Imre is a National Master who is at his all-time rating low, and we are having a four game match together.
47…Nc2?? As soon as I had made this move, in time-pressure, I regretted not playing 47…Bd7?, which also loses. Surprisingly, 47….Rb2 draws with perfect play (as should ….h5 for example). I spent more than three full hours analyzing the endgame from this position, as it is amazingly complicated. Imre didn’t want to look at it after the game because he assumed the extra pawn is winning no matter what.
First of all, I have to say that I lost this game by not saving a reasonable amount of time for the endgame, so it’s totally my fault for losing this game. I could point out, though, that lately I have been distracted in these situations. At Denny’s, Alex and Pete were laughing loudly multiple times (I actually considered stopping my clock and walking over to them, but didn’t because I realized I had never had the need to do this before in hundreds of tournament games), and a waitress had been laughing loudly before that. There were other distractions in my game with Anthea (two people came up to table to talk with her during the game), but only the loud laughter bothered me.
Friday, Imre asked me how much time I had on my clock, and I told him “44 seconds”, which I don’t want to say was too big of a deal, but I have run into this many times where people have asked me that sort of thing or spoken to me and asked me questions on my time with under a minute on my clock without pausing my clock first, and it’s rude to do that. Alex came in drunk at the end of the game and was shouting things in the background, which wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but it was around when I had maybe a minute and half at most on my clock. Other than that though, the tournament conditions at Imre’s apartment were as perfect as you could want them. 🙂
Lastly, me and Earl (and Expert) went over the game together afterward and that was very beneficial to me. Earl is quite selfless, helpful, didn’t make a sound during the game, and was there as TD just in case. It’s enormously helpful to have Earl go over one of your games, if you live here in the Springs.
23.g4?! 23.Bd3 was better.
25.e6? 25.Bd3 is much better, you simply have to visualize why that works.
30.Bxd3?? 30.Bd2 should have been played. I think that I got confused about the endgame, thinking it was lost after 30.Bd2 dxBe2, 31.RxBc2 RxBd2, 32.RxR Bxb4, 33.Rxe2 BxR, 34.RxB. Although Black has the outside passed pawn, this endgame is winning for White because the inside passed pawn is protected and the outside passed pawn can be won. Still, it seems incomprehensible that I decided to give up the bishop. Best explanation is that I am a “momentum” player and get down on myself after losses in rated games, particularly at Standard time-controls. At the time, I thought I was losing in all lines.