18 & 19
2/9/13 and 2/10/13 Polgar 5334: 336, Chess School 1a: 460, BF: Done, LC: 1, WC: Begin
Had rough game with MicMic early this morning. He played some weird defense that I hadn't played before and before I knew it I was a pawn or two down. I didn't really care though because I had him squeezed tight and had a good attack going. Then the wheels started to come off my wagon. He was about to win a pawn and the exchange so I decided to sacrifice the exchange to save the pawn and keep my attack going but he countered everything I had planned to do. I had one major fork in the road. Since I was way down, I was planning to attack his king and force a draw by repetition. I tried to calculate it out sacrificing a knight and pawn to gain time to get the drawing repetition going but after a lot of thought, it looked like he might be able to get out of it if he picked the right moves, so I decided to go on the defensive and try to pick off all of his isolated pawns, instead of attacking his king, and maybe something would turn up.
Once some more pieces got off the board it was easier for me to figure stuff out. We got into a Rook and Pawn vs Knight and 2 Pawn Endgame. Even though I was down the exchange, his rook was awkward while my knight was giving 110%. I was hoping for a draw but my pawn on the 6th rank was creating a lot of pressure. Finally, MicMic made a mistake and took the backwards pawn giving my advanced pawn a clear run for the border and he resigned. I figured that he could exchange his rook for my two pawns and then we'd have a knight vs pawn and a draw.
My main problem throughout the game was my constant hope of his making the wrong move or not seeing my plan. I was giving away pawns and the exchange to keep attacks going where the attack looked beautiful and would work perfectly if he overlooked a subtle move. The problem is he defended all my threats and I had given away my pawns and the exchange for nothing. I really shouldn't gamble on my opponent not seeing a combination no matter how awesome it is. It is just that everytime I saw a possible attack on his king, I said to myself who cares about a pawn or two when I can mate him if he doesn't see it coming. MicMic saw everything coming. The only thing that gave me a chance for a draw in the game was my advanced pawn and all of his isolated and doubled pawns. The game was draining. So excited with hopeful attacks in the beginning and barely hanging on for life in the second half of the game. The other lesson learned is to hang in there, people make mistakes and anything can happen.