Last weekend saw rounds 3 and 4 of the 4NCL season played at Staverton Park (Division 1 and 2) and Daventry Court Hotel (Division 3 South). I was moved up to the first team for this weekend and played on board 7 both days.
On Saturday, e2e4.org.uk 1 was paired against Sambuca Sharks, a match they hoped to win or at least draw. However, it turned into a complete disaster, with Sambuca Sharks winning easily 5.5-2.5.
My game saw me reach a more or less winning position out of the opening. However, I then proceded to use up far too much time from move 20 onwards, and so got into terrible time trouble. Unsurprisingly, I then committed as series of blunders to turn a win into a draw and then into a loss.
It has to be said that this is not an isolated incident, and that this season I have been allowing myself to get into time trouble far too frequently. In this game I think my specific problem was that from move 20 I tried to find a forcing continuation to realise my advantage. However, the correct approach was to place Black’s pieces on their best squares, and look to unravel gradually. Attempting to find a forcing continuation used up a lot of time, but only led to moves that I could have played much more quickly. Also, when I did need to calculate, I had much less time left than I needed to do so reliably.
I give the game below with some notes.