The joys of adversity
In my game against Zarko I blundered away a piece early in the opening. This placed both me and him into a specific mindset, I as the underdog faced with the challenge of saving a lost game, he with the onus of converting the piece surplus into a win.
Unlike in rapid games, a piece advantage should lead to a win in a turn-based game against a reasonable opponent. I accepted this game as a challenge - how to defend carefully, make life difficult for my opponent and wrest a draw.
I managed to win two pawns, so that Zarko was faced with my three passed pawns against his piece advantage, a prospect that would have made me nervous in his place. However, I was pretty sure that he still had the winner mindset, so when he had the opportunity to force a draw by perpetual check he did not take it, as I expected.
From being the cautious defender I changed to aggressor, advancing a pawn to the 7th rank, and virtually freezing his pieces. I kept up the pressure, he blundered and then resigned.
It was a good learning experience for me, as normally I resign if I lose a piece without compensation.