Regrouping after a blunder
In round five of the Idaho state championship, I squared off against my friend and club playing partner, tournament director Jeff Roland. Somehow I misremembered the start time and showed up 45 minutes late -- not a great way to start the day! Luckily, Jeff kept having to get up and take care of TD stuff, giving me time to catch up a bit on the clock, and I knew I'd get an extra hour after move 30 (the time control was 30/120, G/60 d5).
Jeff kind of fell asleep in the opening and quickly gave me two pawns; easy win, right? Well, not when your opponent has the initiative and you don't play the best defensive moves! On move 23, I got that horrible sinking feeling that comes when you make a mistake and immediately see how your opponent can exploit it. Luckily, I managed to take a deep breath and recover psychologically long enough to fend off Jeff's attack.