Frustration in the Opening
We all have friends that we play/practice against all the time. A lot of the time that person has an opening or system that frustrates the living daylights out of us. Lately for me it's been 1.Nf3. The subtlety of the move, and it's ability to transpose into a dozen openings, has been giving me fits. I prefer sharp openings (my repertoire consists of openings like the King's Gambit, Budapest Gambit, Latvian Gambit, Wolga Gambit, etc.) and the quiet positions that arise from 1.Nf3 make it difficult for me get through the middlegame. On the other hand, my friend is the complete opposite, and can get lost in the highly tactical lines I prefer. We've been playing a series and despite being up 2-1 I had a feeling that having the black pieces today I was destined to have the series tied at 2-2. This is how the game went:
And so I walked out the game with a win and 3-1 series lead. The end position looks drawish, but I'd accumulated close to a 30 minute lead. What I learned is that taking a player out of their familiar element can play an important part psychologically and help out your chances with the clock.