I should have played 17.h3 before my pawn sac, and debated it, but at the time was worried about 17..Be4, 18.Ng5 h6, 19.NxBe4 NxBe4, but then I would have the bishop pair versus the knight pair in a relatively open position, so that 17.h3 h6 is what should have taken place before the d5 pawn sac. As it was, I was a little more limited than in the game, and perhaps the pawn sac wasn’t the right thing to do altogether as he found the refutation in 19…Qa5!, so that the game should have ended in a draw.
The reason I played 20.Be3 was to defend against 20…Nf4.
After the game, Daniel thought he should have played 27…Bd5, but after 28.e4, as Alex showed me, although I was uncomfortable with my position in the post-mortem with Daniel, and White is slightly better. Alex pointed out that Black should simply draw here with 27…Qxa3, 28.NxN QxQ, 29.RxQ bxN,, 30.Rxc6 is dead equal, and should be a dead draw as well.
In the game, I was ten minutes late on the clock. We played at a new location and I really liked it! Much better than playing at Panera. It was at Pikes Perk coffee shop. Alex found everything seemingly instantly in my game, so that I just sucked at analyzing to have used as much time as I did. I had just gone under 5 minutes on my clock and left the table when Daniel played the losing move. I thought it was because of my time-pressure that he did this, but a more sober assessment is that Daniel simply doesn’t use much time on his moves, and thought he had calculated it. Alex does this sometimes too, it’s as if they are so talented that they just know what to do, but won’t spend the clock-time, and will eventually miss one niggling detail that decides the game.