Another short sicilian, this time lost

Feb 12, 2012, 2:20 PM |

I decided recently to give live chess a try. Time factor makes a big difference between live and online chess, especially if you are not used to timed play. But let's just follow the game. The game was a standard 15:10 live chess match, I had black. 

The game started as hyper-accelerated dragon:
1.e4, c5; 2.Nf3, g6; 3.d4, c:d4; 4.N:d4, Nc6; 5. Nc3, Bg7; 6. Be3, d6. Last book move. Next came the over-cautious 7.a3 and after 7...Nf6 my opponent played 8. Bb5 hoping for N:c6, b:c6; B:c6+ forking the king and rook. I defended with simple 8...Bd7, the we both castled, 9.o-o; o-o; Here white withdrawed the knight 10.Nf3 and I asked the question to the bishop with 10... a6. Bishop was exchanged for the knight 11.B:c6, b:c6  - good for me (I have the bishop pair). Now 12.e5 was  easily refuted by 12...Ng4 and white can move the bishop but then I can win the pawn, so my opponent decided to play 13.e:d6. Now things start to complicate. But I like complications like Kasparov (he used to say: "complications are my territory"). Of course I am not nearly as good as him so I often go wrong in them but anyway, it is good for developing analytical skills and tactical vision. OK, what to do now ? If I play e:d6 his queen will develop to d6 so I thought it would be better to play N:e3. So 13.N:e3; 14.f:e3. He could also play d:e7 but then after Q:e7 and f:e3 I would play Q:e3 with check.
Now I have to decide what to do. I don't like e:d6, Q:d6 so I decided to play 14...Bg4 to pin his knight and wait for the capture. 14. d:e7, Q:e7. Now he has to defend e3. 16.Qe2, Rfe8; 17. Rae1 and now 17... Rab8 to capture the pawn removing the defender of the knight. White ignored the threat and went for a pawn: 18.Q:a6. So I go for the knight: 18...R:b2. Now my pieces are very active and the defense of the c3 knight is a little bit tricky. My opponent went for the second pawn instead... 19. Q:c6. With proper play it should be an easy win for me. With proper play... After analysis it is apparent that I should play B:f3 first and then play R:c2 but in the game I played the 19...R:c2 immediatelly believing that I am pinning the kinght to the queen. But there is a defense - Qa4 attacking my undefended bishop (because of this I should exchange it first). My opponent didn't play Qa4 but instead 20. Nd4. This is an interesting position. What you would play now ? After I while I saw that I can actually capture the knight ! After 20... N:d4!, 21. e:d4; Q:e1 my opponent can't take the queen because of R:e1, R:e1 mate. Counting material I am rook for the pawn to the good. But my opponent didn't resign but instead played 22. Qc4. What should I do now ? When you are winning play safely ... I should ask myself - what my opponent can do to me ? The answer was: he can play Qf7 and mate in three. But I didn't ask this important question. I was in this deceptive mood called "I am winning !". And I turned a victory into a loss with 22.Q:c3?? (two question marks) hoping for exchange of queens etc. To my surprise my opponent played the correct 23.Q:f7+ and won two moves later. The moral is: "enjoy your victory only after checkmate or resignation of your opponent, not a single move before".