I equalized nicely out of the opening, reaching a nice position on move 11:
I wasn’t able to come up with any good ideas — upon review, I should have either gone O-O-O or played Bc5 and baited him into d4 before O-O.
By four moves later I had already let him build up some nice tactical threats and a better position:
I could have held a reasonable position with Nf6 or Bf6, but I didn’t see the threat on g7 and got killed quickly after Qd8 Nxc6.
Happy with my opening, bad middlegame idea generation.
We’ve got the white side of a sicilian, which is a particular weakness of mine right now:
Luckily we played a variation that I remember pretty well:
Nf6 is not one of the main moves for black, here are Master games:
Though apparently very common at my level:
The main idea here is in most variations is to reroute the a3 knight to c4 then to e3, which I remembered.
It looks like that still works, though Bg5 is popular:
From all games:
Bg5 has good results and is by far more common, so I was thinking maybe I should remember that.
But then I checked out the master games:
Nc4 still not played, but notably has never lost in 20 games!!
I looked down and saw Anand! Ok, let’s see what he plays. Turns out both of those games are Nc4. We’ll stick with Nc4.
Back to our game. If I knew the Vishy plan, I would have tried g3 Bg2, but instead did something else and wound up winning a clean pawn:
However, my victory was short-lived, white to move, only one move keeps the advantage:
Should have been Qd3, where after taking on c3, the knight is always trapped. Whoops. Equal game.
I got one more chance to win the game with an only-move, but missed it again!
Re3!! I guess it should have been obvious the knight was trapped, but I just didn’t see it.
Then we traded down into a totally equal K+2R v K+2R end game, and I made a mistake I’ve made many times, pushing a passed pawn too far.
I shouldn’t have pushed the pawn so far, but once I did, I should have locked up the position like this:
I ended up losing the pawn and was unable to hold the end game with less time on the clock.
0-2 for the day!
White pieces, another sicilian, and luckily another one I remembered pretty well.
Quickly reaching this position:
Unfortunately, I did not remember that if he plays Be7, then I can play g4. I always think of this line, but I usually get it wrong.
I’m going to check out this game for an idea: https://lichess.org/GpYLkYVb
But my studies have been paying off! Only-move for white:
That’s right, Bxe6!!
Here I actually messed up the attack. I played Bh6, which is bad, I should have played Nf5.
After both fumbling around with the kingside attack, I finally untangled with the advantage:
He then played a few pretty bad moves and resigned after I began my mating attack:
Got a win!