Missed Win

Round 1

I played this game against Expert Paul A. who was looking to get 2100 and cement in a new 1900 floor for himself.  Hopefully, Paul doesn’t squander it now by playing some dual-rated Action game like he did last time.

8…Bd4?  This move loses, but I didn’t bother to refute it OTB; my positional problems are now solved in any event.  8…Na6 was really nice for him, then I play 9.0-0 anyway.

24.b5?!  Alex likes 24.BxNh5! here, and after …NxBh5, 25.Bd4 or Be3, you can even afford to let Black’s queen chase the king to f1 and win the h2 pawn, since Black’s extra pawn in the center is only a hindrance and White’s a-pawn will surely promote at some point.

25.f3?  A Blunder.  25.Be3 is still on track for the win.

34.fxg.  34.Ba6 is refuted by …bxB and then …Nd7.

48…Nb4??  49.Bb6 wins easily, and I had seen this idea in other lines, but not now, demoralized in time-pressure and seeing that he would pick up that c6 pawn with this knight, I decided to play on and not try to flag rather than to look for the best move in each position, so it cost me here, and I was almost certainly under a minute when I made this move.

52.Kg2?  A weakness of mine, not recognizing a “fast pawn”. White is losing after this.  Paul pointed out after the game that this simply gave him too much space.  Indeed, it forced me to push my f-pawn later as his knight got close enough in the center to hit it from d4.

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3 thoughts on “Missed Win

  1. Strange that you played 8. gxf3, not Bxf3. Yes, Bd4 was losing for him after Na4.
    16. cxd6 was losing after Be5, but he didn’t see it.
    25. Be3 is a draw after Ng4. I do not think you needed to play 44. Bc6, this sacrifice should be calculated very well and you probably didn’t have time for that.
    Yeah, you were winning after 49.Bb6. After 52. Kg2 this ending gets very difficult to save.
    Interesting game, you definitely had chances.
    I did not play on Monday, it was a last round. My rating should go up a bit.

  2. 8.gxf3 seemed forced, as I don’t want to lose my c4 pawn. I’ll take another look at this game soon. My work schedule no longer permits me to play on weeknights nor weekends. Naturally, I am thinking about quitting the job, or I won’t play another rated game for six months and likely a lot longer than that. Perhaps I could play in weekend events with vacation day, but I would be on a 3:30 – midnight shift and that has never worked out for me to go back to playing on weekend days.

  3. Not playing chess for a long time sucks, I feel withdrawal after a couple of weeks.
    Sometimes we ourselves won’t make a change, but our life forces us.
    Quite often it is for the better, though painful.

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