All I had to play was 42.Kh6, and I knew it but wasn’t sure, so I inexplicably played the move I knew loses 42.Kd3?? somehow hoping he’d make a nothing move, and I could go back to e4. 15 seconds on my clock, but I somehow burned one and half minutes on this move, and it was all nerves somehow.
Once I made my move, I thought I was lost, but that is why I saw the en-passant move in the post-mortem, which still holds the draw, but somehow over the board it seemed impossible. Yet I threw the draw away too with over a minute on my clock when I played the move. He played quickly here, and that must have been the difference. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t played 42.Kh6, and what’s worse is right after I moved, I saw why it wins, because after 42.h6 Kf8, 43.d5, the move I had been trying to get in works here because he has to take or I get two passed pawns. I wanted to play d5 on move 42, 42.d5(?) but he could simply play 42…b4 there, winning. After the game, Mark McGough pointed out that 42.d5! is also winning, since after …b4, 43.d6! wins at once, since his king cannot both take this d6 pawn and stop the h-pawn. Paul also pointed out that the queen on h8 can take the queen on a1.
I’m hoping I can do better with a FIDE rating, trying to get one, this weekend, so that in the future when someone asks me my rating I can say “Which one? My brain-f@rt rating or my FIDE rating?”
A win here would have saved me a good 30 rating points, so now the USCF rating is back into 1700’s-ville yet again.
This is the only song that could explain my mood after such a tough-break tournament.