OTB Lessons Time
The following game was plaid at the recent Chess Nut Challenge at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. For those if you not from the Midwest, Moorhead is also known as the Fargo of Minnesota. The tournament was excellent, it's my favorite regional tournament so far. This first game was pretty annoying in that I made a mistake, and then I was rather upset at myself and lashed out quickly ending the game. Maybe that's better than struggling to hang on. What did I miss this game? I wasted many tempi. I'll defend Bxf3 as maybe not best but a playable idea, but only when combined with 10. Nc6.
Here's the critical position
Nc6 Qe3 Qc7, and it's a nice game. Instead I played Nfd7. I moved the same piece twice to move it a third time next move. That's two tempi, and then after Be2 and f4 it's another one. That would be too much to overcome. An interesting question is why did I do this?
When I played 8...Bxf3 my idea was to lure the queen to d4 and then gain a tempo back with the discovery while whittling away at white's center. Then I spent a good deal of time, too much time, trying to find some nifty discovery. But there just isn't any. Then I was also making sure after e5 I wasn't in big trouble having to move my knight and looking after the b7 pawn. That's where my knight jumping plan originated from even though Nc6 takes care of all that. After I plated Nfd7 I immediately saw f4 would be trouble and cursed by idiotic thinking process.
Lesson learned: Don't waste time in the opening unless you see something concrete and don't spend too much time looking. We all practice tactics and we'll see what we see based on our training. Looking 15 minutes instead of 5 doesn't tend to make much difference.
Here's the whole game with it's ugly conclusion