I played a new player at the club last night, his first rated game! I showed up late because we had to drive all over town to find a parking space. My game finished with 45 minutes remaining on my clock.
After I played 10.Ne5+, I thought I had blundered a piece, but then within a minute or two realized that I hadn’t, particularly since there wasn’t much alternative.
People asked me whether this player is good or not, but I said you can’t determine that by a King’s Gambit game!
Black looked solid after 6…Bd6, and is so, but under the surface I was surprised by Stockfish to learn that there are piece sacs and mating attacks lying just below the surface. Indeed, move 7.Bc4 was my longest think of the game, but I didn’t have to wait long for his blunder 8…Bg4??
With 18.Nb5, my original plan was to play 20.Rd1+ Ke7, 21.Nxc7 Rad8, but I didn’t like how his rook was getting activated, and preferred to leave his king be at d8. Indeed, after 21…Rad8, there is this tricky bishop maneuver that White should see, Bf4-d2-b4+, but it can be quite difficult to find something even as simple as this, OTB, with an opponent waiting to see your move. So, instead, I chose to be more positional and set up other threats. Soon after that, I was winning, and my goal became to finish the game on one 60 move scoresheet, with the bishop pair, and I managed to accomplish that.