I spent 37 minutes on a single position. No, I wasn’t looking for a move, and no I didn’t think my position was worse, I was simply comparing strategies roughly eight moves deep in a handful of different lines. I know from experience that if I take a lot of time in a position, objectively the position warrants a deep investigation even if it’s foolhardy to do this OTB. I had no idea. I analyzed it again before I plugged in the engine, and this one is like staring into the Milky-Way. I’ve heard of IMs and GMs talking about a position being like this, but this is the first time that I’ve ever experienced the feeling OTB.
14…Ne4! I didn’t think this was a strong move until he played it. This is where I spent the 37 minutes. My initial reaction was the move I played, realizing he doesn’t lose a piece. It seemed about five minutes into my think I wanted to play 15.Bf3, but thought that without deep analysis it could just be a “coffee-house” move. Now, I think that unless you are playing postal-chess, any move in this position could seem like a coffee-house move.
Later into my think, I almost played 15.Bh2, reached toward the board a second-time (the first time was for 15.Bf3), but ultimately played the move one would have thought all along, but that’s because I had finally come up with a strategy to make it playable. I probably looked at close to ten moves/continuations actually, in all. Trying to look ahead in any of these lines is like staring into the heavens. Of course, when you replay it, the game continuation looks like a no-brainer, and may have been the best chance for an advantage after all. After 15.Bf3, 15…Bg5! and 15…NxNc3 are both strong.
20.Rxe6? 20.c5! is winning, though it’s only initially +1. Here is where the time wasted earlier really cost me. Now I blundered my b2 pawn, didn’t even see I was dropping it, but 21.c5! is still += for White.
After the game Daniel (Expert), thought that I might be winning with 28.Qf7?? and wanted to know what the computer thought about it, but he is on the right track as 28.Rf7 Rg8 is 0.0 equal.
During the game, I wasn’t worried about him playing RxBg3, as I demonstrated in the post-mortem successfully, but was worried about his a-pawn promoting, which caused me to rashly play 29.Be5?? because I though that if defended passively that he would promote his pawn. Even 29.Bf4 holds as the importance of the h-pawn is apparently sort of an illusion here. I missed his mate threat, and resigned before the mating was actually played.