Vortex September 2013, Round 1: Reed v Todhunter (0-1)
G/30, d5, loss - White with Caro-Kann, 3.Nc3, lack luster play, capped off by a blunder at the end
Long week, and this is OTB on a Saturday, bright and early in the morning. I was still getting my head wrapped around playing OTB at all, and focusing on this game. I don't think my play was too bad, and even Houdini said afterwards +/= for much of the game... but my play did lack verve and determination...
I drank coffee, but in a G/30, there just wasn't enough time for it to matter and wake me up. That would be the next round. I try not to let our 400 point rating difference affect my attitude, lol.
On to the game...
We open with Caro-Kann, and I play the classic 3.Nc3 variation. Lately I'm tired of obscure openings and variations, and have decided to play as mainstream as I can. If it is good enough for masters...
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 e6 7. Bd3 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 Nf6. Here White is pleased with his development, and searching for a plan. Being a bit tired, White thinks to castle and pin the Nf6 Knight, a bit lightweight, but safe in this position.
9.O-O Bd6 10.Bg5 Nbd7 (counteract the pin). Play continues in a ho hum way... 11.Rfe1 O-O 12.Rad1 Qc7 13. Qe2 c5 14.c3 a6 15.Ne5 cxd4 16.cxd4. Keep the tension and Houdini thinks White's position is active. 16...Bb4.
17.Rc1 Qb6 18.Red1 Nxe5 19.dxe5 +/=
19...Nd5 20.Kh1 Rac8 21.a3 Be7 22.Bxe7 Nxe7 23.Rc2 Nd5 and the game wears on, and I'm still not waking up yet. Nonetheless, I figure if I can double my Rooks, and get some threats going, maybe I can hold out for a draw. 24.Rdc1 Rxc2 25.Qxc2, should I take with the Rook? 25...Qd4, by taking with the Queen, did I let his Queen in to easy? 26.Qe2, and since Black now "feels" like he is getting his way, I'm wondering if his 400 point rating difference is starting to show? 26...Nf4 27.Qe3 Qxe3 28.fxe3 Nd3, I'm starting to wake up but now I'm wondering if my play all along has been suspect (it hasn't), and what do I do about the fork, etc. I briefly considered Rc7, enhancing Rook activity, but then was thinking about saving the b2 pawn (wrong!), and forgot about the Rook.