This game is infuriating, not because of the poor way I played the early middle game but because I had it WON, and still managed to blunder it away and lose at the end. It was a Scandinavian against a 1683, who at the time was rated 197 points better than me.
I think this game showed me that when I'm ahead I need to think about what I'm doing, but still kind of "go with my gut" as the moves that I was going to make but then dismissed and went with a second idea which I didn't think out very well turned out to be duds which cost me the game. Maybe a better way to put it is to look closer at secondary ideas before immediately playing them like an idiot.
8. Bd2 Better is Bf4, the queen, while active really isn't doing anything on a5, and save for some cheap tactical threats there is nothing that this move does for my position. Better to take up the good diagonal that the queen is going to. Also, since his defense is so compact I should use my space and spread out.
10... h5?! At first I thought this a good move. All of his play was saying "I want your King" and this will sacrifice the Bishop to open the h file and bring his rook into the game. But I found a refutation to it later in the game and won the Bishop for little more than a pawn.
11. Bg5 Better here is hxg4. I didn't play it originally because of the mate threats on h2, though that can be stopped after 11. hxg4 hxg4 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Qxe5 14. g3! I saw this whole line in the game, except for the g3 which stops his mate threat in it's tracks. I don't count this one in my "go with the first idea" thing because it was so tactically heavy and I didn't do it because I didn't see the move that stopped mate 5 moves away.
12. a3 Up to this point I'd been playing very reactionary with no plan whatsoever and realized that if this kept up I was going to be analyzing this game a lot sooner than I wanted to, and not because I'd won it early. So I figured I'd start pushing some pawns on the Queenside to try and attack c6 or maybe get my Knight on c5. While this isn't as good as hxg4, at least it's a plan.
13...Rde8 I assume this is a "quiet waiting move" however it takes his rook off of a very good file for no reason.
14. Na4 I decided to play Na4 because I didn't like my original idea of b5 since he could just play c5 and though it would weaken his King a little I didn't like the looks of my pawns then, so I figured I'd play the knight either to c5 to try and open the center or play c4 and c5 and then b5.
15. Bxe7 I finally see the g3 ending to the combination winning the Bishop without losing the game! But I decide to take some more pieces off the board first so I trade off the dark squared Bishop and prepare to win a piece.
17... f6 I had seen this possibility when figuring this out and though I expected him to take with the knight I knew I could counterattack the e4 Knight.
20. g3! Had I only seen this move much earlier I would look impressive, but seeing as how it was 5 moves away that's about the limit of my foresight in all but endings.
21. Qxd4 Better is Bxg6 keeping him from doubling, I was torn as to which to play and while this one wins an extra pawn (the reason I chose it) I could have avoided many problems with Bxg6 slowing him down considerably.
22. Qxa7 After he doubled I looked at his options and my Bishop protects any checks and after I take the pawn I can come back to protect g3. Maybe pawn grabbing isn't a good idea here,but I figured if I just held on and slowly increased my advantage through pawns the game would be easy when I forced the trades to go into an endgame.
27. Qxg4 After this my defense is solid and I'm a piece and 2 pawns ahead
28. c4 This is a poor move. Better is my first choice of Re7 which causes issues with Kc8 after Rd1 and/or Rd8 when the rook becomes very passive.
31... Rxf1+ Giving more material for very little. Had I not blundered so badly so many times this should have been the last coffin nail.
Better is my first idea of Qf4 (I almost set it there too! I wish FICS had a touch move rule
) I had forgotten why I wanted to move the queen in the first place and I was worried about the ghost of Rf8 and then Qa7 check, not thinking that Rf8 is easily answered with Qxf8 simplifying to a very won game.
34. gxh4 Even after losing the exchange for my queen the game is still in my favor, if I had just held on here and made sound moves I would have won.
39. Kf1? Thinking he was going for repetition I thought I would be cute and get another 15 seconds (the increment) I was down to just under 10 minutes left now and was worried about time for some reason. Better is what I wanted to do, Kf3.
40. Re1? For some reason I thought this would stop Ne3+, smart, huh?
45. Re7?? 3 mistakes in 5 moves, the other 2 being useless check, no wonder I gave him all my good pieces left in one fell swoop. Again, still mad about earlier I didn't realize that I was about to lose the rook on e1 and then the rook on e7. It wouldn't have been any prettier if I had gift wrapped it.
And for Armis
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