This post is in response to a number of the comments I got regarding Adult Knightmares Redux. I decided to look at my past games with Kevin and see what is happening. This is my very first game against him back in February 2006. He was rated 1253 at the time. He was on the first of one of his breakthroughs. He had beaten a provisionally rated 1800 in the first round. In the meantime I got nicked for a draw by one of the kids from a lunch time chess class I teach. This was only the third time he was playing in a tournament with adults. The other two times were the under 1600 section of the Northeast Open, and the US Amateur Team East. His first round win was his biggest rating win ever, so he was totally stoked when he sat down to play me. In the meantime I was relieved to draw with the 1034.
The opening was pretty ordinary though 9...a6 wasn't very good. He got a little too much play with the knight and the bishop and boxed my queen in. I think there's where I got a little panicky and tried to reposition my pieces. Unfortunately I missed a simple little "remove the defender" tactic when I played 19...Nd7. After I dropped the pawn it went downhill from there. After 20 moves he had an eight minute time advantage.
I tried simplifying in the hopes that he wasn't good with endgames. I've pulled many rabbits out of my hat against young kids when I've been in time pressure in a lost ending. Some kids are so tactics driven that they don't know what to do in the ending. Unfortunately all I did with my attempts at simplification was give him the open c file and a centralized knight on d4. Instead of trying to chase the knight away I retreated my knight and ended out walking into a pin. When I was analyzing this game in Chessbase I couldn't figure what in earth I was doing during the game. It seems I had I just had a time pressure meltdown. When I looked at my scoresheet it appears I scribbled a time note of 37 seconds around move 30. The remaining moves I had gotten from my opponent when the game was over.
This particular loss was a combination of losing tempi early, dropping a pawn, and poor clock management. I didn't feel like he had gotten into my head. I figured he was pumped up from beating his first high rated adult in the prior round, and I happened to be the next one in line.