A bit of a back-story to this game. Pete and I knew were going to face one another for a few weeks, and since we are good friends bantered about drawing this game, although by the final week I had convinced him that we couldn’t really draw at 30 second increment, and he had been preparing for this game since he knew it was so inevitable.
The other thing is that I had only gotten about half an hour of sleep the night before, and then worked 9 hours (which doesn’t include the unpaid half an hour lunch), then went to play. The night before, four of us had been at the bar til closing time, then we went to Subway to play some more chess. I bought a large Dr Pepper and was then wired. I looked at my phone at 6:34am and found the sick-line # for my work, but then lied down and woke up at 7:20 am and then went straight to work. Work was relatively light days of calls (comparatively), and the drinking helped me be relaxed and social on the phones, but of course none of this is helping my chess. By the time I got to Ihop, I told Pete about my game the night before, which I had shown him the night before, and then realized I was out of it. I scarfed down a stack of pancakes and coffee (which naturally kicked in more after the game than during).
In the game, I wanted to play fun line that is not so great objectively but would give both of us a reasonable chance of drawing a messy game. I had never played this exact line before.
5.dxc5?! Slightly dubious here. Plus, I saw it was premature after playing it since I cannot play b4 until I play Nf3, as after 5…Bxc5, 6.b4? BxNg1, 7.RxN Qh4+ picking up the h2 pawn.
6.f4 The new move
9.b5?? 9.a3?! is indicated, as they used to say. a3 protects b4 in case of ..d4, although 9.Bb2!? is also possible here, and perhaps already the only move. b5 is bad because it pushes the knight to a better square, plus it is a target there on b5, so that if I trade my light-square bishop for a knight, then there goes this pawn.
9…Ne7! Didn’t see this move at first, but did realize it’s full potential after a bit of thought.
10.Be2? I offered a draw here, but my position is terrible. 10.Bd3 is really necessary as one knight will need to be traded off, then the king will likely have to hand-castle, but one would need to defend extremely well already to try and draw this thing as White.
10…Rc8! Here I blitzed my next two moves in maybe half a minute, as if to prove that the position “was still a draw”.
12.0-0?? After the game, Pete showed me the line he had seen if 12.Bb2 Nf5 (I would have played 13.g3 here to stop the …Qh4+ followed by …Nxg3 that we both saw). Although I pointed out he now has 13…Ng4 and it’s over with both knights hopping in.
Regarding draws and drawing. It doesn’t work for me. Every time I offer a draw, I play badly right after offering one, or will draw at best. Pete demolished me as if his were a Bobby Fischer simul game, and after studying with me for quite a while (I like to show my games), doesn’t need help on how to beat me, that is for sure. I believe that draws will cease for me unless my opponent offers one where I am in a worse position, just a heads-up, and this is mainly so that I don’t deceive myself with my own draw offers, which were only serving that purpose anyway.
Wednesday’s game was against a new opponent, but a long time CO player, and faced my first Max Lange Attack, I believe it is one, OTB.
After move 38 I had 4:40 remaining on my clock, and stopped keeping score here. He was taking a while to move, so I went to use the restroom, it’s this heavy door that slams and it was about 20 ft. away from our board, and I looked at my clock before I went in, him looking at the board. I took a quick whiz and when I came back I had 3:20 remaining, so I was upset (Pete said later he had watched me leave to the restroom) because he rattled off his next two moves, which let me know that he had been sitting on this plan when I left. I saw that I could sac my knight for his two pawns and should win, but of course I had the human thought/reaction of “Why should I sac a piece if I don’t have to?” which is not chess, BTW, it’s just human emotion.
Then I got into time-pressure out of seemingly nowhere, and took his pawn with 11 seconds remaining to ensure that he didn’t “win” on time. Even 39…Kb4 was probably mating. With a 30 second increment (or a second time-control – yes they do still exist!) I would have no problem realized that I should have been marching my king toward his side of the board and not mine, but in time-pressure this self-preservation ‘just don’t lose” can sometimes kick in, it’s irrational. I was pissed afterward that I had drawn this game. Move 44, I seen that I had blown it and threw in the towel on the win.
Next month Wednesdays are going to be G/80, delay 10 seconds. At first I was appreciative of the 10 second delay, but it’s still losing those 10 minutes, and it’s not an increment either. Between the debacle that happened on both Wednesday and Thursday, and the frequency, dare I say predictability of these occurances, I don’t believe that I will play on Wednesday next month. There is a chance that I will play the G/30 10/delay Cabin Fever Reliever on Tuesday, but am mostly waiting for first G/75, 30 second increment tournament which is supposed to take place at the CO Springs Chess Club starting in March. I asked Daniel about a match between us that Shirley suggested, but Tuesdays would be the day to do it, and Daniel wants to play in the Cabin Fever Reliever on his available Tuesdays next month.