…a play on the title “Move First, Think Later!” if that is indeed what the title was implying. If you watch this Round 3 game, then you will wonder how I lost so easily, but it requires a bit of explanation.
When I got there, I was four minutes late off of the clock, and was semi-disappointed that I was going to “waste” a White game against a Master, since I would rather dump a game as Black, where I will still learn something, but not lose out on playing White in the next round, but I suppose building experience as Black is more important than rating. Anyway, “small potatoes”, as the American expression goes.
So, I got into the C3 Sicilian, where I know he had hammered me on the clock last time we played this, and naturally history would repeat itself. I spent 30 minutes on 14.Bc4, so I must have been freaking out that I had spent too much time on that move when I told myself to just play a candidate move, being 15.Nd6 even though I hadn’t finished analyzing it, and hadn’t finished “going through my progressions” of looking at the different lines to play. No sooner had I played it than I kicked myself for not playing 15.a4, which I would have surely played at a slower time-control. But actually, he can reply not play 15…a6??, but by 15…Rc8, and then 16.Nc3 is probably best, so why not play it at move 15? This is the conclusion that Master Bloomer had come to as well. However, even the move 15.BxNd5 QxNb5, 16.Bb3, my first and modest inclination, would have been quite an acceptable choice.
At this point, the game takes a bit of a surreal turn, as my “out” against 15…Na5 was to play 16.Ne4, assuming there was nothing better, or nothing else worked. Well, I looked at 16.Ne5 QxNd6, 17.Ng6 e5, 18.Bxe5 QxNg6 for an example of that line. I also looked at 16.Qd2 BxNd6, 17.BxBd6 NxBc4, 18.Bc5 NxQ, 19.BxQ NxRf1 winning a rook for Black. 16.Qd2 Bxd6, 17.Bxd5 Bxg3 is still immediately losing a piece for White, and 16.BxNd5 exd5 and now my Nd6 is trapped and lost.
The only move, as Josh pointed out afterward was 16.b4, which I had considered, but curiously enough had never analyzed my “out” or my “go to move of 16.Ne4, and I it must have been because I was so disgusted with myself that I still had not finished solving the position when I played 16.Ne4 (a clock management move, really, since I am not the type to make moves that I don’t want to make), I pressed the clock and noticed his recapture and skewer as soon as I looked back at the board. This is mainly because I realized that I never even taken a look at this line, hadn’t analyzed it yet, it was just part of the guesswork of the position at that point. Well, he took at least 5 minutes before recapturing and skewering my rooks, and I spent at least 5 minutes before deciding not resign on the spot, although both of these events felt more like 10 minutes. So this is what had happened in this game.
As I told Alex after the game, I would have rather flagged in an advatageous or equal position than to have played blunders for the sake of the clock. Lesson learned. Also, I need to become more efficient in analyzing quickly. I need to build up that sense, possibly, of what not to look at, and also to make sure that I do look at the stuff that I am actually going to play.