I want to continue my Rob Deer / favorite losses series of chess posts. However, I can’t seem to find the score I’m looking for – a loss to John Kirby in which I played a piece sacrifice that literally caused one spectator’s jaw to drop open in surprise. (Unfortunately, obviously, the sacrifice didn’t work.)
Fear of losing is a real killer in chess. Freedom from fear is a big factor in creativity and, ultimately, in achieving good results. When you’re the statistical underdog by a huge margin, that tends to provide just that sort of freedom. After all, if I lose to an IM, who’s surprised?
Slater (1989) – IM Foygel (2489), Metrowest Chess Club 20051.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 d6 5.h3 Nd7 6.Be2 Qc7 7.0-0 Ngf6 8.a4 a5 9.Re1 0-0 10.Be3 Rd8 11.Qd2 e5 12.Rad1 exd4 13.Bxd4 Nf8
White is going to sacrifice a couple of pawns here in exchange for a very active rook on Black’s back rank. And some vague threats against f8 and f7. I should note here that Igor has beaten me in 9 rated games, many of them quite ugly thrashings. Why not swing for the fences? As I noted earlier, every once in a while Rob hit one out. In this case I am luckily aided by an apparent oversight – I think Igor simply overlooked 21.Bd3.
14.e5 dxe5 15.Bxe5 Rxd2 16.Bxc7 Rxc2 17.Rd8 Rxb2 18.Ne5 Rc2 19.Nb1 Nd5 20.Bd6 b5 21.Bd3 Rb2 22.Nxc6 Bb7 23.Rxa8 Bxa8 24.Bxb5 Ne6 25.Rd1 Bxc6 26.Bxc6 Nb4 27.Bb5 Bd4 28.Nd2 Nd5 29.Ne4 Nc3 1/2-1/2.
Even here, if he played on it’s likely that he would end up crushing me. But we were both short on time and he perhaps decided to avoid potential accidents, since I have the two bishops.