New opponent, (there are over 200 Mike Smith(s)). He said he hadn’t played in seven years, and before that it was before the records show, which sounds strange because he looks so young. In any event, he said he was once rated as high as 1900 a very long time ago, and this is his first tournament in many years. I beat him in two blitz games last month, but just barely. He plays King’s Gambit as White and Latvian Gambit as Black, so I know he ain’t no weakie, and thus I was playing for the quietest line possible.
Well, he is listed as Unrated now, so apparently he got a new USCF id. In any case, leave it to me to get no ratings points credit against an unrated. If I could remove all of my time-pressure losses, etc, I believe I’d surely be an Expert by now.
After 8…h5, I was out of book, and managed my time horribly, although this very much reminded me of the opening that Mitch Anderson played against me, possibly the same exact line to this point. There is only one game in the DB and Black apparently won that one.
By move 19.Bd1, I was already down to two or three minutes, saw 19.Be4, but just wasn’t sure whether he might knock my bishop off that diagonal (which protects my king) with a rook, so I decided to let him eat my b2 pawn, and I played Bd1. Curiously, he was playing quickly, probably had an hour or so left by games end, and didn’t take the bait this time – incidentally, I was happy when he took my pawn on d4 earlier, and missed a shot there.