….I’m going to have to change my name to Caruana. ;-p
There’s a tendency I’ve suffered from since my 1300 days, and that is to not analyze thoroughly late in games. Sure enough, the move in question was move 39, a notorious move to blunder on.
On move 39, I had 39.Nxg5! winning. I saw 39.Nxg5 Nxc4, and told myself I’d come back to this line, but never did (so I never saw 40.Ne6+ in this line). One thing Kosintseva showed in her video is that you always have to come back and make a second pass of all your lines, and I failed to do this.
Instead, I played 39.d6? figuring on at least a fighting draw out of it. I expected him to take my bishop instead of my knight, then I decided to give up a pawn for activity. After the game I said I should not have given up the pawn, but then he beat me from the even material line, anyway. I think it’s a deadly combination of 1) I get tired, and 2) My endgame skill is not as high as my middle-game skill. Before this move, I did not feel tired, but looking at lines during this move wore me out a bit. I collapsed in the endgame. Not only is the endgame losing, but I blundered with 51.Rd5? in time-pressure, seeing right afterward that I should have played 51.Be2 to defend the g-pawn, although it’s still completely lost.
I often think if I could just force myself to do puzzles from the Volokitin book where you have to look at lots of long lines from a single position, that I would have more endurance and capability OTB to play them. Most of these wicked complicated positions come after, say, move 28. You need endurance and legitimate analytical skills to do really well in chess. I mean, you can blitz chess games up to a point, but then you really have to do a lot of quality analysis in some position, particularly positions later in game where decisions become more concrete because there are less resources to wiggle out from bad decisions.
This marks my 7th consecutive game, OTB, where I had a winning position. I need to close these games out, as endgames are infinitely more tougher.
I played at ClubChess! Wednesday night. They have a Wednesday night tournament for at least this month and the next. Here is my Round 1 game. Great location, site, and hosts!
15…g5 was winning a move earlier as well, as she is just dropping a piece.