Black pieces, another scandi.
We leave my opening prep with the unusual but not obviously bad Be3:
This has been played just once by masters, two very strong players named Daniele (based on last names, looks like an Italian championship or something) in 2007: https://lichess.org/B3j22mzT/black#9
It has been played over 700 times in the lichess database, and the most popular response is e6, which blocks in black’s bishop and is bad! White wins 55%. Black keeps and edge with Bf5 or c6. I played Bf5.
Normal development and a queenside castle:
I then made a big blunder (we both still had 9 minutes!) not calculating where his knight would be after a capture, just too cute:
But he decided to keep pushing his pawns, not seeing my threat, and I took a huge lead:
By move 17 we were here:
I managed to win his queen and mop up his pieces in clinical fashion:
I got the white pieces and we opened with some weird shit:
I was like, is this a french? caro-kann? IDK. As far as I can tell, this has never been reached by masters in this move order (e4 first), but has been reached 6 times. White does really well (whoops). I played Nc3, treating it like a french, which is fine. It’s the third most popular by high rated players on lichess and scores as well as anything else (actually, Nd2 scores the best by a bit with just 700 games played).
Big problems when he plays d5 and I played e5! That is not the right thing to do!
Almost anything else is fine, but now he can play c5 and is just equalizing already. Oof.
The position before e5 is played has actually been reached (by transposition) by masters about 40 times, and they mostly play Nf3 and score really well.
I eventually made a big mistake choosing where to put my queen. I ended up going to e2 which made it basically impossible to castle:
I finally castled long, but ended up getting crushed, his attack was world’s faster:
We have the black pieces and ended up in a typical scandi position:
This has been reached 10 times by masters, and black does well if he knows to play e5. I, ahem, did not. I played f5, which the engine says is fine, but isn’t the idea.
Because I never played e5, my attack is slower than his and I have no counterplay:
I went on to get crushed, and sadly missed the simple tactic here that keeps the material equal (if not the position):
I felt like I was really close to getting enough counterplay for a draw, but the knight on d2 was too good of a defender of f3: