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As I always say, always calculate 1 move further than you think you need to. You may be surprised!
I missed that Bb5 move Ian, I should have calculated a bit more, good spot!
25.Bxa4 26.e5?? Bb5.
18.Bxe3 19.fxe3 Nc4 and an even worse pawn structure for him than what he ended up with.
If 25... Bxa4 then 26.e5! On 18...Bxe3 first, I still think I would have taken the Knight on f3 afterwards; it looks like the same outcome to me, just a different move order.
Also 18.Bxe3 at a glance seems better.
Too bad. You played well.
I'm interested though as to why you couldn't just win a pawn on move 25?
Also, I like "Opponent, An" but it was not very sporting to deny the legendary "NN" a rare win.
I think you are right Sam, it seems better. I'm sure I considered it, but it's difficult sometimes to pick the best move when you have a few candidate moves. Thanks for your observations!
What about move 29. ... Rc3? The queen looks to be in an imposing position threatening the check on F3 and it can also contribute to pressure on the E3 pawn at a later point. Also the white's Re8+ doesn't seem to be much of a threat because of the hanging bishop and pawn it would leave. Just an idea.
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