Jim West Talks Chess: Missed Wins for Both Sides
On Saturday, my game at Hamilton NJ against national master Dragan Milovanovic [Black] ended in a draw, but not before both sides missed wins.
Milovanovic has just played 26...Nd3, attacking my bishop. The simplest way to maintain an equal position would have been 27.Bd2 Nxb2 28.Bb4 Kf7 29.Ke3 a5 30.Be1 Nd3 31.Bc3 Nc5 32.Bd4 e6 33.Bxc5 bxc5 34.Kxe4 Ke7. Instead I chose the more difficult 27.Kd1 Kf7 28.b3 Ke6 when the endgame is still a draw after 29.Bd2 Kf5 30.g3 Kg4 31.Ke2 Kh3 32.Ke3 Kxh2 33.Kxe4 Nc5+ 34.Kf3. The game continuation 29.Be3?? Kf5 30.g3 Kg4 31.Ke2 should have led to defeat after 31...Kh3 32.e6 Kxh2 33.g4 Nb4 34.f5 Nd5. My opponent's 31...e6?! allowed me to redeploy by 32.Bd2 Kh3 33.Ke3 Kxh2 34.Kxe4 Nc5+ 35.Kf3.
A few moves later, it was Black's turn to stumble into a lost position.
Black's last move 36...Kh3?? was a blunder. He should have played 36...Nd3 with equality. Now I missed a win by 37.Bxc5 bxc5 38.a3 a6 39.b4 c4 (39...h4 40.gxh4 cxb4 41.h5! gxh5 42.axb4 Kh4 43.f5 Kg5 44.f6) 40.a4 c3 41.Ke2 Kxg3 42.b5 axb5 43.a5! when the a-pawn will queen but the h-pawn will not. Instead 37.Bf2?! allowed Black to escape by 37...Nb7.