Unfortunately, I felt there wasn't a whole lot to learn from on the board.
The thing that sucks the most is that he plays the Vienna and I have studied the black side of the Vienna but I just totally forgot all of it. There were two guys at the club here in Taipei who sometimes play it as white against e5, so I had booked up a bit. This kind of thing just doesn't stay with me much though. So when I saw him play 2. Nc3 I was kind of upset because I know that this is a line where a lot can go wrong for black in the opening if he doesn't know what he's doing. To be honest, I think this was a mental toughness issue. My opponent was rated over 2000, which according to the ratings I was used to meant he would be super good. I knew the line was dangerous and that I probably couldn't remember much. I think I probably mentally folded pretty much on move 2 because looking back at the game, I don't really remember thinking much about my moves or calculating anything, and it was over very quickly both in terms of moves and time.
So, in terms of lessons. 1) While in general I downplay the value of studying openings for myself, there are clearly times when I should. Yes, it's good for me to have some Ruy lines memorized and to be set to play against the Italian, but if I am going to play 1...e5 I clearly have to be prepared against some of these less frequent but sharp lines and if I want to compete I have to review them if I can't remember them. 2) As I said above, I think in some ways I sort of shut down and didn't really put full effort into the game. It's not something I consciously thought or noticed at the time, but looking back it's pretty clear I wasn't putting much effort into the game. I should have just buckled down and at least tried to avoid disaster by actually calculating stuff.
Carlos Diaz - me
Site: Duluth, MN
[...] 1.e4 e5 2.♘c3 ♘f6 I did remember that this was probably the move I am supposed to make. 3.f4 ♘c6 I remembered learning that taking the f-pawn is very bad for black, but I forgot what to do. I played Nc6 just hoping it was ok. The database shows this as very bad (many fewer games and a very big jump in winning percentage for white). The right move that I had learned before is d5 here. 4.♘f3 d5 5.exd5 ♘xd5 6.fxe5 ♗g4 I made this move because it developed a piece and pinned the knight, threatening the e-pawn. Considering what happened though. Probably developing the king's bishop in order to castle as quickly as possible was the better try. (6...♗c5 7.d4 ♗b6 8.♗b5 O-O) (6...♗e7 7.d4 (7.♗b5 ♗d7)) 7.♗b5 ♗c5 My idea here was to develop bishop, preparing to castle, and to prevent him from castling. 8.h3 ♗xf3 (8...♗h5 9.g4 ♗g6 10.♗xc6 bxc6) 9.♕xf3 ♘xc3 My idea was just to get rid of this situation. Again, I wasn't really calculating anything I was just sort of jumping on the first reasonable looking idea that came into my head. (9...♘de7 Maybe a better try.) 10.♗xc6 bxc6 (10...♔f8 11.♕xc3 ♗d4 12.♕a3) 11.♕xc6
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