18…Bd6 might seem crazy, but it’s going to be loose on any other square, and if 18…Qxh2, double-attacking Ne5 and Rg1, which I was expecting to see him play, then I have the pretty 19.Qd7+ Kb8, 20.Qd8+! NxQ, 21.Nd7 mate. I confess that I did not see this OTB (maybe he did?), but I did see it as I was putting in the moves to the game a few minutes ago.
After the game, I told him it wasn’t wise to try and refute my opening play, and that I could played sharper and possibly refuted his move-order with 6.Nc3 Qe6+ (say), 7.Be3 Nf6, 8.Nb5!, but I wanted to manage my clock and not get sharp so early (but theoretically probably should have). We played another post-mortem game starting with a normal C3 tabiya where he once again declared that he was winning a pawn (after I told him not try it), whereby I ended up winning a piece out of it and that game, too.
A pretty finish to this game could be 19….Rd8, 20.RxN+ bxR (forced), 21.Qxc6+ Kb8, 22.Nd7+ RxN, 23.QxR Qxh2??, 24.Rxg7 followed by 25.Rg8 mate.
When Paul met us at the bar, he said he had fritzed it after the game, and Fritz was suggesting the Rxc6+ followed by Qa6+, but that line was getting messy, even after trading my dark-squared bishop for his …Ra8. I simply didn’t want to trade off my attacking force like that, but yeah, everything should be winning, more or less. 😉