Pairings were switched last second, and I ended up being paired against Alex. Both of us were dragging at the bottom this time with .5/2. Alex played his Italian, and it was starting to look like a draw was very possible when Alex simply blundered with 17.RxRe1?? BTW, he spent like 15 seconds making this move, but it was already losing after his 16.Bg5.
I suspect what happened during this game was that Alex spent a long time at the board, during my long thinks, and tired himself out. He woke up around 7am this morning, and I woke up around 1 pm, so it’s not difficult to see who this would have favored. I got down to 18 minutes at the end, so I still used far too much time, and should really learn opening tabiyas that are deeper into the game so that I don’t have to spend so much time figuring them out OTB, as pleasurable as that may or not be to do.
In any case, I came out on the fortunate end on this one, probably for endurance/energy-level reasons as much as for chess reasons, if not more so.
I had already analyzed OTB how this would go down from the final position. 19.BxQ NxR, 20.Bxc7 (or 20.NxN RxB) NxN+, 21.gxN Rc8, 22.BxBg6 hxg, 23.Bf4 Rxc (Alex mentioned that this is better, and I thought at first to take with the pawn on c4, but Alex is right). Alexander resigned as soon as I had played 18.NxQ since he had seen the line as well as I had. The rook vs bishop ending was hopeless.
Here’s a nice blitz game, I played today. Someone challenged me at 2 min, 12 sec. Blitz is actually more fun and creative with an increment.