In which I scrape a draw with a twelve year old girl.

DavidEricAshby
DavidEricAshby
Mar 23, 2018, 4:45 PM |
2
"At least you didn't lose" said my wife, echoing my sentiments too. However if I would have lost, I could not have lost to a nicer young girl, who smiled at me wryly as I squirmed uncomfortably through the worst of a kingside attack that very nearly finished me off. In the computer analysis that I conducted immediately afterwards, I found that there were a couple of strong moves available that my opponent missed at the height of the kingside attack, but even knowing what the strong moves were, I couldn't immediately see why they were good moves, and so my opponent could certainly be forgiven for missing them under time pressure. In the end, I repelled the king side attack, the position was about even, with me a pawn down and with 5 min to play whilst my opponent had two minutes on the clock and offered a draw, which I gladly accepted. Out of the team of four from Cheddleton H, three were from the same family with mum on board one and her children on boards 3 and 4. 
 
Lessons to learn from the game for me.
1) Look out for overloaded pieces. My pawn on g7 was defending a pawn on h6 and a knight on f6, enabling my opponent to steal the h6 pawn with impunity
2) Playing the French Defence as black, moving the bishop to g4 to attack the knight on f3 in the opening, Ruy Lopez style is not a great idea. The d pawn is protected by the Queen and so that threat inherent in the Ruy Lopez is not present in the French Defence.
3) I was surprised that the computer seemed to like my Queen's counter attack on the Queen side with Qb3 during the kingside attack. At the time, I thought that I was bluffing my opponent, and I thought that I probably wasn't playing the best move. The lesson is that sometimes I can trust my instincts to counter attack a little.
 
A question for me to ponder later and for me or another to answer in the comments boxes.
1) Seen from White's perspective, why are the strong moves that would have finished me off, good, and how would it have been possible to spot them and identify them under time pressure in an OTB game?