Almost a big scalp


Just a few hours ago, I played a very interesting game. It is a part of the ongoing club tournament, and today I faced last year's winner and one of the strongest players in our club. Being rated above 2000, he has 600 points on me. Suffice to say I was not expecting much of a score from this game.

The game started as a quite normal queen's gambit declined, although through transposition. I managed to blunder a pawn in the opening, and thought long and hard to find a way to keep my position together. And I think I managed to find an interesting solution. After 17 moves, we arrived at the position below. There is a lot going on, and my opponent spent about 25 minutes calculating. I told a friend to poke him to see if he was still alive, but I was told he had just moved, so we waited.


Can you find the continuation for black?

After the smoke cleared, I had managed to equalize the position, and we quickly found ourselves in a simplified endgame.



The computer tells me that this is a strong advantage for white, but I could not see a good follow up, so I tried to push the pawn, but went for the draw when I realized it did not work. We reached a rook and pawn endgame with symmetrical pawn structures. It should have been a dead draw, but I managed to blunder.

The critical position


So with my final and decisive blunder, the game ended in a much expected loss. But the route to that loss was far from expected. I blundered a pawn in the opening - as I so often do. But then I regained both initiative and material and actually managed to get a nice advantage. I failed to make use of it and went for the draw... and then lost. But I held my own against a much stronger opponent - for 54 moves. So I am not so torn up about the loss. But still, it would have been nice to get that scalp.