I just wonder how the same person can be playing this game. I'm cruising along up three pawns and then the bottom falls out. Who took over my mind after move 32? Or did the little overconfidence monster strike earlier when the stray thought about being able to recover from my crappy start in the tournament by winning this game crept in shortly after winning the third pawn? I tried to beat back that thought by reminding myself that I've lost better positions. I also reminded myself to stay focused on the board, and not worry about potential 4th round opponents or recouping pissed away rating points.
This is from the third round of our club championship. I was off to a rough start having drawn with an underrated adult 1190 in round one, and then losing to a 1300 after turning down his premature draw offer. How much worse could it get? After this game I don't want to know!
The problem was how I reacted to my opponent's 32nd move. When I played 32. e5, I was totally oblivious to queen pinning the e4 pawn to my rook on b1. I did not see 32...Qxb1 until he played it over 3 minutes after I had played e5. When he did take, I was totally shocked. I did manage not to have a premature resignation meltdown like I did last year. However I think it upset me just enough that my confidence was shaken. Instead of settling down and playing simple chess by trading off his potentially pesky bishop and pushing my passed pawn to e7, I panicked. I traded off his do passive rook on b8, and started giving stupid queen checks. By move 35 I had let him equalize despite my extra pawns. Overlooking the hanging pawn on e3 was deadly.
These were not errors caused by time pressure considerations. I missed an attack on a long diagonal. However the exchange of rooks in that manner wasn't a huge mistake. In fact it gave me a potentially powerful passed pawn, but I got too upset with having to defend against the pin on f1 and giving him one of the pawns back. Giving the c3 pawn up to break the pin on f1 was actually good because then I can simply trade off the bishops. However I was too busy beating up on myself about allowing him play and the opportunity to gain back some of the material. What's a pawn among friends when one has another one that can get to e7 and e8 without many problems?
I guess the lesson from this game is step back from one's inner critic who can't be emotionally detached, and get back to the real position. I had a chess teacher who would like at games like that and ask me what is wrong with simple chess? Push those pawns, eliminate the annoying threats and get it done.
Am I going to have to sit in the car and meditate for 30 minutes before my game, and just show up and play? The mind is a terrible thing to mind.