02 March 2015

Annotated Game #142: Out of book on move 2 (!)

This third-round tournament game was notable for throwing me out of book on move 2, which is about as quick as possible in a serious game (short of White playing 1. h4 or the like).  In reaction, I chose a solid setup, which while good enough did not challenge White as much as it should have.  My opponent's provocative play starting on move 7 essentially provoked me into seizing a positional advantage, although I did not make the best of it.

The remainder of the game proved to be a seesaw back and forth; my main error was in giving too much credence to White's ephemeral kingside attack.  The unusual material balance that White (correctly) chose (3 minor pieces vs. queen) finally lent some real initiative to him on the kingside, but I spotted a key tactical sacrifice on the d-file that opened the position to my counterplay and should have led to a Black win, although the situation was complicated.  In the end, I was satisified with the draw, while if I had better understood the rook endgame we ended up in, I could have pressed for a win.

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