must have overlooked that after 22.Nxd5 Nxd4 (with the idea of 23.BxNd5 Rd8 skewering) White has 23.Ne7 mate. The thing is though that Dean takes so much time on his moves that it enables me to see all of this – a luxury which I don’t get against higher-rated players.
Dean resigned before I could play 23.Rhe1 with the idea of 24.RxNe6 and 25.Nc7 (I showed him this as soon as he resigned). He made his move and resigned immediately, so I didn’t have a chance to play my next move.
So, next week is the “real game”. I will have Black against a Master, either Brian Wall or Josh Bloomer, or will play Mark McGough, who mated Expert Paul Anderson with a double piece-sac. And of course, I barely know what to do against 1.d4, so will probably play something conservative, or will perhaps look up some lines of whatever I chose to play (don’t really know how to study against 1.d4).
One thing I’ll say is that studying some tactical puzzles (from Chess Life) did get me back into the swing of firing off with the sharp refuation in this game. I solved/studied six tactical puzzles from one of Soltis columns, and the next time I solved six puzzles (Nezhmetdinov’s games this time) from his column, it seemed like I got 5/6 in just 10 minutes. So, definitely do study tactics to sharpen your game!
Here is a blitz game I played on FICS not quite a week ago (notice the times). – opponent disconnected before I could play Bh6+ followed by Qf4, which will mate on either h7 or g7. Tactics are coming back to me. If there is one slight downside it’s that when I calculate tactics it’s like my face gets hot and I throw water on it in the restroom. It’s as if the “computer chip” in my brain is running hot, checking variations, even though I see initial lines right away.
I wish I had taken a chance on that Millionaire Open tournament, but next week will be the real test.