I played a new opening variation response against Rhett’s standard system, and then really began to wonder, after his a4, how I was going to defend my e-pawn after Nc4 and b5. Luckily, the answer was after exchanging on b4, to play Bxf2+ and then Ra8xRa1 – once he plays Bb2, this rook will no longer hang, but he was reticent to play that, and from going to this “How can I possibly defend?” and “Help me, I forgot how the pieces move!” sort of feeling, I pretty much deciphered this opening system and then got a winning advantage.
I spent a really long time on my moves, and contemplated 17…Nd3, being simply up a pawn with still the better position as well, but I wanted to simplify in my time-pressure.
26…Qxd4?! h6 might be better. I was just in over my head in this position with the amount of time I had available.
35….Nxb4. I wanted to lure him with the perpetual here, desiring a draw because of my lack of time.
37….Kf8?? I had just under a minute and half here, and told myself to really look at this position when I look up from writing down my move. But instead, I was too tight, looked up and made the move, then immediately resigned after his move. No doubt he would have continued to work my clock with his 15 remaining minutes. We looked at 37…Kh8, 38.Qe3 Nc6, 39.Kh3. If I continue with …Qg7, he has 40.Bc3 Ne5, 41.Qd4 f6, 42.Qd8+ Qg7, 43.Qxc7, threatening Qb7. He could have definitely made my life miserable in my time-pressure and likely wins with his clock advantage still, since I have the much looser king. He plays the opening defensively, usually, but then is the best swindler later on.
I had 25 seconds more than I would have had it been G/90 – but I’m also required to write down my moves – so basically I lost a G/90 game to an Expert, as Black, so I take a little of a moral victory there, but I also know where I need to make big improvements, later in the game. BTW, Tuesdays are G/75, 30/inc.
Late addition: Expert Paul Anderson gave my a good ribbing for not winning this game, pointing out for instance that 16…Qg3 is instantly winning, based on Qxg3. He joked “Once you win a pawn, you should sac for his un-developed pieces” (the f2 sac of mine was pretty terrible). Then, given the continuation at the end of the game I showed above after Qd1+ and Qxc2, he played Queen to h-file check, and then mated me as White with Qh1 mate (after a few more checks) – IOW, he found the queen and knight mate that I felt did not exist OTB.
I’ll post my Wednesday game when I get home.