This is another reason you don’t want to play G/90 d/5 against kids – they will eat you for breakfast, and spit you out. lol.
I drew this game with 1 second left on my clock. Mark McGough, who is a little higher rated than me these days, drew his brother with 3 seconds on his clock. That is “boss”, having 3 seconds instead of only 1, haha. Both of these kids don’t look a day over 13, and probably aren’t. lol. I just looked up Jesse’s rating. his rating has gone up over 300 points in only a month and half – MDLM, eat your heart out. ;-p
Of course, during the game I figured I was playing some 1100 kid, and could probably afford to do just about anything, and at least hold, but that’s about as good as that prediction got.
Against a “stronger” player (whatever that means, right!?), I would have played 3…e5 instead of 3…d5, but I felt free-spirited enough, plus wanted to try this variation that I had mentioned before in a post, but now had suddenly distrusted OTB, but then decided “What the heck, I can afford to lose a pawn against this guy, worst case scenario!” Well, at the time I didn’t really want to get into some weird variation(?) such as 3…e5, 4.Nf3 Qc7, 5.d4 exd4, 6.Qd4! Bb4 (which could lead to …Bb4-a5-b6 at some point). This line is a little out there, but at least avoids the predictable nature of play which I got in this game.
Well, at move five e5, I had already seen the writing on the wall and decided to sac the pawn rather than to play 5…Ng4 or 5…Ng8, but both of those moves are probably quite a bit better than the pawn sac.
After 7…Nc6, I thought he would simply nab the pawn with 8.Qxd4, and then would follow 8…g6 with 9…Bf5, where White is simply better, but there are dynamics in play. As was shown, he gave me a choice of whether I wanted to accept this variation or not, but my “plan” was to outplay him from an equal position, which is the real reason I played this hyper-active line (which is more well suited to two Masters playing for a draw than for someone trying to beat a lower-rated, which suits a more quiet style, were you let the other player go wrong). If I had known my opponent, I would have avoided the queen trade and simply let him take the pawn and be better, but with lots of active play possibilities.
17…e6? I hated playing this move, knew it meant giving up the bishop pair, but I saw a dreadful alternative in my planned variation. I showed Paul A. this line (he’s Expert rated, around 2050) after the game 17…Rd5, 18.Nxe4 (in fairness to Paul he found this move, then I found the rest of the moves for White) …Bxe5, 19.Bxe5 RxB, 20.f3 Rfd8, 21.Nc3! RxR, 21.RxR Rxd2? (…e6), 22.Rxe7 Bc6, 22.Rxa and I went on to win that post-mortem against him a pawn up rather effortlessly against his multiple takebacks, which only shows that a lost technical position is still a lost technical position against someone of Class A strength. Anyhow, I should have navigated that line as Black nevertheless instead of taking a downright losing position the way I did.
Actually, it was at this point that I was going into the second phase of the game, surviving the clock and making practical moves. I had gotten overheated from my analysis, took off my jacket only after playing the dreaded …e6? move, but felt worlds better once I had taken it off, and instantly cooled down.
It’s ironic how right when I started playing passive and asked him essentially to “prove it” is where he started to go wrong and sort of just let me have the draw, at which point I wasn’t looking too hard for more than a draw anyway so was well focused on it.
33.Rxd7? Here is where I felt that I was hopelessly lost against a 1900 player, and felt White should win. For example, just looking at this now, after 33.Kd3, 34.Ra6, and 35.Ree6, this is not going to end well for Black, as the White queenside pawns and king will simply march up the board at some point, and Black has no counterplay. This should be almost a yawner win, given a modest amount of clock time, for a stronger player.
After showing that game, I am tempted to make the joke that this is how a “real” 1100 player plays. hehe. Actually, Shirley spent about half her time doing her TD duties, and half her time at the board. Compared to Jesse’s level of concentration against me, she was barely paying attention to her game, in all fairness.
14…b6?? I had wanted her to play 14…Qd8 to make the game very interesting and unusual, but it was such a game in any event. Actually, Daniel sort of admonished me for not refuting her move 7…f6?! with 8.f5! Of course, I was happy to try out my more positional idea to see where it lead, since I didn’t feel the pressure of needing to play the most forcing continuation with a 30 second increment to back me up.
I was going to castle queenside, and wanted to play a more positional game, but decided that I couldn’t let the perfect opportunity to play 15.Bg5! slide, since it had the potential to be decisive, and indeed it still would have been had she responded with best play. Before I played 15.Bg5, I had already calculated out ..RxB, 16.RxR Qxh2, 17.Qf4! h6 (..g6 is mate in a few), 18.Qf7+ (actually I found this intermezzo later, but it’s not strictly necessary) Kh8, 19.Qf3! (trapping the queen) hxBg5, 20.Rh1 QxQ, 21.NxQ, when White should be able to mate without too many difficulties. I saw this line, minus the 18.Qf7+ finesse part, before I got up to go to the restroom. How cool is that? But yes, no one but the dear reader and those I showed after the game (Shirley, Daniel, Pete, Paul A) will know that the game would have taken that path in the other event that it had occured. Sometimes, the Wednesday game just primes you up for Thursday’s game. 😉
Incidentally, I also calculated OTB and showed them the line 15…RxBf1+, 16.KxR not 16…Ba6+?? Shirley played and I showed 17.Kf2 Qg4, 18.h3 winning the queen, but rather instead Black can play 16…Qg4, 17.Kf2 h6, 18.h3 QxBg5, which is why I “decided” not to play this variation, realizing that her queen was not getting trapped in this line.