In playing a lot of kids who are 100 to 200 points lower rated then me I've noticed an interesting trend if their attack fizzles out. Some kids will attack the living day lights out my king position. However if I survive the attack and the position is even the kid will switch from attack mode to draw mode. It happened again last night in my second round game.
Ethan was throwing everything but the kitchen sink at my king, but I beat back the attack. After 19. Bxg7 he offered me a draw. I thought about it, but I just felt there was too much play left in the position and the clock was no factor. I sensed he simply wanted a draw because of the rating difference. In the first round he kept offering draws to his higher rated opponent, and eventually lost. I wanted to see where this position was going so I played on. After he played 24. Nxf4 he offered another draw. I liked the play I was getting on the kingside so once again I declined his draw offer. I didn't say anything, I just played 24...exf4. Also the clock was becoming an issue for him.
He played 28. Qa1 trying to get me to trade queens. Again he offers I draw. At this point I'm getting irritated with the draw offers so I tell him that if I want a draw I will offer it so stop asking. I retreat my queen to e8. I was aiming to double the queen and rook on the open h file. I wasn't afraid of his queen on the diagonal. He tried to penetrate with Qf6, but my rook and queen hold the position. After I played Rg6 he should have retreated the queen, but he probably thought he'd get pressure on my g pawn by playing Nf3. At first I was concerned about that but 30... Bc8 trapped the white queen. Oopsies. Still think it's a draw? On move 37 with 29 seconds left he resigned.
I think when a player changes his goal from trying to beat his higher rated opponent, to simply drawing the opponent his play changes. Turning down the draw seems to unsettle the player. Perhaps that's what may have caused my implosion in last week's time scramble. I think when he turned down the draw despite my having the better position I think I just lost focus. I guess well timed draw rejections can be a good weapon in chess psychological warfare.