Yesterday I wrote about how I'd played chess in my school days. In those days I got involved with the UK Chess Challenge, not as a player, but doing section control (e.g. the pairings) and board marshalling. This competition was run by a man called Mike Basman, who lived just down the road from me.
Since we lived so close he'd often drive me to tournaments. For the further flung ones I'd often have to navigate and in the car we'd talk chess. He introduced me to an unusual opening, although I never used it with that much sucess. So I tried it in an unrated game:
Unlike yesterday, I don't think I displayed the same timidity in attack that last me that game. This time I mostly failed to attack with accuracy, and that cost me the game.
After writing the analysis above, I went back over the game with a computer. (Stockfish 6)
The computer analysis suggests I should have played d3 quite early, to dislodge that annoying e pawn.
However, the computer rating is fairly steady until 10. Nxe4, at which point it shows black a piece ahead. Whatever tactic I thought I had was clearly unsound, or maybe I just overlooked it. There is no question that 10. fxg3 was the way to go. Failing to play it on move 11 cost me further.
I was quite fortunate that black played 18. Ne5 which allowed me to equalise the position again.
The next key position is this one:
However, even as late as move 29. white isn't doing too badly, and can probably get a draw. Sadly the e-pawn push was rash and unproductive.
After I push my c-pawn, the game is effectively over. I cannot avoid losing a rook.
And so: what have I learned from this game: beware of tactics against you. Don't forget to recapture.