I’m not going to make a long blog post about this game, as it will appear as a silly loss anyway.
15…Nd5?? My instinct was to play the correct 15..f6, but I saw ghosts in that line, and upon a second look at the game instantly noticed the …Nd4 resource to take away a lot of threats after 15…f6, 16.Nh5 Nd4, but that wasn’t the biggest takeaway. My analysis methodology was off, i wasn’t applying “process of elimination” correctly. In a tired moment I played this blunder, and noticed it as soon as I planted the piece. I don’t do a blundercheck of holding the piece on the square for a few seconds, to make sure it isn’t really a blunder, as Isaac Martinez once used to do (he made Expert, then quit chess for music). I consider that bad form.
I thought about resigning, but Paul took five minutes to show up at the board, then five minutes playing 16.e4, which struck me as rather odd, and so I decided to play on. Paul prances around quickly while the position is even, then slows to a crawl once he is winning. I was surprised at one point that he had gotten down to 17 minutes, much of his time spent after my blunder. In fact, after 16…f6, he was going to play 17.Qc1 to torture me on the clock some more, seemingly. I guess once he is an hour up on the clock, if not already winning by then, then he can allow himself to play for a win with a massive time-advantage.
Anyway, 25…Qd2?? I missed 25…Rd4 in time-pressure, though it was still a lost position here.
I did spend some time looking at the game and opening with an engine, but it’s not really pertinent to what happened in the game.
One of the real tests of analysis comes when defending rather than attacking. Attacking is usually more pattern-recognition. Defending tests one’s methodology more, when remembering and choosing between lines.
Ironically, before this game I would get to sleep by midnight, and got tired during the game, and afterward I am back to getting to sleep later and waking up later. Some players such as Paul seem to have boundless energy even at 1am. The thing I like least about Tuesdays is the late start time, as I don’t believe I would have played so poorly during the day. Even if life was only about chess, the late start time would still make it difficult for a player to alternate between early morning weekend events, and late night weekday events.
I’ve seen Paul play one weekend event that I can recall over the seven years I have played in CO. He appeared out of it, his results were off, lost many rating points. His analysis was just as sharp as ever, but he appeared to have trouble holding his thoughts together, which is exactly what has happened to me many times on Tuesdays nights, in long games.