On moves 7-9, I have the pawn-break …e5, which I failed to consider, and is quite strong.
9…a6?! I knew this was “weak-sauce” when I played it, as was my next move, simply didn’t solve the position, OTB. 9…Bd6 is strongest, and 9….e5 is second strongest.
10.Re1 Kicking the can (e4) down the road for one more move. 10.NxN bxN, 11.e4 a5! (with the idea of 12…Ba6!
10…Bd7?! Black cowardly throws away the advantage. 10…Be7, 10…a5, 10…e5 all give Black an edge.
10.e4?? 10.Nc3-e4 was equal. Now the game is effectively over.
7…0-0?! 7…d6 holds only a tiny edge for White, so it’s a playable position. During the game, I was fearful of 7…Nxe4?? (fork-trick), 8.Qe2 not realizing that 8…Qe7 simply hangs the knight – probably because in my mind, I was still associating the e4 pawn capture with a fork-trick, but the Black knight no longer controls the d5 square, nor does the Black queen, and it is not a playable move here.
8…Ne8?? After 8…d5, 9.Bd3, White has an interesting tabiya, with lots of potential, and has achieved the goal of the opening.
Another move I was worried about was 8…Nh5, 9.Bg5 (after 9.Be3, the e5 pawn will fall if White castles 0-0) Qe8. Here I wasn’t sure of this position, but 10.Nd5! puts the question to rest, as after NxBb6, this diagonal is no longer the threat that it was.
After 8…Re8, which she wondered if she should have played, and I had thought she would play (she just seemed to doubt herself, OTB), I noted that 9.Ng5 seemed to be a tactical refutation (it’s +1.1), and that even 9.Bg5 looked hard to fathom (it’s good for Black), Stockfish suggests that 9.0-0 d5, 10.Bb3 is actually much better (1.79), probably because all of the play (the pawn-chain, and pawn-breaks) favors White (Bg5 still looks nasty).
Poor Tara had just played in a Bullet tournament the knight before, and I just knew that this would be the antidote of that, since you can see how in the King’s Gambit Accepted, you are often having to correctly analyze four or five different lines, not simply making a move; and the game, with one mis-step, can easily be over before move ten, as it was here. The same thing happened on the clock as it did on Tuesday, once I got the winning position I was nearly able to play on the increment, and had 61 minutes at the end, versus Tuesday’s game where I had 60 minutes – you can’t blitz the opening, though.