My opponent said he was rated around 1265 (the USCF server seems to go down after midnight).
The first two rounds were G/90, so I whizzed through part of this game too quickly. I knew that he was going to answer 9.g4? with …Qa5 after I had made my move, and I should have played 9.Kb1. My Be2 move was lame as well, since as you can see his ‘bolt from the blue’ would not have worked had I initially moved it to d3 (Bd3).
I also regretted not playing 6.g4 instead of 6.Qd2.
I knew that 13.BxNa6 was winning his pawn before he even walked down this road, but decided to try to control the game, never suspecting his bishop was developing to g4 with sac!
I blundered at the end, but he said that even after 26.Nxf7, he would have the same response in 26…RxBe3+!, and I don’t believe that 26.Qh3 was going anywhere, so simply lost. When I took his bishop, I did see his Nxe4-c3+, but missed that he was forking my rook. How lazy! He probably would have won with that pawn, anyway.
If you thought that this was the strangest game ever, and that his accepting my draw offer was strange (he spent around 20 minutes on it), what was stranger is that we played it out in the post-mortem all the way down to my knight vs his two pawns and I drew it. Craziest post-mortem draw I’ve ever seen! Mutual king-hunt where I kept offering a piece to force a draw.
I didn’t learn his rating until I got home. If I had realized my opponent was so much lower-rated, I would have played it more conservatively and given him a chance to go wrong on the attack.
Actually, I missed this OTB, but it seems winning for Black after 31.Ke2 Qg2+, 32.Rf2 Qg4+, 33.Nf3 NxN, 34.RxN Nxe5, 35.Qf1 g5, 36.Qh3 QxR, 37.QxQ NxQ, 38.KxN g4 – saw that the queen is covering d4 while going over the game at home. The passed pawn duo can’t be chased, and the Black king can walk in to gobble the pawns which are on light-squares.
38.f3?! Here, I got nervous and began playing all of my bad moves at a very rapid pace, often instantly after his move, as was the case here. 38.Ke4 wins quickly, as all of the light entry squares are covered by the knight. For instance, 38.Ke4 Kc6, 39.Kf5 Bb6, 40.Kg6 Bf8, 41.Kf7 and the f6 pawn falls.
39.Kc4 39.Ke4 is more straight-forward, as the knight is already covering b4, and after say …Kd6, 40.Ba5 the bishop is getting in easily, and his bishop has no targets even if a pawn were to be sacked to facilitate its escape.
41.fxe4? 41.Nf5+ Ke5??, 42.Bc7+ wins, and after 41…Ke6, 42.fxe Ke5, 43.Ke3, the g3 approach square is covered by the Nf5, so 43…c4+, 44.Kd4 Kf3, 45.Bd8 c3, 46.Kxc3 Kxe4, 47.Bxf6 Kf3, 48.Bg7 BxB, 49.NxB Kg3, 50.Nf5+ Kxh3, 51.Nxh6 and Black’s king cannot approach White’s knight via the h4 square, since that is a dead-end, so …Kg3, 52.Kxc5 Kf4, 53.Kd6, and White’s king is cutting of Black’s king just in time to secure the win!
51.Bb7? After playing this move instantly, I was immediately upset at myself for not playing 51.Bb7 Bb4, but this leads to a bishop and knight winning ending, which is still not likely to win if one does not have the technique down cold. A better try for a more outright win would be 51.Be5 , as these Black pawns can be clipped off if he doesn’t trade bishops, and if he does trade then the White e6 pawn is the fast one.