18…Rd8? My intuition told me to blitz/play 18…Re8, but I tried to figure out why. I thought that I could respond …Nb6 after 19.Ba5, but then I remembered the pin on the long diagonal. Somehow the intuition can spot and remember even when the brain is too tired to consciously do this. I got plenty of sleep, but I’m still not used to staying up so late from the sleep-schedule flip last week.
Even though it should be equal after 18…Re8, I’m confident that Josh would have beaten me another way had I not messed up on this move. Black’s position is much harder to play than White’s, and I didn’t have enough mental energy to do it. I blundered my rook and resigned, although Josh wasn’t looking at it, hadn’t reached for it. Doesn’t matter, he showed me a bunch of winning plans for White after the game. I felt a bit overwhelmed, playing such a technical position as this. Like I’ve said before, it’s the technical positions that can really wear one out. I managed to equalize in the wild-and-crazy phase of the game.
I am in awe of Masters, they can never let themselves have energy let-down issues, and are always full of ideas, in many given positions they can find brilliant ideas.
I want to throw out this game that I just played on Lichess as food for thought. I figured during the whole game that were I to win it would be based on defensive skills. At one point I played 15…Bc7 without any conscious thought. My immediate reaction was “Why did I not just take the pawn?” Even after asking myself this question, I still did not see that White had a royal fork on b6, which my bishop move just prevented.
This isn’t dumb-luck, or I wouldn’t even mention it. This is subconscious, intuitive, pattern-recognition which isn’t easily understood by the part of the brain that tries to apply reason. This part of the brain that tries to be “reasonable, yay even rational” is a complete duffer at chess, never understood chess never will – it’s like it wants to try and apply coupons to a game of chess.
I mean, the above logic is exactly what lead me to play 18…Rd8? instead of 18…Re8 in my game. My intuition told me not to do it, but the coupon-cutter part of my brain that doesn’t understand chess beyond winning material and putting the rook on a less blocked file, wanted me to do it. Even for such a seemingly simple blunder-check analysis, I find that it actually takes a massive amount of energy to try and overcome the inertia of intuition, once the intuition takes over and starts playing the game for you. Part of playing in a reduced time scenario is relying on the intuition. After the game we want to analyze why each move was played, but the reality is that this is not how chess is often played OTB at the time the game is being played, given this particular situation that I described, which is very intuitive.
[Event “June Swiss”]
[White “Josh Bloomer”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 c5 8. dxc5
Na6 9. Na3 Qa5 10. Nxc4 Qxc5 11. Be3 Qh5 12. Nfe5 Nb4 13. Qb3 Nfd5 14. Bd2 b5
15. g4 bxc4 16. Qg3 Qh4 17. Qxh4 Bxh4 18. Bxb4 Rd8 19. Ba5 Re8 20. Nxc4 Ba6 21.
b3 Bf6 22. Rac1 Be7 23. e3 Rac8 24. Rfd1 Bxc4 25. Rxc4 Rxc4 26. bxc4 Nb6 27.
Bf1 Rc8 28. Rc1 Na4 29. Rb1 Nc5 30. Bc3 h6 31. Bd4 Kf8 32. Rb5 Bd6 33. Ra5 Rc7
34. Bg2 f6 35. h4 e5 36. Bc3 Ke7 37. Bd5 a6 38. h5 Ra7 39. Bd2 Kd7 40. e4 Kc7
41. Be3 Nd3 1-0