This game felt like a needless, disappointing loss.
10.Bg5? I knew this was a bad move as soon as I saw it, but I let my guard down. Incidentally, before this point, he had been doing “long thinks” such as 30+ minute move, and I was ten minutes ahead on the clock. Finally, since we were sitting under this air-conditioning vent, I put on my jacket and tried to convince myself I could play that way (I play much better when it’s cold) because I was sort of “froze out” already at the board. When he resumed moving, we played this moves quickly, I saw Bg5, then immediately thought …g6?, and I believe I did note the correct move, 10…gxf6, but didn’t play it because I missed the forthcoming tactic at this point. I had this unusual conversation with myself trying to convince myself to think and not just move, but I guess I lost the argument and should have taken off my jacket on my move to focus better! …g6 would have been correct (winning the f-pawn with my queen) had there not been this tactic. When he played 11.Re1+ using not much time and making this move in this really fast, confident manner, which is how he makes his moves, I spent about 15 seconds before playing 11…Be6??, and then thought to myself as I was removing my hand from the piece “Why hadn’t I looked at 12.RxB?”, and then noticed his winning tactic as I finished pulling my hand away. About five seconds later that rook on e6 disappeared and I instantly uttered “Sh*t! I was hoping you wouldn’t play that.”, rather disgusted with myself. Then I took off my jacket to focus again but it was almost too late by this point, as I decided to play on.
20…Bb6? It’s all over at this point. I should have played 20…h5!, putting the question to his knight.
20.Qc1! I was impressed with this move of his more than any other. I expected 20.Qd2, but this move also stops me from playing 20…b5 (21.Qxc4). Actually, it’s irrelevant because he’s just winning on the kingside now in any event, but I can appreciate his positional thoughtfullness here, as 20….b5 would at least be better than taking his pawn.
20….Nxd4?? The defensive task from a poor position had eaten away at my clock much more than it would have had I had a position with more legitimate chances. BTW, 20…Bxd4 is obviously a much better move, however, winning this pawn is a bad idea except in the world of practical changes. Some sort of maneuvering/waiting move here would be best, but it was really too late once I missed playing 20…h5, which I considered but didn’t appreciate all of the danger just then.
My Rating is up to 1844 now, and I split first place with Aleksandr, the Russian.
This game was bitter-sweet, as I had a good overall result, but felt out of it on Wednesday, probably because I hadn’t been tot he bar so long and was still recovering. I was not psyched up at all for this game, and thought before the game and during the game that I could have a mental lapse, and that is exactly what took place. I was not my normal self where I am paranoid and look for threats, nor really motivated, was in this lackluster mood after the opening instead. I had considered playing Kasparov’s 5….Be7, but had told my buddies last week that I would play for a win as Black. So, intellectually I may have still been motivated, but physically and spiritually lost my motivation after I felt some relief knowing I had survived the opening. His manner of play, going from big thinks to an almost blitz-like series of moves, played confidently, also had an effect as I sort of glibly tried to play my moves back just as quickly, though without sufficient preparation behind them, as if it were a game on FICS. I’ve had this throat infection today, so not sure if I was already coming down with a little bit of something during this game, but definitely was after another late night at the bar with Alex and Paul. Magnus wins sick though! hehe.