I played a new opponent last night, a Class A player who regularly plays in Ohio. It is a rare technical game where you’d need to look for small improvements, particularly for White’s play. He played very well, nearly always chosing the most aggressive option. He offered a draw when I was down to 2 min 23 sec, and him at 12 min, 59 sec. He thought that I might continue 30.d4 exd4, 31.Bxd4, then I pointed out 31…Qc6, 32.e5 after that He was nervous that I would play for that e5 move, but I showed him that it’s good for him in the post-mortem.
I told him after the game that his …Ng4 didn’t achieve anything and was best left on f6, and I thought we might get into this variation where we both win each others e-pawn. When he attacked me with that move, I began to play quickly and gain time, and I think that shocked him a bit as he was enjoying thinking on my clock up to that point.
I never would have even considered playing 30.d4 in that position. I was planning on playing 30.Kg2. Stockfish suggests both 30.Kg2 and 30.Rc1, giving a 0.0 evaluation for both moves. I spent 24 seconds considering his draw offer, and agreed to it with 1 min 59 sec remaining on my clock.