I've started another 4-game match with a willing participant - Nygren.
This series started off with a win for me. The game can be replayed here.
After he moved 16...Qb6 threatening Qxe3+ or otherwise trying to offer the exchange of queens, I took 23 minutes and 43 seconds trying to decide whether to pull the trigger or to continue adding pressure. I wasn't sure which line was (if any) was safe. I looked at Qf7+ quite a bit. I figured the K would end up at b8 and it would be a tough fight trying to extricate him from that square ... plus, if the air went out of my attack, my own K was quite exposed. So then I started thinking about other options and Bb5 came up. It defended the e3 pawn, attacked his knight. Plus, I figured I could get my rooks doubled up on the d-file and the odds of attack were pretty good. But again, I was worried that his K would fully escape; that I'd lose pieces; that my K would be unsafe. So I took a really long time on this move. Not sure what Fritz says yet, but it'll be interesting to see what he thinks.
So after Bb5, he played the expected Ne5 and I followed up with Rd1. Then he played Qa5+ ... I was actually happy about this move ... it would let my king get off the back rank to let the other R into the game. Then he played 19...Kf6 attacking my N. Another decision ... do I pull the trigger or defend the N? I figured his K was essentially trapped at this point if I defended the N. After h4, he had to defend against my Qe6#. He played 20...Qb6.
I figured I needed another couple of moves to really set this up. So I played 21. Rd7 - figuring if he took with the N, I could deliver check with my Q; my B is still attacking d7; I could swing the other R over to d and my N is still providing cover. He responded 21...Rc2+ - caught me a bit by surprise. I really had no choice but to play Kd1. Afterward, he was analyzing the game and said that 22...Rc4 was probably better. But instead he played to double the rooks and that left my N to finish the game.
Game 23 is tomorrow against silencehunter - for all the marbles (or a draw). It's tied 1.5 to 1.5.
As always, if anyone still reading this blog wants to join a 4-game series (75 15) with me, let me know. Message me on FICS, leave a comment, email me at hotmail (my handle at hotmail.com) and we can schedule.