I'll confess - I generally spend less than 30 seconds looking at any given move in any given game. But every once in a while a move will come up that is so critical and where I believe there should be a forcing win. And when that happens I can stare at the board for days. In the game below I took 5 days to make a move, and still didn't get it. In fact, it wasn't even on my list of candidate moves. So sad.
Why not? Because it wasn't a forcing move. It was one of those weirdo moves that only very strong players see. It was almost like a waiting move. I mean, my opponent was so tied up in knots (sorry dude!) that he couldn't improve his position (despite having soundly outplayed me for most of the game).
I get in these kinds of positions particularly when I am in danger of losing the game and go aggro-offensive. I don't know why I can't play like this normally, but anyway, here is the position - see if you can find the winner...
Can you find the best move in the diagram above?
I couldn't :( It was too subtle, too patient.
Below is the game with full annotations by Rybka.
So I looked at everything (I thought). Bxf7, Nxf7, Qf5, Bxg7. I figured that Nxf7 was the best move and saw the whole combo, but couldn't get around the perpetual check. My opponent saw it too (which is why we drew early). But if I had seen the key move that keeps the pressure but stops the perpetual threat... 31. Bc4!! I would have won quite a pretty one. Instead, I won a good learning lesson.
Maybe next time...