John Bartholomew 45+45 Simul game analysis

John Bartholomew 45+45 Simul game analysis

Feb 1, 2018, 11:37 PM |
John Bartholomew generously hosted a chess simul hosted at
Many thanks to @Fins0905 for the game. In case you or others there are watching - I'm NuclearRodent on twitch. I think I play about 1 slow game a year (often a simul!) so this was a real treat for me and I find them both a real test of where my chess is really at as well as using them as a learning opportunity. Most of the time, I'm just having fun with speed chess. One day, I'd like to know what my OTB rating would be since I'm sure I'm sure I'm relatively much stronger at slow play than fast.
Here's my initial human look at the game with the thinking I had during the game
I feel overall I played well by not clearly blundering but I felt I was slowly outplayed throughout although I was also happy I defended as well as I did. I do have a sneaking feeling we both missed some big chances in there somewhere.
Aside from missed tactics (to be posted below) which can be checked with an engine, I'd be grateful for help in terms of thought processes on the game itself!
UPDATED: With some key points from the engine
1) Although White was indeed better for most of the game, once the white kingside attack got underway, black was not worse at all! In fact, I wasn't really much worse at any point in the game apparently.
It just shows how in human games, initiative is valued more than a cold engine evaluation. For most of the game, I didn't have any initiative - I was just trying to hold on. I thought I'd blown the game after overlooking 24 Rf3!! but the engine says it isn't much!
Also, I think there is the element of playing a much strong player when you think everything is about to go wrong because you're supposed to lose. It seems I played better than I felt
2) It wasn't White that missed the win in the tactical situations but black!
Okay, so the engine says that's the winning move but I didn't try to follow the engine analysis. Instead, I treated it like tactics trainer (which I'm pretty good at) but aftr 5 minutes of staring, I don't get why it wins! Might be an interesting study.
3) I blundered at the end but I thought I was either winning or losing. It turns out the engine says it should have been a draw with a couple of strong moves

 If had seen I was going to blunder mate, this move was my second choice but I don't know if I would have figured out the follow-up



Things to still figure out from this game

  • What alternative opening plans did I have available? It wasn't a plan to give a stronger player the initiative all opening/middle for nothing. Could I have mixed things up more?
  • Why does the move in puzzle 2 win and is there anything to learn from it? At the moment, I'm concluding it is an engine move I'd never see
  • I misevaluated most of the game vs the engine evaluation. What can I learn from that?